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Wrecking yards in the USA!


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You guys in the US are so lucky! I went on a roadtrip south ward and as soon as I crossed the border I started seeing vintage iron in every farm yard along the way! It's something we don't really see in Canada (or at least Alberta).

I ended up in wrecking yard in Montana that blew me away!

There was probably about 100 acres of cars there of all ages and makes. I took pics but the they represent only about 10% of what was there.

Here are some pics:

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What a wonderful bunch of pictures. Thanks, I loved it. Back in the 1970's all through Maryland and Pennsylvania, and a few in Virginia, there were wrecking yards full of pre-WWII cars. It was an every Saturday adventure for several friends and myself. Sometimes we would take vacation days to go to more distant junkyards we might hear of. It was far more fun than car shows in fact. But, slowly time took its toll. Maryland passed a tax law taxing cars older than like ten years in junkyard. After the fact they exempted cars over 25 years old, but by then they were gone. Pennsylvania was always the best, and their yards lasted the longest. There was Gemmel's in York, Strasser Bros in Allentown, one in downtown Hanover, Herps in Red Lion, one hidden behind the Buick dealer in Red Lion, on and on. Today it's almost impossible to find a junkyard with antique cars here in the East. That is sad.

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Ah yes...Gemmill's Junkyard in York, PA. Hap Gemmill was quite the character. His mailbox at his home (in the yard) read "Hap and MissHap". Good friend of mine owns the 1929 Packard Dual Cowl Phaeton that Hap used to drive in parades. He would let you pick thru the yard at will. Another famous yard was Brown's in Northern Maryland. "Pic" Brown had a scam he pulled on a regular basis. You ask for a part, he has it on a car. You ask the price and he responds "go take the part off, bring it to the office and we'll price it according to condition". You spend an hour sweating in the sun getting the part off then he gives you an unreasonably high price knowing you likely aren't going to turn down the deal after working that hard and if you did he had an already removed part he could sell to the next guy at a premium.

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Great pictures Cobra! Thanks for taking the time to share with us. I don't know if anybody saw these threads already, but here are some links to threads recently started by myself and others on the Buick forums. They contain lots of pictures and videos of an old junkyard recently re-opened to the public here in Georgia. It hasn't been open since the 70's. Amazing place. Click on the links and check it out. Thanks again Cobra! Love looking at all that old iron.

http://forums.aaca.org/f115/mrearl-goes-pickin-323556.html

http://forums.aaca.org/f115/junk-yard-palooza-323760.html

http://forums.aaca.org/f115/junk-yard-palooza-part-2-a-324241.html

http://forums.aaca.org/f115/latest-junkyard-finds-324595.html

http://forums.aaca.org/f115/junkin-323580.html

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In Westminster MD was a junkyard of older cars. This is were I had seen and wanted to buy a1959 Buick Invicta. This was back in the 80's. Not to be though. I was 16 and mom was not allowing a rusty Buick in the driveway. No matter as I got the families 78 Buick Regal at that time. Today I own a 54 Buick. :-)

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In Westminster MD was a junkyard of older cars. This is were I had seen and wanted to buy a1959 Buick Invicta. This was back in the 80's. Not to be though. I was 16 and mom was not allowing a rusty Buick in the driveway. No matter as I got the families 78 Buick Regal at that time. Today I own a 54 Buick. :-)

The yard in Westminster probably belonged to a guy named Ed (I can't think of the last name. He bought out Mellon's Junkyard near Jefferson and it was also full of old cars. I asked somebody from up that way about him recently and the said the yard is still there but seldom open. Not too far from Westminster, probably closer to Frederick, the Runkle brothers owned separate junkyards across the road from each other. I don't know if they ever worked together on anything. Anyway, the whole third member and differential under my '39 Buick sedan, the blue one, came from Runkle's back around 1971. I just had to make the first repair on it this year. Those were the days. Now I want to go look at those pictures from the George junkyard recently reopened.

