Home » My Local Junkyard Is Full Of New German Cars And Older Japanese Ones

My Local Junkyard Is Full Of New German Cars And Older Japanese Ones

Gossins Gold Ts11323
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Most of the time our attention is forward-facing; focusing on new car models that are upcoming, or of things just over the horizon. The twinkle you get in your eye from dreaming of all the wonderment that is to come as the world turns and progress shows its shining smile.

There is just as much excitement happening with yesterday’s cars though and this space is for celebrations of automotive life well-lived, reflection upon those that had troubled lives and also a place for frustration towards those cars that met their demise too early.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

The Legend of Gossin’s Gold continues with more graveyard garbage and grievance! That’s right, my fellow Autopians, I’d like to extend a most hearty welcome back to the 3rd edition of Gossin’s Gold — the series in which I point out the gems I discover in my local junkyard — after what was way too long of an interim hiatus.

Why “too long” you say? Well, I have been really focusing my free time on getting my fleet ready for the dark, cold, short winter months here on the Carolina Coast, and also trying to think of new ways each day to get DT to approve my Jag XK8 article. (Still tryin’!).

Let’s start this thing up though since it’s Go Time (similar to Bo Time, I live near a Bojangles)! 

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2004 Mercedes S430

Of course, I had to kick off another episode of this column with a wicked expensive and good-looking German luxury car; they’re such low-hanging fruit! When I first spotted this car in the yard, on the week it came in, I was instantly drawn to it and sent a picture to the team Slack chat. Matt instantly responded and said that he loved that color and the car. He’s right – it looks so good. This car has a definite imposing presence and good gravy man, that paint color is the absolute heat. The pictures from my cheap refurbished Motorola cell phone do not do it justice. 

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With the usual state of affairs being a non-crashed body with intact glass and a presentable interior, it seems that this Mercedes fell to the same fate as its overly Rube Goldberg-electro brand mates: mid-aughts German electronics and beyond-stupid, failure-prone suspensions.

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The engine is a Mercedes-Benz “M113” 4.3 V8, and I can say from past wrenching experience on this exact engine, that they are easier to work on than you’d expect. They provide 275 hp but it doesn’t come about until 5,750 rpm. If you’re the S-Class owner out there that’s winding yours up to almost 6K RPM to get the most out of your engine, we salute you.

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This is a shot of the unit that I rescued a couple years back.

This was removed the following week, which adds a twist to the end-story of this car. This is a U-Pull-It yard, so if someone’s going to take an entire day to pull an engine, it had better not be blown. That would be rough.

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Was it the air suspension that did this beauty in or was it an electrically-sourced demise? Hard to say, but either is more probable than anything else. These engines are known to be quite hardy; I loved the power and smooth delivery of the example I briefly owned.

These cars weren’t sold in large numbers, but they seem to be vanishing faster than most other cars of their era. I see new examples coming into this yard every week and yet I don’t see many versions of these cars in traffic, parking lots or anywhere other than the junkyard. That’s anecdotal, yes, but you know it holds some merit.

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I believe that the 13-25-year-old S-Class may be one of the most rapidly disappearing cars in America.

2003 745L i

Same aisle, a few cars down is an attempt at making the same style of car, but by Mercedes’ Bavarian competitor. As you can see, the end results are about the same.  Img 20230819 095456812 Hdr

Thomas Hundal and I were discussing these top-end German luxury cars a couple of weeks back (he’s a fan; you can guess my feelings on the matter) and he was saying how incredible the speed is; specifically the speed at which they lose their value. Coming from Thomas that’s meaningful since he always can find a positive point in these types of cars.

I can’t wait to own a new ‘23 7 Series once they’re $500.” -T. Hundal

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Again here, the story is similar, as the body and interior both look to be in decent shape. This car was not felled by an accident. The paint has a luxurious sparkle-type glow to it and seems to be the kind of paint that you don’t usually see on a more plebeian mobile.

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Contrary to what the entire world seemingly thought at the time, I really liked Chris Bangle’s styling of this era BMW. “Flame Surfacing” is what I believe it was called. They had a more upright, chunky/block-like feel to them, especially when compared to the more streamlined, windswept-looking Mercedes above.

