110 Articles
1 / 6
NEXT

Real hippies can't afford VW buses. They drive vans like this one.

Here's the kind of van that toured with the Grateful Dead 20 years ago, spotted in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service wrecking yard.

A big, fast, luxurious German luxury sedan reaches the end of the road.

Before there was the mighty 6.9-powered big Mercedes-Benz, there was the 4.5-powered W108.

Before there was the Lexus LS, there was the Toyota Cressida.

The biggest Toyota car you could buy new in the United States in 1979.

The Chevette was slow and cramped, but it was also very, very cheap.

The Chevrolet Chevette was a rear-wheel-drive subcompact, based on the Opel/Isuzu-designed T platform, and it sold like crazy during the darkest days of the post-Iranian Revolution oil crisis.

One of the original hot hatches, now at the end of its road.

During the middle 1980s, the Volkswagen GTI was the high-performance affordable import to drive in California.

It took a long time for Cadillac's image to recover from this thing.

Cadillac Cimarrons weren't very reliable and didn't hold their value so well, but this one managed to avoid this fate for 34 years.

One of the final examples of the iconic 'Mail Jeep.'

Found in a Denver-area self-service wrecking yard, this '83 DJ-5 features GM Iron Duke power, sliding doors, and Chrysler automatic transmission.

Known as the Hilux outside of North America.

A used-up example of the small pickup that made all its competitors look shoddy, the third-generation Toyota Hilux, found in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service wrecking yard.

The California-built, GM-badged Toyota sleeper sedan.

GM's version of the Toyota Sprinter, now retired in Colorado after nearly 300,000 miles on the road.

The butt of so many jokes, but still a very useful vehicle in outdoor-activity-crazed Colorado.

The Pontiac Aztek remains a fairly common sight on the roads of Colorado, since it's such a good camping vehicle.

Powered by the same engine type as the DeLorean DMC-12.

The Volvo 200 Series was best-known for the 240, but there was also a six-cylinder version equipped with the Peugeot-Renault-Volvo 2.7-liter V6.

One of the last Detroit minivans available with a manual transmission.

An extremely rare example of one of the final Chrysler minivans available with a 5-speed manual transmission.

The rare Diamond Star Motors Plymouth.

A hard-to-find first-year example of the Plymouth version of the Mitsubishi Eclipse.

Remember, one man's trash is another man's treasure.

Adventurer Murilee Martin discovers stunning abandoned vehicles scattered around America in his Junkyard Gems series chock full of great photos and history.

Sold for the 2017 equivalent of $120,000 when new, now just scrap.

The 928 was a revolutionary machine in 1980, and its price tag put it in the same league as the Mercedes-Benz SL and Jaguar XJ-S.

Slant-6 engine, 3-on-the-tree manual transmission, not very rusty.

One of the earliest of Chrysler's soon-to-be-legendary A-body cars, spotted in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service wrecking yard.

Subaru's little four-wheel-drive pickup, now all used up.

Subaru love is strong in Colorado, which means that many BRATs are kept alive until they are completely used up. Here's a good example of such a truck: this 1982 model in a Denver wrecking yard.

The top-of-the-line, fully-loaded Accord for 1987, now fallen on hard times.

A fully-optioned, top-trim-level example of the iconic third-generation Honda Accord, now awaiting the crusher in a Denver wrecking yard after not quite 150,000 miles of service.

The first model year of the most cartoonishly oversized SUV of the 2000s

The Excursion was the sport utility vehicle that answered the question, How big is too big?

The downsized and mostly overlooked sixth generation of the Lincoln Mark Series.

The only one of the Continental Mark Series based on the Ford Panther platform, the Mark VI was built for just the 1980 through 1983 model years and is a very rare find today. Here's a largely intact example in a California self-service wrecking yard.

Millions of Vegas were sold, but they have become junkyard rarities.

Here's a solid-looking '75 GT in a Denver self-service yard.

One of the last of the RWD Cutlasses, found in a California car graveyard.

For the first quarter-century of the Olds Cutlass, the car was a lots-of-luxe-for-the-buck, body-on-frame, rear-wheel-drive slab of Detroit Iron.

The very last model year of the iconic Volvo 240.

Production of the famous Swedish brick peaked in the 1980s, but Volvo kept turning out 240s long after the advent of the more modern 700, 850, and 900 series cars. Here's a rare last-year-of-production 240, spotted in Northern California.

A very rare example of Toyota's mid-1980s luxury wagon.

If the Camry station wagon was too small, the Mercedes-Benz wagons too expensive, and the Detroit wagons too crude, there was the Cressida wagon.

1 / 6
NEXT
Share This Post

Junkyard Gems Questions

There are no questions about this topic.
Be the first to ask!

From Our Partners