You don't see many E12s on the road these days, but I saw two of them at a Northern California self-service junkyard a few weeks ago. Here's a fairly clean-looking '76 530i that's Crusher-bound.
If you ever needed proof that the Mercury marque suffered from puzzling, left-handed FoMoCo branding strategies over the years, the first-gen Capri will serve nicely. Sold by Mercury dealers in North America, but not as a Mercury... what the hell?
A few months back, I spotted this '82 Renault Le Car in the "fixer-upper" section of an East Bay wrecking yard. "How much?" I asked. "800 bucks!" was the reply. Nobody bought the little Renault, and now it's Crusher bait.
After the semi-high-tech Vega turned out to be such a headache for The General, the Chevette was just the ticket: crude, simple, and cheap to build. Already obsolete when it debuted in 1975, the Chevette was a fossil by 1986.
Let's just contemplate this Car-Freshner Little Tree twisting in the East Oakland breeze and remember that the Grim Automotive Reaper comes for nearly every car... someday.
Would any self-respecting serial killer ply his trade in a "Super Banana Yellow" Dodge Tradesman? In this case, definitely.
Though we rarely see 124 Spiders on the street nowadays, they are still out there. Here's one that hung on long enough to see five different decades.
So you've got numbers-matching, date-code-obsessed Mopar fanatics paying forty octillion bucks for 318-powered '70 Chargers, and you've got Shelby fanatics paying eighty octillion bucks for replica AC Cobras. How about a super-rare automatic-equipped '84 Shelby Charger?
How often do you see this sequence at a high-turnover self-service junkyard: Jaguar XJ Series III, Mercedes-Benz R107, Jaguar Sovereign, Jaguar XJ Series II?
We know, the Biturbo really was a black eye on Maserati's reputation… but it's still strange seeing Italian royalty surrounded by proletarian-grade Volvo 240s and VW Golfs in my local self-service junkyard.
If you were into hot-rodded Beetles during the Late Malaise Era, as I most certainly was, you probably remember the small-print ads for the "Pinto Beans" adapter kit from the back pages of your favorite VW magazines.
When 95% of your typical East Bay junkyard's customers speak enough Spanish to know that "no va" means "it doesn't go," your typical stripped-nearly-clean early-70s Nova 4-door is going to get some witty comments inscribed in the Malaise-y gold paint.
By 1983, Nissan was in the final stages of phasing out the Datsun name in the North American market, so every Datsun had a little "by Nissan" addendum on badges. Datsun, Nissan, whatever- this one will be scrap steel soon!
Say you're at the junkyard and you need some component that's buried beneath a bunch of tedious-to-remove parts you don't care about. You can break out the Implements Of Destruction and tear the bastid out… but the ethical dilemma!
What came after the Malaise Era? The Turbo Era, of course! In 1986, when your car had a turbocharger under the hood, you wanted the world to know it. This was the philosophy behind the Starion/Conquest.
Peugeot gave up on North America in 1991, so 405s (and 505s) of this era don't exactly crowd the Jettas out of the European section at my local self-service wrecking yard.
While today's Junkyard Find dwarfs its 1965 ancestor we saw in the same wrecking yard a while back, it's still on the insubstantial side next to the current generation of "small" pickups.
Fans of Malaise Era Japanese iron often tell me they'd love to do an 810 wagon project, but claim they can't be found these days. Here's one that made it past the auction process and into The Crusher's waiting room.