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I was a broke-ass college grad who was swimming in student loan debt when these cars were released and anything that was anywhere near close to affording them was something that didn’t happen in this version of the timeline. Seeing them as complete hulking wrecks in this day and age reminds me of the passage of time. It also reminds me of how my (enthusiast-scorned) ‘93 LeBaron outlived a good many of them.

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2012 MINI Countryman

Speaking of things that I would like a word with the larger enthusiast culture about, here’s another 11yr old dead MINI.  Do you see any accident damage? Any signs of water damage?

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You don’t? Neither do I. This car joins ~5-10 of its factory-mates in the yard, as there is a near steady procession of these cars through the junkyard front gates. I think it may be a toss-up between Land Rover and MINI as to which brand gets The Most Undeserved Pass (On Quality) from car enthusiasts. This is an 11-year-old car that was far outlived by my (enthusiast-scorned) ‘93 New Yorker and ’03 Dodge Stratus.

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I mean, with almost every other car that’s ever existed, crap cars get dunked on and good cars excel on merit. Not with MINI. Those zany Germans have found a way to sell you a “British” car that is full of artifice and problems, but they have expertly hid them behind great design, paint and fun attributes. 

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This one probably had some nice leather seats, since they were yanked out and sold within a couple of days of this car arriving on the lot. This yard advertises new arrivals on Facebook so when someone is really jazzed about an arrival, they are usually at the yard at 9 a.m. the day it is open to the buzzards.

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You probably also notice that the headlights and taillights are missing as well. Seasoned U-Pull-It veterans know that there wasn’t some guy that really needed a new set of Countryman lights (both front and rear). No Sir or Madam! This person was a light fixture eBay flipper. Certain lights that you can get from yards like this one for $40-$60 can go for much more online.

Look, maybe that’s a little harsh; let me see if I can end this one in a little more positive of a tone. My mom bought a new MINI in around 2008 in “I Just Got Divorced Red” and man she loved it.

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Until the timing components prematurely walked off the job and the engine shredded itself at about 50K miles. There is no MINI dealer in Utica, NY (where she lived at the time) so she had to figure out a replacement car with the MINI dealer in Albany NY (90 miles away).

When a car lets you down, that’s one thing, but when a car lets your mom down, it’s an entirely different level. Your mom is always #1 and MINI needs to get its shit together. You don’t mess with the moms.

Ok, that wasn’t that great of an example I suppose, but hey, at least they have fun styling, great paint and can attempt to persuade you to “motor“!

1989 Mitsubishi Mighty Max

What happened to fun Rad-Era trucks like this one, right?! Fun colors, the correct amount of doors, a manual transmission, easy to park, decent fuel economy and in a reduced-in-size design that nobody could say was emasculating (masculinity: still strangely baked into truck imagery and marketing). 

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When I was in college, trucks like these were the go-to for broke-ass college students and surfers at my beach school (UNCW). They were cheap, usually high mileage, and everywhere in the late 90s. Sadly, fun little Japanese trucks like this Mighty Max, the Ram 50, The Nissan HardBody, the Mazda B-Series, the Isuzu Pup and others of their ilk were all outlived by the Ranger, S-10 and Dakota (those never seem to die; you can still find a ton of ‘em for sale).

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Speaking of the Ram 50, I believe this truck shared pretty much everything except the badges with its Dodge sibling. That steering wheel especially, since it was such a departure from the Chrysler-sourced wheels in the rest of their wares.

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I love the color. Who cares if it appears to have been repainted. The Rad Era was more than just a feeling, it had real energy; it was a movement away from the weird-ass earthy browns, greens and oranges of the ’70s and the techno digitality of the ’80s.

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I was a forward-moving, forward-looking pre-teen when the Rad Era started. For a color movement to inspire so many folks to get behind fluorescents, it shows the incredible energy and fun that moment brought to the table from a cultural color-design perspective.

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1984 Chevrolet El Camino Laurence Rogers Special

Laurence Rogers rules. The man is the only person I’m friends with on the entire continent of Australia (other than my cousin Samantha, but she’s family. Hey Sam!). Laurence also loves Utes. He built one with our own Dave-o Tracy. He is also one of the driving, motivating forces (alongside The Bishop) behind the upcoming Ute-ification of my ‘94 Buick Parkamino Avenuero.

