Thursday, April 23, 2015

Mopar Graveyard roundup!

Last year I was kicking around up north with an old friend when he mentioned that there was a gas station that sometimes had old cars laying around. It turned out to be the find of the year because they had the winged '70 Superbird roosting in the gravel lot (that post can be found here: While the 'bird stole the show there were several other relics hidden about that I swore I'd get to eventually, so here's the Mopar treasure trove roundup!
This great burgundy behemoth greeted us when we first pulled in:
This is a 1976-1977 Chrysler New Yorker Brougham in Claret Red. Everything about this car screams excess.
This is basically the last dinosaur wandering the cooling Earth wondering where all its friends have gone, not realizing it was as good as extinct already. A full 4 years after the gas crisis that shocked the American public into mileage consciousness this beast lumbered off the assembly line. How Chrysler could feign surprise when on the brink of bankruptcy in '79 is beyond me.
Behold the sign of puffy leather sofa seating and leisure suit style!
Apparently this has a Hemi in it (which I seriously doubt). Most likely there is a wheezing and emissions-strangled 400 V8 lying dormant beneath its massive hood.
*It is a bit of irony that this car, while escorting its parent corporation to insolvency, was named New Yorker just a year after the famous "Ford to City: Drop Dead" headline regarding the presidents aversion to helping stave off NYCs own bankruptcy. 
This is a sad image indeed. We were told that this thing runs like a charm and was driven to this spot just so the owner could remove the front end. Here it sits beached with a perfect drivetrain, dead.
The New Yorker was the higher-end version of the Newport. However in this year the New Yorker inherited the front and rear treatment of the mighty Imperial which had just been discontinued. Somehow this registered with the general public, making the '76 model a minor hit. This probably added to Chryslers delusion that they ought to continue building 5,000 lb cars that got 8-12mpg.
Too bad the front end of this yacht was in demand as the body looks cherry.
With all the windows down cruising along in total cushy silence I bet this would be the ultimate cruiser. Fred from the B-52s probably had this ride when he was about to set sail in Love Shack.
Now let's do some exploring around the property . . .
Righteous! This is a 1966 Plymouth Belvedere II 2 door hardtop in Dark Blue Poly. This is a wonderful car identical to one that a close friend of mine drove in high school.
Engine offerings in the brochure went from the 225 Slant 6 all the way up to a high performance 383 V8. However 24 were known to leave the factory with the mighty 426 Hemi under the hood. If you didn't mind special ordering such a thing, almost doubling the price of the car, and agreeing to forgo any warranty they would build one for you in those days.
Beneath the junk and dirt this car seems straight and restorable. The squared-off lines of the '66 model year always looked great to me, especially with this roofline and that circle of brushed metal on the rear edge of the side trim. Cool car but there's more to explore!
I know this is getting a bit ridiculous but that is a 1974 Dodge Charger peeking out from beneath a massive pile of parts (which includes that white grill bar to a '55 Ford Truck). This model year is identical to the 1973, but the Frosty Green Poly color choice identifies it. This was the final year for Charger which went from the General Lee in 1969 to a personal luxury coupe here. The Cordoba took over in '75.
It wasn't just Mopars in the yard; here lies a 1962 Mercury Comet in Jamaica Yellow. The '62 differs from the '60 and '61 by having a chrome spear running along the top of that concave body line. The chrome is missing but the holes where it was attached remain.
Another Chrysler from the "Fuselage Styling" era is on hand without its front clip. This one is a 1971 Newport in Honeydew (though if I ever saw a honeydew melon that color I'd probably pass it up).
Two more '71 Newports are lurking in the back, one in Evening Blue Poly and the other in April Green Poly.
Finally, another '71 Newport being reclaimed by nature, this one in Glacial Blue. *That piece of rusty cocoa on top just past that tire is actually a front fender for a 1971 Plymouth 'cuda with the front gills or louvers. This is a '71-only part for the high performance 'cuda, not available on the base Barracuda. Even in this condition it's worth more that the car it's resting on!
Finally this tragedy is a barely-discernible 1966 Dodge Coronet in Bright Red. Obviously the grill, hood, and drivers side fender are all missing but I'm 95% sure that's what this is. We're deep into automotive junkyard fetishism here but this sort of archeology is right up my alley. I used to clamber around the hills and woods near my house in high school taking pictures of junk cars in the woods so nothing's changed really.
Next post will include real, drivable finds I'm sure.

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