Junkyard Memories

Junkyard Memories

Some of you can probably relate to this story, as I grew up in the late 70s and early 80s suburbia going to ‘real’ car junkyards as a kid. They used to be those dirty old places on the “other side of the tracks” where dogs roamed the streets and nobody decent wanted to go. Yards weren’t regulated by the EPA, injury lawsuits were unheard of, and there was certainly no internet sales or chain “recyclers” at that time. Cars were actually sent these yards as parts donors, and most weren’t crushed unless there was absolutely nothing left of them to pick. I would show up on a Saturday morning with a buddy or two and the junkman would let us go to the back 40 and explore- As long as we stayed out of the way. Most of the cars were ugly more-doors from the ‘smog years’, so it was pure heaven to find a ’54 Chevy post or a ’59 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser still sitting fairly complete in the yard. I would always check the glovebox and the ashtrays for treasures; maybe a plastic army man, or a few loose coins if I was lucky. Sure, we stole a few cigarette lighters now and then, but really it was just about sitting behind the wheel in one of those old cars, all of 11 or 12 years old, imagining…

On the other hand, here’s some creepy color footage of an auto yard in 1961, appropriately titled “The Dead Cars Place”. This is obviously not the same place that I hung out in as a kid:

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