Thursday, October 17, 2013

Death of a Junkyard

Dave is my guest commentator today. Who would be more qualified to talk about junk?
Recently I had the privilege of joining my friends Kevin, Walt and Jimmy for a tour of the demise of a large local automotive wrecking yard. This is where all vehicles come to die. The death throes of a vehicle are amazing to think about. This particular yard was 50 acres with 3-4,000 cars. It was being completely cleared to make room for a new purpose of the property. Vehicle age varied from the 1940's to the present. It was bittersweet watching the property being transformed and the cars getting scrapped. Junkyards are being lost to progress and rising property taxes. Here is a photo journal of some of the highlights of my day in the junkyard.
After the vehicles are stripped of their saleable parts, they are handled with an articulated loader with forks. This S-10 pick-up is only moments away from being crushed for scrap metal.
 The crusher is a massive, but portable, diesel powered hydraulic press. It is movable to different yards.

Three to four vehicles are compressed to a package this high, then netted to prevent parts from flying off as it goes down the road on a tractor trailer.

Van bodies always hold treasure as they are an economical way of keeping parts out of the elements.

School buses are especially popular due their large interiors. This Reo is from the late 1940's.

This yard had an amazing collection of every kind of car you have ever seen. Here is an AMC Gremlin. You could claim the vehicles by spray painting them with your name and number.

Deeper into the woods, the older the vehicles got. Here is a '57 Chevy four door wagon.

Massive fins were everywhere. These belonging to a 1959 Cadillac Sedan Deville.

Do you remember the V-8 powered Maverick Grabber?

Here is a Ford Pinto Runabout that is sinking into the dirt. The cars went on as far you could see.

It was especially cool seeing vintage imports. Here is a Hillman from about  1960.
 More fins. A 1960 Plymouth Valiant shows its Continental trunk, flanked by 1960 Chevys.

Here is a late 50's Chrysler Saratoga, probably with a Hemi, holding down a 1960 Ford.

There were trails between the cars that were just wide enough to access them.
Here is another collection of buses just brimming with parts.
 A huge excavator had a full time job just making the vehicles accessible to the forklift/loader.
Here is another one of the crusher presses on wheels. This scarp metal will go to a processing plant and be sold on world markets, usually China and the Far East.
There is probably over a year's work for the crew. When it's all said and done, the landscape will be unrecognizable from its former glory. It will all be a memory....and I was there.

1 comment:

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