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That’s why when I saw this absolute stunner of an El Camino in the yard, I felt that we had to feature it here on Gossin’s Gold: Graveyard Garbage & Grievance as a tribute to Laurence’s good taste and exquisite style. His love for Utes is real and is really, really changing my appreciation towards them! 

At 43, there’s not a lot of things that really move the meter much, as you get set in your ways as you firmly plant yourself in middle age. Laurence was able to do that for me though and for that, I’m forever grateful. Food tastes better, I’m sleeping better, I have more energy, etc all because I’ve accepted Utes into my life.

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It looks like the left door panel, steering wheel and gauge cluster were immediately taken from this bad boy. That makes sense, since I’m sure they fit the Cutlass, Grand Prix and Regal of the same era.  

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It seems the same could be said about the hood and front bumper. There was only a single wheel remaining as well. That beautiful bed out back is such a clean design on these final-gen versions of the El Camino and those buttress-type sail panels that flank the rear glass will also be making an appearance in a certain semi-Autopian-famous Buick this spring.

1988 Toyota Cressida

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My uncle Tom “Big T” Onisk used to have a Camry in dark blue from this same year. It shared many design and mechanical elements with the Cressida and served as my first experience with a Japanese car. 

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Growing up in the ’80s, by far the majority of the cars you got into (in Utica, NY) were American. My uncle was badly burned on a Renault Alliance with a bad transmission from our local Jeep dealer. He then swore at them quite a bit, then swore to himself to only drive the most dependable of Japanese cars from then on out (he kept this up until a few years ago when an all-black Explorer showed up in his driveway).

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The way it smelled, the difference in materials, craftsmanship, the way the doors, windows, switches and buttons all moved was just, different. It was noticeable even to an 8-9-year-old me. Yes, the love for cars has been a lifelong one. My mama didn’t raise no quitter.

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Looking back at the design from 30+ years later, it seems pretty busy, right?! The chrome window surrounds and door handles, that big-ass black bump strip that runs around its waist and bumpers, the color-matched mud flaps, etc. Looking back at the front end, tell me honestly that you wouldn’t confuse this with a Maxima of the same era. Be honest.

The fact that this car rolled on though its long life that began in the ’80s and ended in 2023 is a testament to fine engineering.

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Bonus: It’s movie time. Sit back and grab a Stanley Tucci Negroni and watch these!

Well that’s it for this time, my Autopian friends! A very sincere thank you for being here with me and for making this wicked fun column possible. Without your clicks, this segment certainly wouldn’t stick (around)!

I’m heading back to the yard this coming weekend for more fun Garbage & Grievance hope to see all of you here again soon, my dudes and dudettes!

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The Legend of Gossin’s Gold continues!

All photos by Stephen Walter Gossin unless otherwise noted

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Maryann Witte
Maryann Witte
3 months ago

Nice article! The junk yard reminds me of my years of having garage sales. Don’t forget “Big T’s” Isuzu Trooper. Piece of junk!

Last edited 3 months ago by Maryann Witte
Pro Engineer
Pro Engineer
3 months ago

“New”

DDayJ
DDayJ
3 months ago

Good stuff. I saw the Caddy video on Instagram over the weekend and got a good laugh. I haven’t been to the UPull for awhile, but looks like the E38 has aged out of the yards and been replaced by the E65 in the big Bimmer dept? I remember seeing at least 5 E38s in every yard I went to.

JumboG
JumboG
3 months ago
Reply to  DDayJ

I had an e38, and many fond trips to the junkyard to get rare options (I found a set of the massaging seats in the same color as in my car, for instance.) I sold it to a co-worker’s brother when I went back to a e46 vert, and much to my shock last year I saw MY e38 in the junkyard! Looks like a front end hit took it out. By being able to work on the electrics myself, and staying on top of problems rather than letting them pile up, my e38 was fairly reliable.

DDayJ
DDayJ
3 months ago
Reply to  JumboG

Good on you! I love E38s. I don’t subscribe to the these cars have to be hell mindset either, but man a lot of people do. I just remember seeing so many newish, big German cars in the yard.

