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wae Dork
9/12/17 6:00 p.m.

I had a bit of a melancholy moment today while I was in the local pick n pull.  From across the yard I spied the red high-top of a conversion van that had little dots all along the edge.  I made a bee-line for it, knowing that it had to be my old van.  Sure enough, there was the van I drove for several years before selling to someone back in 2011.


I had seen it driving around town periodically and it always made me smile to know that the old girl was still kicking.  I'm assuming that something mechanical finally gave out since the body wasn't significantly damaged.  It has been in the yard since May, so I imagine it won't be long before it's crushed and recycled into something.  Hopefully something awesome.  The odometer reading just a few miles past 230,000 so it had a pretty long life over its 20 years.


I don't know if it happened in the yard or before it was scrapped, but all the seats besides the front two had been ripped out and were gone.  It actually still smelled the exact same as it used to, which I thought was kind of weird.  The repair I made to the high-top (I got it cheap because the top wasn't secure and would lift off at highway speeds) was still working and not leaking, which I thought was cool.  Across the inside was strewn all the various paperwork that had been in the glovebox at one time.  I was shocked to find a receipt from a local mechanic from about 11 years ago, while I owned it, for replacing the upper and lower ball joints.  I decided to keep it as a memento.


I wasn't particularly attached to the van, but it was kind of weird to see a car that I owned for quite a while appear in a junkyard.  

conesare2seconds Dork
9/12/17 6:25 p.m.

I'd have a sad to find one of my old cars in the yard. Not that I'd necessarily want every one of them back but because I've never sold one on that didn't have life left in it. If not wrecked, the yard means someone gave up on it after it left my care. I know that most cars reach a point where they're more expensive to fix than they're worth but fixing is usually cheaper than a new one and I'd like to think that someone would put the money into it even if the current owner didn't. 

All that said, I'd probably feel differently if I lived in the rust belt, where no amount of care will keep tin worm away indefinitely from a car that's driven year-round.  

BrokenYugo MegaDork
9/12/17 6:47 p.m.
conesare2seconds said:

All that said, I'd probably feel differently if I lived in the rust belt, where no amount of care will keep tin worm away indefinitely from a car that's driven year-round.  

You kind of hit a point of decay where you start doing the bare minimum maintenance/repair, as the car will likely handle the neglect longer than it will remain structurally sound, at which point you dump it for $600 and get a fresh one to run into the dirt.

84FSP Dork
9/12/17 6:47 p.m.

My buddy found his old Range Rover Disco in a boneyard 2 years after selling.  He bought it back for $500 and sorted it out over a few weeks then resold for 5k.

Streetwiseguy UltimaDork
9/12/17 6:54 p.m.

My ex wife made me buy a 89 Cherokee.  I suffered that bucket of crap for about four years, finally got her into a real vehicle.  I saw it later backed into a retaining wall, and shortly afterwards in the scrapyard.  

I smiled.

ebonyandivory UberDork
9/12/17 7:26 p.m.

I sold my 9" lifted K5 Blazer-turned-SHORT-pickup with 38" Super Swampers to a guy who bought it for his then-pregnant girlfriend.

Missed it terribly and then saw it in someone's back yard next town over in several large pieces. I lovingly painted the camo on it so I knew it was mine.

A year later I saw the shortened bed on a ramp truck going to a scrap yard.

Still irks me today.

dropstep SuperDork
9/12/17 7:46 p.m.

I watched my 81 marquis 2 door get derby'd. Id have rather seen it in the junkyard. Car was still rust free when i sold it :(

djsilver Reader
9/12/17 7:52 p.m.

I had an old Volvo wagon (145) in Atlanta when we were first married. When we moved we had to sell one car and the other one had AC, so I sold the wagon to a part-out place called Voluparts in Atlanta.   Several years later we were in town to visit family and I saw it being driven on 285!  I recognized it because it was yellow with a dark blue rear hatch.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
9/12/17 8:21 p.m.

Not mine, but my brother's car.  It was a 1963 Oldsmobile Cutlass (this was a long time ago.)  It was still fairly intact but someone had removed the bucket seats.  

The funny thing is that when he got married about ten years prior we had thrown a ton of rice in the car, and with the seats out of the way I could still see some grains of rice embedded in the carpeting.  My brother is a real meticulous guy too, so it's not like he didn't try to get all that rice vacuumed out of there.  That was when I realized that throwing rice in a car at a wedding is a bad idea.

spitfirebill UltimaDork
9/12/17 8:53 p.m.

I donated an 89 Maxima to Goodwill and saw it at a garage a couple of months.  I also would have sworn I had passed it on a backroad 200 miles away.  After that, no more sittings.  

TheRX7Project New Reader
9/12/17 9:03 p.m.

Not in a junkyard but I recently saw my 3rd Ford Focus up for sale on craigslist (I've owned 4). At least I'm 99% sure it was the car. Correct year, correct color, correct options and the same correct-but-incorrect wheels (ex bent a wheel on a pothole so I swapped the wheels off my '01 onto my '06). I emailed the guy to see if he had more pics but he didn't. I wanted to see if it still had the intake and exhaust on it. The price was actually really good on it and I almost considered buying it back, but I'm so far upside down on my current daily (Sonic) that it wouldn't be feasible.

I don't go to junkyards often enough, nor sell cars often enough, to see anything I've owned there.

ddavidv PowerDork
9/12/17 9:19 p.m.

