No. 128: No Power, No Worries!

The Rover. Most people see that name and think of the nearly indestructible 4-wheel drive vehicles that have bounced over every continent on earth. But the badge also came attached to other vehicles.

This is a Rover P5, most likely a ’68. The first appeared in 1958; the last, in 1973. It was a bulbous thing, powered by a little 6-cylinder engine that banged out 115 hp.

Rover increased the horsepower, and slightly altered the design. But there is no denying (as the photographer noted) that the P5 bore an uncanny resemblance to the Volvo 122-S.

This Rover ain’t roving no more. It’s taking up space behind a garage.

Arrow Town, New Zealand, 13,050 miles southwest of Atlanta.

(Photos by Foreign Junkyard Correspondent Marva Brackett Godin.)

Agrarian Edition No. 10: Power No More

If you didn’t recognize the beat of its four-cylinder heart, didn’t know the bellow from its steel throat, surely you knew its badge: art, meeting agriculture. It was a Fordson.

The name came from Henry Ford and Son, shortened to Fordson. The tractors prowled the planet — plowed it, too. From African plains to Alabama plots, the Fordson worked the land.

The line debuted in 1917. Ford produced the tractor under a variety of different manufacturers (Henry Ford & Son, Ford Motor Co. and Ford Motor Co. Ltd.) through 1964.

Over the decades, the tractor did it all — cut the soil, harvested its bounty, reshaped the land. Now, this early 1960s Fordson Power Major gathers nothing more than rust.

Taupiri, New Zealand, 13,030 miles southwest of Atlanta.

(Photos by Foreign Junkyard Correspondent Marva Brackett Godin)

No. 126: Raggedy-Ass Ragtop

“Galaxie 500.” Never mind that Ford misspelled a word when this big machine debuted in 1959. The car was a rolling homage to a budding space race, when mankind turned its collective gaze to the cosmos.

Ford’s engineers turned their eyes to the engine. The first Galaxie 500s featured 352-cubic-inch V-8s. They pounded out 300 horses underneath immense hoods. In time, Ford would install 429s in the Galaxie line.

Along the way, Ford removed the tops on some Galaxie 500s. The convertible! What could be finer than booming down the big I, that V-8 growling, the wind howling?

But cars, like space races, come to an end. That is the case with this ’69 Galaxie 500. It’s parked underneath a hardwood tree in front of a trailer. Inside the singlewide is someone who no doubt plans some day to make that car run again. It won’t happen.

Asheville, N.C. 210 miles northeast of Atlanta.

No. 124: Along the Mother Road

Steinbeck called it ”the road of flight.” Desperate people, “refugees from dust and shrinking land,” found the highway and headed west. Folks still do.

After negotiating a herd or burros, travelers may come across a 1952 3/4-ton Chevrolet pickup*, its metal dulled by the sun and the dust, by the relentless tramp of time along the great Mother Road.

Oatman, Ariz., 1,890 miles west of Atlanta.

(Photos by Senior Junkyard Correspondent Harold “Tex” Colson)

*The Greatest Pickup Of All Time

No. 123: The Surprise Around the Next Curve


A 1954 Chevrolet half-ton, a proud representative of the 3100 series of trucks,* thrusts an inquisitive nose into the fall air on a Georgia highway just beyond Atlanta’s outer ‘burbs. Harbins, 33 miles northeast of Atlanta.

(Photo by Junkyard Correspondent Intern Sam Davis)

*The Greatest Pickup Of All Time

No. 122: Holy Chrysler!

Hats off to those long-ago smart guys at Chrysler. In 1949, the company that rose from the ashes of the Maxwell Motor Co. came out with an innovation ahead of its time: padded dashboards. Better to hit your head on sponge rubber, they reasoned, than a steel dash or Bakelite knobs.

Among those pad-dashed wonders was the Windsor. It was a fancy name for a utilitarian ride: It, and another grandly named car — the Royal — were the two lowest-priced cars the Detroit auto-maker produced. When Chrysler dropped the Royal, in 1950, that left the Windsor to attract buyers of moderate means.

And yet, even the cheapo cars had fine touches we rarely see today: chrome, hood ornaments, a hood that stretched to a distant point. The DeLuxe also had an electric clock, and a buyer wishing to pony out a few more dollars could get something else pretty cool — electric windows!

The Windsor line ended in 1981.

It’s not certain when this ’52 Windsor reached the end of its line in Sebawaing, Mich., 833 miles north of Atlanta.

(Photos by Senior Junkyard Correspondent Harold “Tex” Colson)

No. 121: One More Model Before War

The new Ford was different than its predecessors. It had three-piece fenders — it would be easier, engineers figured, to replace a small part than an entire fender in the event of an accident — and came in three models: Standard, Deluxe and (new that year) Super Deluxe. Also debuting that year: two heaters!

As with other models, the car came in a choice of two flatheads — the six (just enough to push the massive machine) and the V-8. It was as road-ready as anything rolling out of Dearborn.

But the car did not have some signature touches from the one
that preceded it. The machine lacked the teardrop-style headlights. Its grill wasn’t as long, nor as flowing. It was a fine car, yes, but…

…but it was sufficient. In 1941, American auto makers were already beginning to think about what they would build the next year. The inventory would include tanks, jeeps, airplanes.

This ’41 Ford sedan is resting by the roadside in Goodland, Mich., 800 miles north of Atlanta.

(Photos by Senior Junkyard Correspondent Harold “Tex” Colson)

No. 120: Jets and Trucks

Those were good times. The F-1 had debuted to an eager public in 1948, and small wonder: The truck represented a styling change from the models that had preceded it – was a rolling reminder, too, that the United States of America was moving happily away from the dark days of a world war. New days demanded new trucks. And Ford responded.

In 1953, the Dearborn manufacturer rolled out a new line of trucks. The F-100 was a logical step in design and mechanics. The cab was slightly wider, slightly more streamlined, a whole lot more stylish than the F-1. It had an updated chassis, beefier for those tough jobs.

And, in a sign of changing times, Ford’s rebranding of its truck was an homage to a howlingly new form of transportation: North American’s F100 Super Sabre. A jet.

The propulsion is gone from this 1954 Ford F-100 in Burnside, Mich., 810 miles north of Atlanta.

(Really fine photos by Senior Junkyard Correspondent Harold “Tex” Colson)