Kurt Hahn
Kurt Hahn
3 months ago

I think you are mistaken in saying that the Cressida and the Camry ‘ shared many design and mechanical elements’. While the Camry was indeed the Cressida’s successor in the American (and European) market, it was a completely different platform, and had been built alongside the Cressida, which was actually mechanically almost identical to the Crown (same I6 engine and transmission , RWD). This line of cars was eventually discontinued, and large RWD sedans were sold under the Lexus brand.

Alex
Alex
3 months ago
Reply to  Kurt Hahn

Small clarification here:

The Camry did NOT replace the Cressida, at least here in the states. It actually ran alongside the Cressida, which had another gen come out in 1989 and ran to 1992.The direct replacement was the Avalon, but also indirectly by the Lexus LS400.

Kurt Hahn
Kurt Hahn
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex

Ok I forgot about the Avalon, because it wasn’t available here (Western Europe), you’re probably right about the Avalon taking the Cressida’s spot in the lineup.
Here it was either the Camry (which was available with a 6 cyl engine, but totally different from the Cressida I6, the Camry had a V6), or you had to get a Lexus, if you wanted something like the Crown.

Harvey Park
Harvey Park
3 months ago

> there wasn’t some guy that really needed a new set of Countryman lights (both front and rear). No Sir or Madam! This person was a light fixture eBay flipper.

There’s another possibility. Your state is known for harboring a notorious taillight aficionado who is known for his occasionally erratic behavior, and it’s not outside the realm of possibility he may have been involved in this.

Turkina
Turkina
3 months ago
Reply to  Harvey Park

Were the lights the normal or Union Jack design? Torch has disdain for the Union Jack taillights, as they point in the opposite direction of intended movement.

Space
Space
3 months ago
Reply to  Turkina

Perhaps he purchased the lights just to flip them the correct direction?

Turkina
Turkina
3 months ago
Reply to  Space

Interesting…

Geoff Buchholz
Geoff Buchholz
3 months ago

o7 to the Elco for its service, and for donating generously to the Park Avenue project!

When you bring us along on these junkyard tours — which are awesome — are you always looking for a specific part? Or is it like when I go to Target expecting to pick up one thing and wind up leaving with $300 worth of BS?

Thanks for the great work! Looking forward to more gold!

Goblin
Goblin
3 months ago

Junkyards – the right and only place for Bangle butts, where they all should’ve gone straight from the factory.

Harvey Park
Harvey Park
3 months ago
Reply to  Goblin

Except the 7 series!

And the Bangle fronts were invariably worse!

Last edited 3 months ago by Harvey Park
Goblin
Goblin
3 months ago
Reply to  Harvey Park

Specifically the 7 series – the very same that’s shown in that junkyard. Ugliest butt ever. Barf ugly.
The fronts were ok. And the 7 series turned out to be almost fixable with the bigger taillights at the next refresh. But damn was the first one ugly. I cried.

A bit of the opposite of today, when the fronts are puke and the butts are decent.

Scott
Scott
3 months ago

I know I’ve commented appreciatively on your articles more than once in the past Stephen, so this time let me say that I enjoyed your narrated ‘movies’ very much as well! 😀 Thanks so much for your contributions here, regardless of form.

Chronometric
Chronometric
3 months ago
Reply to  Scott

I agree. Now get a real camera.

R53 Lifer
R53 Lifer
3 months ago

MINI love is a painful affliction. Can’t explain it, but it hurts a lot of the time. I have never recommended a MINI to anyone (quite to the contrary, in fact), yet I own two. The good news is that there are plenty of junkyard parts flippers keeping me on the road!

Hamish48
Hamish48
3 months ago
Reply to  R53 Lifer

You think the modern MINIs are bad? I was around for the original Minis – still have a ’67 Mini Traveler (station wagon) in fact. If it wasn’t for their outrageously good handling attributes they couldn’t have given them away, esp considering Lord Lucas, Prince of Darkness, and his electrical “systems” which necessitated a box of spare parts and spanners in the boot at all times.

