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Junkyard Gem: 1959 International Harvester B-110 pickup truck

Ford, GM, and Chrysler weren't the only game in town for American-made work trucks in 1959

Ford, GM, and Chrysler weren't the only game in town for American-made work trucks in 1959.

Junkyard Gem: 1984 Ford Ranger Explorer

An optioned-up example of the early compact Ford Ranger, found in California

The successor to the Mazda-built Ford Courier, this 1984 Ford Ranger in a San Francisco Bay Area junkyard has plenty of luxury extras (by 1984 small-truck standards).

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Junkyard Gem: 1983 Mercury Grand Marquis LS Brougham Station Wagon

Complete with faux-wood siding, smoker's vent windows, and a roof rack.

A late-1960s-style big Ford wagon that was still being made in the 1980s, this 1983 Mercury Grand Marquis Brougham wagon showed up in a Northern California wrecking yard.

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Junkyard Gem: 1982 Toyota Starlet

The fuel-economy champion of 1982 America, now crashed in California.

With the best gasoline mileage of any car you could buy in the United States, this tiny rear-wheel-drive 1982 Toyota Starlet was still on the road at age 37... when a crash took it out of commission.

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Junkyard Gem: 1990 Chevrolet Beretta Indy

Rare? Yes. Valuable? Not so much.

Rare? Yes. Valuable? Not so much.

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Junkyard Gem: 1985 Bertone X1/9

After Fiat pulled out of North America in 1982, the X1/9 became a Bertone over here.

Once Fiat departed these shores after 1982, Malcolm Bricklin continued to import the 124 Sport Spider as a Pininfarina and the X1/9 as a Bertone. Here's an example of the latter type in a San Francisco Bay Area junkyard.

Junkyard Gem: 1995 Buick Regal GS

The first generation of the Regal to get Buick's GS treatment.

The first generation of the Regal to get Buick's GS treatment.

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Junkyard Gem: 1977 Volkswagen Rabbit

An early Rabbit in a Denver junkyard, complete with Rastafarian decor

An early Rabbit in a Denver junkyard, complete with Rastafarian decor.

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Junkyard Gem: 1997 Land Rover Discovery XD

Another member of the rare-but-not-so-valuable junkyard club.

A screaming yellow first-year 1997 Land Rover Discovery XD in a Denver-area junkyard.

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Junkyard Gem: 1990 Ford Taurus SHO

Made back when the Taurus SHO came with a mandatory manual

Made back when the Taurus SHO came with a mandatory manual.

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Junkyard Gem: 1991 Chrysler LeBaron GTC Convertible

Mitsubishi V6, 5-speed manual, Bordello Red interior, and a soft top

Mitsubishi V6, 5-speed manual, Bordello Red interior, and a soft top.

Junkyard Gem: 1978 Triumph Spitfire

Even with British Leyland build quality, this Colorado Spitfire outlived most 1978 Hondas

A 1978 Triumph Spitfire convertible languishes in a self-service wrecking yard in Colorado.

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Junkyard Gem: 1993 Subaru Justy 4WD GL

Subaru's tiny three-cylinder, 4x4 commuter.

The Justy GL 4WD was a bit more expensive than the Geo Metro or Ford Festiva, but it came with four-wheel-drive.

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Junkyard Gem: 1984 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale Brougham

Not just a Brougham. A ROYALE Brougham!

Not just a Brougham. A ROYALE Brougham!

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Junkyard Gem: Heavily personalized 1997 Buick Skylark Custom Sedan

When you're a car's final owner and you know it, you can do this.

The Buick-badged sibling to the Chevy Malibu and Olds Achieva

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Junkyard Gem: 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser with 5-speed manual transmission

Believe it or not, some PT Cruiser buyers bought three-pedal version

Believe it or not, some PT Cruiser buyers bought three-pedal version.

Junkyard Gem: 2002 Toyota MR2 Spyder

Complete with sequential manual transmission and no automatic mode

As the first relatively affordable production car to be offered in the United States with a sequential manual transmission, this 2002 Toyota MR2 Spyder is an interesting bit of automotive history.

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Junkyard Gem: 1990 Chrysler TC by Maserati

Maserati styling, Chrysler chassis, Mitsubishi drivetrain

Maserati styling, Chrysler chassis, Mitsubishi drivetrain.

Junkyard Gem: 1969 Buick Wildcat four-door hardtop

Buick's sporty luxury sedan of the late 1960s, now kaput in Denver.

Complete with big 430-cubic-inch V8 and split bucket seats, this 1969 Buick Wildcat was a big, powerful sedan for high-rollers with a bit of the devil in them. Now its driving days are finished.

Junkyard Gem: 1991 Toyota Corolla DX Wagon art car

Possibly known in its San Francisco Bay Area habitat as the Flying Colors Corolla

When you know you're a car's final owner, you get to decorate it any way you like. That's what happened with this 1991 Toyota Corolla DX station wagon in a San Francisco Bay Area wrecking yard.

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