No. 139: Plying the Roads No More

We’d settled into post-war prosperity. American factories churned out the greatest product in the world, steel, and that material rendered up an astonishing array of wide cruisers. Some, like Cadillac and Lincoln, steered toward folks with money. Chevrolet and Ford were cars for those who one day would move up to a Caddy or Lincoln.Continue reading “No. 139: Plying the Roads No More”

No. 138: A Rusted Enigma

Chevrolet had struck a decisive blow in the late 1920s when it put an inline 6 under the heavy hoods of its cars and trucks. The more-powerful engine caught Ford by surprise, but not for long: In 1932, the Dearborn manufacturer responded with the flathead V-8, tucked in a cute little package that would morphContinue reading “No. 138: A Rusted Enigma”

No. 136: Something New!

It was time. As the end of the decade neared, Chevrolet’s tough-ass line of pickups, the 3100, had grown old. In 1959, Chevy introduced the C and K series of trucks. Owners reported it rode as much like a car as a truck. “C” meant light-duty, rear-wheel drive. The “K” designation meant four-wheel drive. IfContinue reading “No. 136: Something New!”

No. 135: A Little Paint and a Lot of Prayer

It’s easy to overuse “iconic” when discussing American steel, but if it fits, use it. And the word certainly fits here. Ford Motor Co. held on to prewar car and truck designs in its hurry to answer pent-up public demand for any kind of transportation following World War II. But even as plants in DearbornContinue reading “No. 135: A Little Paint and a Lot of Prayer”

No. 134. A Long Dinner Break

When the Maverick finally breathed its last, Ford promptly trotted out its replacement. The Granada was built from 1975 to 1982. In all, more than 2 million Granadas clogged the American roadways — each, surely, driven by an old lady with blue rinse in her hair. This car? Great Aunt Myrtle, according to our correspondent,Continue reading “No. 134. A Long Dinner Break”

No. 133: “Sven, I Think We’ve Come to a Stop.”

“Sven,” of course, is a Swedish name – appropriate for this sad wreck. In 1974, Volvo turned from its 140 series of cars to the 240 series. From a distance, they looked virtually the same – the same straight lines, the same boxy rider compartment. The front and rear ends were slightly different. You hadContinue reading “No. 133: “Sven, I Think We’ve Come to a Stop.””

No. 132: Go, Devil?

This quarter-ton hauler was built in Toledo, Ohio. The earliest it could have left the Jeep assembly line at the Kaiser Willys plant would have been 1946, when American manufacturers hustled to make vehicles for the civilian market. That year, Willys produced a Jeep that was a lot like the model that became famous inContinue reading “No. 132: Go, Devil?”

No. 131: Dust, Dirt, Decline

What is this? Hard to say. Time and use have removed any identifying badges that would indicate if this car rolled off an assembly line at Dearborn, Detroit, Auburn, Toledo or some other city that prided itself on auto production. It was built in the early 1930s; the slightly swept windshield post was a designContinue reading “No. 131: Dust, Dirt, Decline”

No. 130: Tapped Out, Mined Out, Abandoned

Senior Junkyard Correspondent Harold Colson — “Tex” to his intimates — recently took a blue highway* tour of parts of California and Nevada. As always, he brought along his camera. His patient wife, Deborah, said nothing – Tex didn’t mention anything in his dispatches, anyway – as her husband pulled off the road to photograph another wreck. AndContinue reading “No. 130: Tapped Out, Mined Out, Abandoned”