Morgan Thomas
Morgan Thomas
3 months ago

I had a whole string of Datsun 510s back in the ’90s – most of them had Japanese electricals, but the early stuff in Australia used Lucas parts. Someone gave me some surplus new Lucas Points, condenser and other bits and pieces. So I raided my parts pile and found a couple of Lucas distributors, stripped the best one and fully rebuilt it from top to bottom with all new parts. Fitted it to my daily driver and it ran like a dog. Pulled a rusty, grease-encrusted worn Japanese-made distributor out of my parts pile, jammed it in without even cleaning out the spider webs, and it ran perfectly.

Chronometric
Chronometric
3 months ago

Counterpoint. I have an old Austin Healey. Yes the Lucas fuel pump is crap but the distributor is fine and the Lucas dashboard switches are of amazing quality.

Hamish48
Hamish48
3 months ago

Thanks! Personal testimony: Ask anyone who ever put in a Canadian winter in an original Mini. The Lucas electrics were a disaster. Let’s start at the front: Mr. Issigonis’ brilliant design put the spark plugs centimeters behind the grille, where they instantly became caked in ice, slush and salt and therefore misfired. You needed the 5-finger remedy: take one heavy pair of vinyl gloves, cut off the fingers – poke holes in the ends – thread them over the wires and plugs. Coat like hell with silicone spray. The points and condensers needed monthly adjustment/replacement at best. The charging system was horrendously inadequate. You were lucky to keep an overnight charge on your battery. If you did get started, there was so little juice online that if you came to a stop the lights browned out, the wipers barely wiped and your turn signal flashed in slow motion. They would often outright stall. The (optional!) 3.8 kw Lucas heater drowned out all other sounds, but failed to blow meaningfully on the windshield, meaning you kept an ice scraper on your lap and all times and probably had the front sliding window cracked. Jumper cables were on hand, at all times. The starters were especially fragile – they were one of the bits in your spare parts box. They whined and whined till they ran the battery down. On a cold day you often kept the car running when parked so as not to take a chance of getting stuck. Mini owners got skilled at the one-man push start: open the door, run alongside, jump in and pop the clutch. If you blew a fuse, which happed often, you simply replaced them all at the same time because one of the others was due to go any time. More in the spares box. A genius car, my favourite ever (I still have a ’67 Traveler) but like many British cars of the era the brilliance of the design was squandered by the manufacture and execution, and the electrics were a major component of that. 

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
3 months ago
Reply to  Hamish48

For awhile, they couldn’t, the Mini went through a period in the 1970s where it was kind of on life support and survived only because BL was distracted by so many other pressing issues, Minis were seen as kind of outmoded embarrassments and a symbol of the dysfunction in British industry. But, there was a reappraisal in the 1980s, and by the end of that decade, they were cool again (and also, importantly, big in Japan).

Turbotictac
Turbotictac
3 months ago

Oh also to mention, I believe there is a 1981 turbo Trans AM in the Cape Fear Pick and Pull currently which could be a neat feature

Laurence Rogers
Laurence Rogers
3 months ago

Oh Stephen, you are too kind!

I’m excited to see the Ute-ification project commence, I’ll be cheering for you Down Under!

(We don’t say “I’m rooting for you”, it has a rather different meaning here!)

A. Barth
A. Barth
3 months ago

*ribald snicker*

Turkina
Turkina
3 months ago

Oh lawd. Worse than hogs rooting.

Turbotictac
Turbotictac
3 months ago

Just throwing it out there since I know you’re in Wilmington, I have a coworker who has a 92 Volvo 240 5 speed n/a sitting at his house he is interested in selling. It turns over and fires on starting fluid but we haven’t quite got it running yet although it was when he parked it about 2 years ago he says. I think the fuel tank has rust in it and has clogged the pump so it isn’t getting proper fuel pressure. Pulled off the return line and it is barely a trickle. He is dropping the tank with intentions on checking it, and proceeding based on this. I talked him down to $500 on it but ultimately decided to pass since I have 4 cars + my wifes and already have been fighting for parking space. Would be a neat little car for someone. Body is mostly straight besides one fender which needs some love but the floors and everything are clean with the exception of one small rust hole on the inside of the drivers door weirdly.