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The yard in Westminster probably belonged to a guy named Ed (I can't think of the last name. He bought out Mellon's Junkyard near Jefferson and it was also full of old cars. I asked somebody from up that way about him recently and the said the yard is still there but seldom open. Not too far from Westminster, probably closer to Frederick, the Runkle brothers owned separate junkyards across the road from each other. I don't know if they ever worked together on anything. Anyway, the whole third member and differential under my '39 Buick sedan, the blue one, came from Runkle's back around 1971. I just had to make the first repair on it this year. Those were the days. Now I want to go look at those pictures from the George junkyard recently reopened.

The yard I speak of was right on Westminster Pike. Road side. He had a secondary yard with newer vehicles off the beaten track. I don't recall his last name either. Ed does ring a bell. And yes, those were the days! I remember as a kid wandering the woods finding a Chevy on it's roof. Neat finds.

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You are thinking of Ed Lucke who bought out Mellons. Mellons is actually in PA northeast of Lineboro Md between Linebore and Glen Rock. Still in operation. Open on a sporadic schedule. Very picked over. They are about 10 miles from our shop. We've bought assorted bits and pieces out of there over the years.

The yard in Westminster probably belonged to a guy named Ed (I can't think of the last name. He bought out Mellon's Junkyard near Jefferson and it was also full of old cars. I asked somebody from up that way about him recently and the said the yard is still there but seldom open. Not too far from Westminster, probably closer to Frederick, the Runkle brothers owned separate junkyards across the road from each other. I don't know if they ever worked together on anything. Anyway, the whole third member and differential under my '39 Buick sedan, the blue one, came from Runkle's back around 1971. I just had to make the first repair on it this year. Those were the days. Now I want to go look at those pictures from the George junkyard recently reopened.
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Thanks Cobra for posting the pix. Like taking a trip back into time. When I was about 10 We'd visit my grandparents and my Uncle had several junk cars sitting around. I was amazed at how many Pontiacs he had from the '40's that looked roadable. A few years later I'd hitchhike 20 miles to Covington and walk thru a large junk yard there. It was owned by the Ford dealer but had a large number of stepdown Hudsons that also looked roadable. One car I fell in love with was a '49 Oldsmobile 2-door fastback. Wasn't long until a neighbor bought it and drove it for years before finally parking it. Incidentally, I don't think he had a driver's license. His dad got intoxicated one day and put him behind the wheel and he got caught . They tied him up in red tape for some reason (he probably did not pay his fine) and he could not get a license for several years.

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Thanks guys for the comments.

I don't know if it's appropriate to mention the wrecking yard's name and if it isn't I would ask the mod to please remove this post

The place is called Freman's auto in Whitehall Montana. I can't believe how many rebuildable cars there are at this place. i only got to walk through a part of it and ran out of time (storm rolled in). He (Neil) sort of has different sections for different makes. There is one dodge product of some kind that has a real cool body style with big fins. Looks like the start of a bat mobile (see pic, it's bluish). There are many mid 50's Buicks and mid 60's Cadillacs. There was also an early 60's Tempest that looked like it was rare.

Oh, and I can't forget about the 4spd Wildcat convertible...... THAT has to be rare!!

I was surprised to see a few '64 Buick Electra convertibles there. I thought mine was a lot more rare than it is. Oh well, I only know of a handful still on the road.

At any rate, I recommend checking this place out.

Edited by cobravii (see edit history)
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I am from southern Idaho, but like Rowan, would like to know just where you found this peace of heaven. I am more than casually interested in the 61 Chrysler 2 door...not a commonly seen Chrysler. I think I have heard of Freman's but cannot recall where it is supposed to be. I think there is one in N Idaho and another in -- is it Whitehall, MT? Thanks, Perry

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I am from southern Idaho, but like Rowan, would like to know just where you found this peace of heaven. I am more than casually interested in the 61 Chrysler 2 door...not a commonly seen Chrysler. I think I have heard of Freman's but cannot recall where it is supposed to be. I think there is one in N Idaho and another in -- is it Whitehall, MT? Thanks, Perry

Yep, Whitehall Montana.

Freman's Auto

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