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Event Coverage Thunderdome - a junkyard tour pictoral

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Squablow, Nov 24, 2021.

  1. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,479


    For years I'd heard legends of a nearby yard with an enormous dome erected in the middle of it, full of all kinds of scrap metal including (but definitely not limited to) old cars. This past weekend I finally got to go there and this time I actually remembered to take pictures.

    Background, this was never meant to be a salvage yard, it's just the personal collection/hoard of a guy who loved "stuff" and disliked authority figures. My friend who went with had met the original collector, who he said was a quirky but nice guy and let him buy parts off of some of the cars even when he was alive. Apparently some city or county authority told the owner he needed to clean up the property and this prompted him to bring even more stuff there. The property is surrounded by farm fields so I don't think it was a nuisance like it would be in town.

    Well the owner died and his nephew is in charge of clearing off the property. Nephew is also a real nice guy and he's cashing in staggering amounts of scrap metal so he's not at all upset about his clean up duties, he was also nice enough to let us walk around and buy pretty much anything we were interested in.

    The place is surreal and I took many pictures. I don't want to post the location of this place on the internet since the nephew is very wary of people going there to steal scrap metal, apparently this has been an issue. But he is willing to sell stuff, if you see something you absolutely can't live without I might be able to help facilitate that, but no promises.

    On his first tour, my buddy took me a few teaser pics which really made me want to go. In these first two, you can see the famous "dome"...


    In person, it looks like a flying saucer landed there 40 years ago and just never moved again. I'd guess it's 100 feet in diameter. Apparently the owner found out that a wastewater treatment plant was getting rid of the roof over part of it's facility and this guy went there, disassembled it, brought it to his property and then re-erected it as a giant workshop.

    I originally wanted to go after seeing pics of this '56 Chevy 2 door sedan, figuring on buying the doors and B posts as 2 door conversion parts. Unfortunately sometime after these pics were taken but before I got there, someone beat me to it and cut up the doors and quarters to get the door latches and window regulators. So that wasn't meant to be.

  2. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,479


    These next pictures are from when I got there. I should have taken more pics earlier but this first one is when I reached the dome. This is actually quite deep into the yard.

    Quite a tangle of stuff everywhere.

    Didn't find anything I needed in this bicycle pile but there were several piles of bikes like this. I feel like once some of the outer layers are peeled off, some older stuff is going to be revealed.

    I wanted to get closer to this sign that said "Daily Specials" on it but it was in too deep, as a giant boat hull loomed overhead.

    A little shocking to see a big solar panel array in the middle of the yard. As messy as the place looks, stuff like this and the assembly of the dome were actually quite impressive. You could really tell when walking around that the original owner spent an incredible amount of time and effort on things.

    He also seemed to have collected hundreds of TV sets, which he would dismantle to get the circuit boards out of them which can be recycled for gold content.

    Washing machines and old refrigerators, too. You really had to look around closely, I found 3 '59 Cadillac tail lights in one of these old refrigerators. Interesting bits were scattered all over the place.

  3. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,479


    This thing reminded me of a WW1 floating mine or something. Was huge and incredibly thick. Not sure what it could ever be reused for, but it was really neat looking.

    Another view of the dome, with some 60's pickup trucks flanking the roadway. Some of the vehicles were pretty picked over already. Unlike a lot of hoarders, this guy seemed to be willing to sell stuff to people, which is nice.

    This motorcycle was pulled out, not sure what it was. Rough, but cool to see.

    This GTO hood ended up coming home with me. Smashed and extremely rusted on the underside, but I cut the scoop portion out and saved it, maybe for some custom project in the future. Not something I typically see in a junkyard.

    This circa 1964 Mercury station wagon standing on end up against a pile of tires, with an old bus behind it was quite a sight. Not sure why this was done, or how.

    Some of the old cars, dome barely visible in the background at this distance.

    Better shot of the Caddy. This thing looked really cool sitting out there, still wearing most of it's blue paint.

  4. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,479


    More cars. I wanted to look over the '64 Chevys for my own '64 Impala project but I was so awe-struck at all the sights to see I didn't really look very hard.

    More 64's in the shadow of the dome.

    Lots of buses filled end to end with "stuff", I'm not sure what's in this giant wooden building as it looked kinda unsafe.

    Cool old van, bursting at the seams.

    I didn't even notice this silo until I was right next to it.

    Fallen trees never seemed to touch the ground, they just got suspended in the aisles.

    There were pathways, but they were narrow.

    moparboy440, 2Blue2, Hnstray and 6 others like this.

  5. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,479


    There were trucks parked in this garage, but they were very blocked in. I feel like there's probably some cool stuff in there too but right now it's just not accessible.



    Another TV mountain

    Tree trying to eat a hood that got left propped up against it who knows how many years ago.

    Super rad school bus which I think it would be hard to extricate but was damn cool looking, pics don't do it justice.

    Inside the bus. Every bus, van, and little shed looked like this. Not sure what most of it was.

    moparboy440, 2Blue2, Hnstray and 6 others like this.
  6. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,479


    There was car parts and general cool stuff in here but you really had to look around, it was a mixed bag.

    '39 Chevy 2 door sedan looks like it got airdropped into this pile.