Also, if that is the Cape Fear Pick and Pull..it is a shame they have gotten so difficult to deal with. I used to love visiting but the pricing got outrageous to the point it is cheaper to buy elsewhere or new.

Dead Elvis, Inc.
Dead Elvis, Inc.
3 months ago
Reply to  Turbotictac

Has your buddy thrown a new fuel pump relay into his 240 yet? If not, he probably should.

Turbotictac
Turbotictac
3 months ago

I don’t believe so. It was working, just seemed like the lines were clogged up.

B3n
B3n
3 months ago

Noo, that Mighty Max isn’t even rusty. And the Cressida looks clean too apart from the dents.
My personal pet peeve (ok, one of many) is seeing rust-free old cars in the junkyards down south and out west, while I’m trying to keep alive much newer, but way more rusty cars.
Oh well.

Chronometric
Chronometric
3 months ago
Reply to  B3n

One word for you my friend – arbitrage. It is absolutely worth a trip south or west to acquire decent cars.

Data
Data
3 months ago

I’m keeping the faith that DT will give us a Christmas present and let you run the Jag story.

Steve Balistreri
Steve Balistreri
3 months ago

These days whenever I see that model Mercedes S class, its in an unintentional low rider state due to its crazy suspension. When I’m in a more run-down part of town, out of the corner of my eye I’ll see one of those parked somewhere, slammed to the ground, with all the signs of not being moved for an extended period of time. Kind of sad.

Last edited 3 months ago by Steve Balistreri
Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
3 months ago

They deteriorated faster than an Altima with a fake paper license plate

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
3 months ago

Did I miss the name and fb page of the yard?

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
3 months ago

Thanks, not looking at your fine examples but a Vehicross. So I will check.

Turbotictac
Turbotictac
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

I am not staff so I will throw it out there, likely the Cape Fear Pick and Pull. Good luck, they have gotten very difficult to deal with the last few years sadly.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
3 months ago
Reply to  Turbotictac

Thanks

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
3 months ago

This column spurred my memory. My dad wasn’t the most capable fixing guy. He could do regular stuff but not the next level. For that he had John Boxler. John was the only or one of the only US civilian casualties in the 1st Gulf War. His company was responsible for clean fresh drinking water. RIP JOHN. But my family and John were from PA until we moved to FL. the 1st time. John and his 1 kid family drove down to visit us in FL. in a Honda CVCC. I don’t see them listed or talked about much but they were about Mini Sized and had a 1,200CC motor. Taking a family of 3 on a 29 hour trip in one of these in the 70s is quite a feat of bravery, if you ask me.

Nycbjr
Nycbjr
3 months ago

awesome job man, and DT please on his jag article!! The diesel pull is a complete head scratcher lol

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
3 months ago
Reply to  Nycbjr

The diesel pull is a complete head scratcher lol

Not really. The Olds 350 diesel block was (still is?) a popular base for a custom gas build. Since they were over built for diesel compression, they can take a lot of forced induction and/or NO2. They can also be bored out to well over 400ci. However, it is apparently just the block that can be used. The rotating assembly pretty much has to be replaced.

Last edited 3 months ago by MaximillianMeen
GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
3 months ago

Digital odos like the newer German cars are tough but it would be neat to know how many miles some of them made it where possible, in particular the Cressida.

It also amuses me that the motorized shoulder belt on the Cressida didn’t get disconnected at any point while shuffling through the junkyard.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
3 months ago

I miss ElCo and Mighty Max. The world just ain’t the same.

Rollin Hand
Rollin Hand
3 months ago

Gonna be that guy: pretty sure that’s a Mini Countryman, and not a Clubman.

As for the 7 series, I think we all know why it’s in the yard: someone got a repair bill for the valve seals. Or the the water pipe seals. Or electronic somethings.

Easy to mechanically total one.

JDE
JDE
3 months ago
Reply to  Rollin Hand

Mini as well, as stated though.

Rollin Hand
Rollin Hand
3 months ago

When I was a younger (read: single) man, I used to LOVE going picking at junkyards, walking around and looking at cars, guessing at their stories. I am living vicariously through you now.

