This 1,000-vehicle South Park junkyard is headed for crusher

Illustration for article titled This 1,000-vehicle South Park junkyard is headed for crusher

High on the remote Colorado plains known as South Park sits a few hundred acres of ranchland and a car collection of one man that numbered 1,000 vehicles. After years of frustrated selling, his widow has called in the crushers. Your move, hippies.

The collector, James Gardner, died in 2006, but not before spreading hundreds of old American cars across
his 2,700-acre ranch; the dots in the photo below gathered like ants along a trail of sugar are vehicles as seen from space. His wife Amanda Woodbury has made several attempts to interest collectors in pawing through the remains — building a blog, getting an article in Old Car Weekly, and taking a lot of photographs.

Illustration for article titled This 1,000-vehicle South Park junkyard is headed for crusher
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But Woodbury, who by her own word "is not a car gal," has found a lack of buyers willing to make the trek to western Colorado for whole cars, and doesn't care to be in the mail order pick-n-pull parts business. Hence the call to salvage teams and collectors, in an announcement best read in Eric Cartman's voice:

The owner has decided that enough is ENOUGH, and is conducting the Phooey Special! All vehicles, trucks, tractors, other items under 5 tons weight $1500 your choice. Some with titles, some without. CASH ON THE BARRELHEAD, no monkey business, no malarkey. Scrappers get lost, contract has been signed. HURRY! First come first served. As is where is. YOU LOAD YOU HAUL! Price goes DOWN to $1200 on August 15th, DOWN again to $900 on August 25th and bottoms out at $600 on September 4th. THE CRUSHER IS COMING and gets everything, that is EVERYTHING September 14th, including your favourite if you don't ACT NOW! You snooze, you lose. The cows want to eat GRASS, not iron!

The high point of Woodbury's site may be a mostly complete 1957 Oldsmobile Holiday Special, with a current bid of $2,300; hundreds of other old American vehicles seemed to have weathered the high plains with aplomb. If you go shopping, we'd suggest the negotiations will go smoother with respect for authority and a bag of Cheezy Poofs.

Hat tip to Buckner!

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Perfect place to put this "story" I wrote:

Today, I'm getting onto a truck with a few of my brothers and sisters. I don't know where we're going, but there are a bunch of other cars driving next to us. I don't know why I'm not allowed to do that. Now we're getting driven off the truck and there are a bunch of other cars here already. We're parking next to them. Now it's dark. And cold. And lonely.

The sun is back up today, and there are a lot of people looking at me. Some are going inside. One man just shook another's hand and got my keys. Now he's taking me away from my friends. He parked me in a dirty room in his house with one other car. Now it's dark, cold, and lonely much longer each day than at the first place.

In the mornings, he takes me to a parking lot in the city, and then right back here. And nowhere else. It's been four years and nothing else has happened.

The other car is gone today. Another one took its place. I don't know where the first one has gone.

It's been ten years now since the man took me home, and he has left me in a parking lot. There are signs in my windows that say "FOR SALE." I don't know what they mean.

Today, the man showed up with a young girl. They did the same handshake that I saw years before, and now she's driving me home. I'm not allowed to sleep inside here. She leaves me on the road. She's covered me with stickers and scratches and dents. She doesn't love me as much as the man did.

It's been five years since she took me home. Today, she let five of her friends ride in me. They were breathing funny smoke and drinking smelly stuff and vomiting on my carpet. Another car signaled her to leave the road with flashing lights. Somebody is taking her and her friends away. Now a truck is taking me away.

I'm on a platform with a hole in it. Several men are taking parts off of me and putting new ones on. They're cleaning my carpet and fixing my paint.

It's been three weeks since the girl left me, and I'm on another truck. Now I'm in a line of other cars. We're being presented to a crowd one at a time and everyone is yelling numbers. The biggest one I heard when it was my turn was five hundred. Now another man is driving me to his house.

His house is funny. There are lights and balloons and dozens of other cars. He never drives any of us. It's just like the first place I went. There's a sticker in my windshield that says "$2,500."

I've been here for ten years. Now my sticker says "$1,000." Another man is taking me home.

This time, I get to live inside again. I am the only car here. The man puts ladders on top of me and drives me all day every day. I think he loves me the most.

It's been another ten years. I am thirty five years old. The man parked me in the front of his lawn now. No more ladders. No more driving. Nothing but a sign that says "$300."

A new man is taking me away on a truck now. He isn't letting me off.

I've been on this truck at his house for three weeks. Another man is bringing a bunch of paint cans to me. Now both of them are painting me black. And they're leaving again.

It's been a day. The man is back with red paint this time. He is writing on me. "The Widowmaker" on my hood. "666" on my doors. A picture of a target on my trunk. I think I am a race car now.

He's taking me somewhere on his truck. There's a big circle of dirt in a field with ten other cars. All of them are decorated like me. But where is our track? And why do all the other cars look so old, broken, and sickly? How are we supposed to race?

We're all in the circle now. We're facing each other. A gun just went off. Now I'm flying forward. No! We're going to crash! AGH! I never imagined how badly that would hurt! NO! AGAIN! OW! Ow! Ow...

I can't drive anymore. I'm being pulled onto another truck. Now I'm at a huge yard full of dead cars. They're all just as broken as I am. Maybe we're all in line for the place where those men fixed me up before.

We're not. Some people came today and took my wheels. Others took my seats. One man had my entire engine removed. I'm as good as dead. Now a claw is coming over me. It's closing and... AUGH! It's crushing me! And lifting me in the air. And dropping me in a box. A large, metal box.

A metal panel is coming in on top of me. It's sealing off all the light. Finally, I am at peace. No, it's still moving. AAAAGGGGGHHHHHH! It's not stopping! It's crushing me! I'm dying! I'm going to die!

Finally... .