    This box truck was truly cool. I guess someone wants to cut the sides off of it, I hope they do, the artwork is cool and it really should be saved. The guy was very open to doing stuff like that.

    Other side

    moparboy440, 2Blue2, Hnstray and 7 others like this.
  7. Now, there's a true definition of garbage dump.
    jimmy six and kidcampbell71 like this.
  8. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,479


    Some unused dome sections. It would be an incredible undertaking, but if I had infinite space and time I would have bought the dome, took it down and put it up somewhere else.

    Hoover Constellation. I have a working one at home. Sad to see it there but it wasn't worth buying.

    I tried to get the grille out of this Ford truck but the bolts just broke their cage nuts and the grille guard was too hard to get around. Unfortunately it was slated to get scrapped and is probably long gone now.

    Gotta love the graffiti inside this old van.

  9. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,370

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    Wow, just incredible.
    That dome rules! Love the door entry design. I think it would make an excellent shop/house particularly in tornado alley! Would love to see pics of the inside.

    Great thought you had on the good/older stuff being on the bottom layers. That would include older bicycles (don't overlook them).
    Take a peek in anything that acts as an enclosure. Someone may have squirrelled away some choice parts, like you discovered the Caddy taillights.
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  10. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,852

    Gearhead Graphics
    from Denver Co

    It'll be years to.clran that hoard! Could be some gold amongst the junk
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  11. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,479


    Now for the stuff I bought. Here's a pic of my pile about halfway through.

    I'm a sucker for midcentury stuff so both of these ended up getting bought and coming home with me, despite their terrible condition.

    And some pics laid out once I got home. Mostly signs and junk to hang on my shop walls, but there was a few cool hot rod and custom car pieces. Found 2 of those WWII/Korean war era stainless oxygen tanks, 3 '59 Caddy tail lights (which I don't like on most customs but I had to get them just because they're cool), one 55-57 Chevy door garnish I'll save for future 2 door conversion use, some 60's truck stuff, the scoop portion of the GTO hood, some hubcaps, etc.


    The guy's prices I thought were very fair for the amount of stuff I bought, I was really happy and I'd like to go back. He easily could have told us to go pound sand and just scrapped everything but he didn't, the guy has fond memories of his uncle and was very gracious in showing us around and letting us pick through it. It was a pretty cool experience overall.

    Just glad I stopped to take pictures this time.
    Paul B, moparboy440, Hnstray and 8 others like this.
  12. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,814

    from Ks

    I went to a place something like that once. Great fun to poke around!! I was in a school bus poking around it was full of junk, when a raccoon jumped out of the junk! He almost beat me out the door. LOL:D
    X-cpe, Hnstray and Tman like this.
  13. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 35,160


    Talk about a hoarder. Needs a D8 Cat an excavator and a few rollback dumpsters and start scrappin
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  14. Dangerous Dan
    Joined: Jul 10, 2011
    Posts: 391

    Dangerous Dan
    from Graham Wa.

    American Pickers would have a ball over pricing all that Junk/Garbage...
  15. I bought one of these brand new in the early '60's. I was very stylish.
    Hnstray and Squablow like this.
  16. My FIL worked for a guy scrapping out an old junkyard decades ago. Had a pile of bikes way bigger than this. At the bottom they found an old Fordson tractor and actually got it running.
    Squablow likes this.
  17. thanks much for posting, that yard is so cool, love to pend a day in there.
  18. Thanks for your efforts, kinda sad though.
  19. Bird man
    Joined: Dec 28, 2009
    Posts: 711

    Bird man
    from Milwaukee

    Looks like you had a great time! My pile was smaller than that :)
  20. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 5,058


    Very cool bone yard and thanks for sharing
  21. That's a Kawasaki 250 or 350 - should be an Avenger with the lower pipes - 1967 up past the 500 triple - last year for the twin was 1971 - and think it was sold only as the Samurai with the up swept pipe. My first real scare was on the back of one - my older brothers friend in about 1969.
    Hnstray likes this.
  22. Cool trip thru.......thanks for sharing !
  23. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 2,205


    Are fires allowed there?

    If he sells what he can, scraps the rest of the metal and maybe sells firewood he should get it sorted out in a jiffy.

    And big burn piles.
  24. Motorwrxs
    Joined: Aug 15, 2021
    Posts: 90


    Awesome pics…thanks for sharing!
  25. 37 caddy
    Joined: Mar 4, 2010
    Posts: 415

    37 caddy
    from PEI Canada

    I love going to places like that,used to be some around here a few years back,sadly now they are all cleaned up.It makes you wonder how much work it was to put all that stuff there,it must have taken him years to put it there? its hard to fathom how much effort it would take to do it again?My wife is a sucker for the mid-century modern stuff too,she would have bought the same stuff you got:p.
  26. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,539


    Cool finds. Looks like a lifetime of gathering.
    The nephew has his work cut out. There's good stuff there and a lot of garbage. It's a toss up on trying to save and sell some things or just scraping it all up and hauling off.
    Need some machinery and chainsaws, Clear off an area and start moving cars to sell.
  27. Barn Hunter
    Joined: Feb 15, 2012
    Posts: 1,469

    Barn Hunter

    That would be fun poking through all that stuff. I'm sure there is some rusty gold hiding in there. Next time go full on honey badger and get in those buildings!
    kidcampbell71 likes this.

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