Outofstep
Outofstep
3 months ago
Reply to  Rollin Hand

Same. I learned it from my dad because we had a lot of cheap cars growing up and they always inevitably needed something. I loved spending a Saturday morning at the junkyard when I was but a wee outofstep. Funnily enough I actually live near the junkyard I used to go to when I was little. I haven’t gone in there in years but when I go for a run 9 times out of 10 I run past the junkyard just to catch a glimpse of the new arrivals.

A. Barth
A. Barth
3 months ago
Reply to  Outofstep

when I was but a wee outofstep

When you actually were a minor threat? 🙂

Outofstep
Outofstep
3 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

Oh this is good!

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
3 months ago

Maybe the Caddy arrived at the junkyard without its motor. Someone planned to ditch that diesel and just never finished the job.

Delta 88
Delta 88
3 months ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

Nah, you can see the miserable, godawful abomination in the first video. So someone actually, on purpose, removed it and took it with them. I’m completely baffled

76Eldorado
76Eldorado
3 months ago
Reply to  Delta 88

Don’t quote me I am not sure if it was a real article but if I remember right in Hot Rod or Car Craft back in the 90s they put gas heads on a GM diesel and it was a ripper of a motor

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
3 months ago
Reply to  76Eldorado

I have a similar recollection. Something about being able to bore a diesel block our and achieve something like a 454ci small block.

A. Barth
A. Barth
3 months ago

When I was a yute (not to be confused w a ute), I went to a salvage yard to find a squirrel-cage fan and motor [housing] so I could build a supercharger for a lawnmower engine. There was a line of (IIRC) Renault 5s and one of Renault 10s, and I had immediate visions of rebuilding an engine in the basement and zipping around in a French voiture. Eventually I realized there are reasons for neatly assembled collections of cars in a salvage yard…

And extra points to SWG for the Stanley Tucci shoutout. The entire Searching for Italy series is absolutely fantastic.

Tap-n-Die And Some WD-40
Tap-n-Die And Some WD-40
3 months ago

I click on the Tucci Negroni link every time you share it to try to remind myself to make one. I love negronis, and doubling the gin sounds enticing, however I admit I am nervous about the balsamic vinegar…

A. Barth
A. Barth
3 months ago

Understood, but there’s no need to be nervous.

I’m not a fan of gin but I do like balsamic vinegar. The key is not to skimp: get a good bottle, because you may find yourself using it more often. 🙂 If you can, get it from an Italian grocery or deli and ask for recommendations. They may have samples available, too.

A. Barth
A. Barth
3 months ago

Thank you, and likewise!

Mthew_M
Mthew_M
3 months ago

Ah. I rescued an ’04 S430 from a salvage yard fate in late 2019. Mine, weirdly, had a ‘blown’ engine – best guess on that one is that it ate its serpentine belt, but, who knows what really happened. I removed all of the rubber from the oil sump, and, it sounds like hell, but, still running like a champ some 8k miles later. The engines in these cars really are amazing, it’s a shame people are so quick to give up on them.

Delta 88
Delta 88
3 months ago

So, someone left the increasingly harder to find Delco radio in the El Camino, but took the absolutely worthless first gen Oldsmobile 350 diesel out of the Caddy?? What the hell is going on?? What’s next, human sacrifice?? Dogs and cats living together?? MASS HYSTERIA

Delta 88
Delta 88
3 months ago

Yeah, a couple people in this comment section along have pointed that out, too. Even being an Olds guy, I had never heard of it either, but it does kind of make sense. A large part of the problem with the design of the 350 diesel was that the block was damn near a copy of the gas version I believe.

Also, I’ve screwed around with enough of those radios through the years to know one immediately lol.

Always excited when a SWG article comes across the page!

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
3 months ago
Reply to  Delta 88

Those diesel engines are actually quite sought-after in hot rodding circles as the block and internals are much stronger than a regular 350 V8, so once you put gas heads on it, you have enormous power potential on a budget. It was a crappy diesel engine, but it’s incredibly good at doing things it was never meant to do.

No Kids, Just Bikes
No Kids, Just Bikes
3 months ago
Reply to  Austin Vail

Whoa, this is quite a thing to learn in the comments. Thanks!

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