I found what was left of my Fiat 850 in a U-Pull-It. Wasn't much more than a half-flattened carcass of rust.

And no, the Panasports weren't on it. I was kind of sad about it but then figured out it had been at least 25 years since I sold it to a farmer for his daughter to drive...and it was a cobbled together jigsaw puzzle of a car built from several different ones to begin with. 850s didn't survive well in the rust belt and for that 1973 car to even be on the road when I sold it around 1987 was already remarkable, so it actually had a pretty long life.

Vigo UltimaDork
9/12/17 9:37 p.m.

The main reason why many of cars i still own aren't cars i used to own is because i am certain that most of them would hit the scrap heap the first time anything slightly inconvenient broke on an owner who wasn't a master technician with an eccentric taste in old crapboxes.  If i could find more of those to sell (give?) them to i could conceivably go way down in fleet size. 

If it makes OP feel any better my second most recent project acquisition is a conversion van that was sitting derelict for the past 5 years. I drove it earlier today. smiley

ArthurDent HalfDork
9/12/17 10:38 p.m.

Surprisingly not given the garbage I usually drive. Had a scare once though. Sold a minty 1st generation Rx-7 I thought I saw it in the scrapyard a year later. Turned out to be slightly different.

HonestSpeedShop GRM+ Memberand Reader
9/13/17 9:30 a.m.

I have seen a few of my cars in the junk yard post selling, best one was my old dsm someone hit a fixed object.... I proceeded to pull the aftermarket :D 

oldopelguy UltraDork
9/13/17 9:44 a.m.

My first car ended up in the junkyard about 7 years after I sold it. I bought the grill and still have it waiting for my newest Manta to be ready for it.


The_Jed PowerDork
9/13/17 9:47 a.m.



I spotted my old Impreza Brighton sitting behind a used car lot with a locked up engine, destined to head to the scrapper in three or four days. I traded an RX7 shell that I had $50 for and $250 cash to have it dropped off in my driveway.

APEowner GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
9/13/17 10:56 a.m.

Generally, by the time I'm done with a vehicle it heads straight to the junkyard.

codrus GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/13/17 11:23 a.m.

Not a junkyard, but...

My first car was an '87 Taurus wagon, which I had my last year in college.  After graduating and getting a real job, the next year I bought a '95 Probe GT and traded in the Taurus.  I lived in San Diego at the time, and cars with that many miles on them usually got wholesaled across the border into Mexico.

Fast forward a few years and I get a letter from the US Dept of Customs, informing me that the Taurus had been seized at the border for violation of US code such and such (I looked it up, basically drug smuggling) and that since I was the last registered owner of the vehicle they were notifying me that it was to be sold at auction on some date.  Needless to say, I hurried to send them a copy of the release of liability I'd gotten from the Ford dealer, I didn't want to be any part of that investigation.

Brian MegaDork
9/13/17 11:32 a.m.

Not myself, but my wife spotted the trunk from neon#1 on a different car after it was totaled. It was easily identified by the stickers. 

Daeldalus New Reader
9/13/17 1:32 p.m.

Not a junkyard but it might have been just as well.


I bought an 88 rx7 non-turbo back in 2009. looked like crap(had been painted with a paint brush and a few dents) but drove like a champ. well I redid nearly every suspension piece on it with nice stuff. still the best handling car i have every owned. my dad surprised me for christmas that year and got it painted and body work for me. before it went in I found a turboII hood and a gp sport body kit to put on it, plus turboII seats. this car looked amazing and handled like a dream. very reliable and not even any flooding issues. well, 2012 rolls around and i am bored with it and it's 148 bhp, so i sell it to help fund a v8 turboII project with my dad(awesome btw).


long story short. it shows up on a FB group in 2016 for sale. they trashed the body kit and removed it. took off the spoiler. had no engine or trans. interior pulled out, and to top it all off they had destroyed the turboII hood. I was sad. but not enough to try to buy it back.


I can post a picture if yall want me to.

Grizz UberDork
9/13/17 2:43 p.m.

No but I have been called by the previous owner of one of my vehicles who asked me why he was getting calls about a truck he sold me years ago being in an impound lot.

Turns out the guy I sold it to killed someone and dumped their body in a park.

Imagine my surprise.

egnorant SuperDork
9/13/17 4:02 p.m.

91 Ranger that was abused by the guy I sold it to. Bosses son wanted it to work on and it needed a new engine, but it was a nice truck when I sold it. Title was still in my name and he offered me $50. Brought him the original front bumper from my stash later on. I still get great prices on parts!


johndej HalfDork
9/13/17 5:25 p.m.

I've been in two wrecks that sent cars to a junk yard, but none I sold.

I did see the CRV my GF totaled show up on Copart.

Crash Enburn
Crash Enburn New Reader
9/13/17 5:39 p.m.

Back when I was young and stupid (and many years before the internet), I threw a rod in my BMW 2002.  This was in Germany, and the car was worth $500. The engine still ran, so I drove it over to the base pic-and-pull lot. Lot was closed, so I left a note on it that I'd drive it in on Monday. Went back Monday, and my car was gone. Went in and saw that they'd picked up the car with a crane, and laid it unceremoniously on top of a pile of cars. All the logos had already been taken off  my Beemer...

This is my biggest automotive regret.

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