I was on a bit of a vacation this past week, taking the offspring to be poked and pinched by his grandparents. To accomplish this, we were in eastern North Carolina, near Holden Beach. There's surprising pockets of automotive weirdness lurking in the kudzu-choked crevasses of NC. Here's one of them.

I'm still not exactly sure what this place was supposed to be, exactly, or what all this stuff was doing there. The place all these cars were sitting was closed when I drove by, and there were some vague unifying anti-drug themes, but beyond that it seemed like a sort of junkard/art space sort of place.


Anyway, join me on a magical journey into this bizzare world of rust and fake cars!

This is the car that caught my eye first, because I thought it might be another Electra King or something similar. Or maybe an old Crosley? I had to stop and check it out, so I did, and was rewarded for my efforts by realizing it's a fake. Well, it's a real something, but that something is a small plywood car.

A small plywood car with real wheels and axles and painted up in Kotex racing livery. What the hell was this thing for? Don't get me wrong, it's pretty well done and pretty funny, but I wonder what the purpose was? Parade float? Joke present? Prop for a moving bit of local theater about a determined racing driver who's trying to beat the odds? I'd love to know.

This is a 1948 Chevy, a Fleetline, I think, and despite the all-covering surface rust, appears to be in pretty reasonable condition, with almost all the trim and parts in place. This would be a great restoration project for someone.

This 1940 Dodge is similar, being mostly intact, and a nice example of American just-barely-pre WWII design. I really like the grille design on these.

This thing is a puzzle as well. From what I can gather, I think it's a sort of a study in perspective and forshortening. From this angle, at a distance, it sort of reads as a normally sized and proportioned car. Sort of.

From the other side, however, it reveals itself to be a crazily narrow Frankenstein of various tortured 50s American car parts. It reminds me a bit of that skull in that Hans Holbein painting that you can only see from a very oblique angle. Which I'm sure is that the builder was going for.

A Lincoln Premiere! These are pretty rare Lincolns, and this one is a first-gen one, which was only made from 1956-57.

I really love this super-classy badge. That Moravian-looking star spearing those elegant letters manages to capture so much about what luxury meant in early Space Age America.

A late '40s Dodge truck was here as well, tasked with the awesome job of ferrying around the SWAT team, which, according to the hood, is the Sexy Women Assault Team. I prepared myself for a sexy, womanly attack and peeked inside...

... and now I'm going to have nightmares until next Arbor Day.

You don't normally see a Jag all Vader'd out, so I thought that'd be worth a picture.

I always love to see repurposed engine bits turned into sculptures — muffler men and so on — and I think this was once supposed to be a crankcase-chested robot of some sort, but that tree seems to have gotten the better of it, and now I'm not really sure what the original form was. Still, nice to see some crankshafts out and enjoying the fresh air.

I'm guessing this came to be just because you can flow that second "T" in "Toyota" right into "toilet," making the beautiful portmanteau "Toyotoilet." There's about eight toilets bolted to the top of this old Camry, and based on how that rear suspension seems to be taxed, if this thing ever ran after the toilet-enhancement, it probably wasn't quick.


Still, it makes any yard look fantastic just sitting there, buried several inches into the ground.