A final-year-of-production 1971 Renault 10, featuring water-cooled rear engine, in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service wrecking yard.
Murilee Martin - Autoblog Warlord
As Sir Mix-a-Lot stated so elegantly in 1992, Louis Vuitton never made a sweat suit. Louis Vuitton also never made a Mercedes-Benz W140 S-Class, but that's just what we've found in a Northern California self-service wrecking yard. Yes, it's two tons of Swap Meet Louie!
Word on the street is that the iconic and much-beloved BMW E30, the 3 Series for most of the 1980s and a bit of the 1990s, has become too rare and valuable to show up in America's big self-service wrecking yards. Don't believe it! I see E30s in most of Colorado, Arizona, and California yards I frequent during my travels. Last month, I stepped into a big Denver-area wrecking yard with a mission: photograph the first E30 I saw. Here it is, a faded-but-intact 1991 325i sedan.
The Z-28 Camaro in 1984 came with a 5.0-liter V8 making a respectable 190 horsepower. Buyers who went with the base four-cylinder engine, however, got just 92 Iron Duke horses. Few did. Here's a very rare Iron Duke Camaro in a Central Valley self-service wrecking yard.
We saw a junkified Ford P71 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor in Colorado last month, so it's only fair that we take a look at the P71's only serious rear-wheel-drive competition during the 1990s: the Chevrolet 9C1 Caprice Classic. Here's a final-year-of-production ex-police Caprice, spotted in an Arizona self-service wrecking yard.
I'm a big fan of the first-generation Honda CRX, as well as all members of the third-generation Civic family, having owned quite a few of the gas-sipping two seaters. These cars rusted to nothingness generations ago in the Northeast and Midwest, but you'll still find them in the warm, dry parts of the country. Here's a white 1987 CRX, spotted in a Phoenix self-service wrecking yard.
The 2002-2009 Chevrolet Trailblazer had many badge-engineered siblings, including the GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, Oldsmobile Bravada, and Saab 9-7X. The 2003-2007 Isuzu Ascender was the rarest of them all, and I was able to find this discarded '05 in an Arizona wrecking yard.
During the second half of the 1960s, Porsche sold a four-cylinder version of the 911 as their lowest-priced car. The 912 sold well at first, but replaced by a joint Volkswagen-Porsche project, the 914, in 1969. The six-cylinder 914-6 was badged as a Porsche in Europe, while the four-cylinder 914 was sold as a Volkswagen-Porsche. In North America, all 914s were Porsche-badged, and they sold very well. Here's a '72 project car that got junked in Denver before completion.
A midsized member of the versatile Chrysler K-Car family, with Mercedes-influenced styling. This one made it to age 31 before being discarded in Colorado.