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A trip through Way Out Salvage

Old Cars visited Way Out Salvage, Arkansas' Volkswagen mountain graveyard.
In the late ’60s and early ’70s, VW buses became popular with the hippie movement, because they were cheap to operate, easy to work on and big enough to live in. This Campmobile from the mid ’70s at Way Out Salvage has typical paint decorations of that era. All of the running gear has been removed.

In the late ’60s and early ’70s, VW buses became popular with the hippie movement, because they were cheap to operate, easy to work on and big enough to live in. This Campmobile from the mid ’70s at Way Out Salvage has typical paint decorations of that era. All of the running gear has been removed.

If you’re 50 years old or older, you probably remember seeing air-cooled Volkswagens wherever you went. You either had one, or a family member, neighbor or friend had one, or, at the very least, you had ridden in one. They were economical, dependable transportation, and could still go when weather conditions stopped other vehicles.

Atop Burney Mountain, in the scenic Boston Mountains of northwest Arkansas, there is a large and very neat and well-kept salvage yard owned by Derrick and Barbara Zimmerer. Way Out Salvage, Inc. is located just outside of the small town of Kingston, and is home to 500-600 Volkswagens, most of them air-cooled models. The Zimmerers think theirs is probably the largest VW salvage yard in the state, and more than 80 percent of the vehicles are from the 1970s or earlier. Every vehicle in the yard is a Volkswagen, and they are grouped in rows by type: Bus, Beetle, Fastback and Squareback. There is also a large Karmann-Ghia section. If you’re looking for a 23- or 21-window bus, though, don’t bother to call, because they are all long gone.

The engine is gone from this early-’70s Karmann-Ghia convertible. The bumpers have been pulled off and thrown into the passenger area, along with various other pieces, including parts of the  convertible top. This car might not be restorable, but it’s got quite a few pieces that could be  useful on other cars

The engine is gone from this early-’70s Karmann-Ghia convertible. The bumpers have been pulled off and thrown into the passenger area, along with various other pieces, including parts of the
convertible top. This car might not be restorable, but it’s got quite a few pieces that could be
useful on other cars

Complete vehicles are available for purchase, and parts can be removed from most of the vehicles, the oldest of which is a 1960 Beetle. Generally, buyers are not allowed to remove their own parts. Parts can be shipped, but the buyer needs to arrange shipping for vehicles.

Derrick Zimmerer moved to the area from Rochester, N.Y., nearly 40 years ago, packed with everything he owned in, or on top of, a Volkswagen Beetle. He bought some property and started a salvage yard from scratch. Thereafter, he met his wife, Barbara, who, at the time, was living on nearby property. They built a house and a shop, and bought more property for the yard, and they now own 60 acres. Derrick says the salvage yard is a mom-and-pop operation, and they have one employee, Danny Deshotels, who is like family and has been with them for more than 25 years. Even though she retired years ago, Barbara does all of the office work and is the “backbone” of the company, says Derrick. Parts removal is left to Derrick and Danny, and both have a great knowledge of what vehicles are in the yard and what parts remain on them.

Evidently, there was heavy damage to the front end of this ’67 Karmann-Ghia, as it has a lot of cracking Bondo on the nose and front fenders. It sports a 1979 Vermont license plate.

Evidently, there was heavy damage to the front end of this ’67 Karmann-Ghia, as it has a lot of cracking Bondo on the nose and front fenders. It sports a 1979 Vermont license plate.

The Zimmerers take a lot of pride in the yard and keep it clean and free of litter. There are no ruts or mud holes in the wide access lanes. There are no oil spills, or loose parts to trip over. Several times a year, they hire someone to trim weeds from around the vehicles to keep brush and briars from taking over. All of the open areas are mowed on a regular schedule.

Potential visitors are advised to call before coming, but the yard is generally open Monday to Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Fridays, it is open from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and is open on Saturdays by appointment only.

To get to the yard from Kingston, take Highway 74 West for about 0.6 mile and turn left onto Road 3605. Go 0.2 miles and turn right on Road 3625. Go 4.6 miles and turn left on Road 3665 and proceed 0.7 miles to the yard. The road is a paved for approximately 1.7 miles, then turns to sections of gravel and clay that is solid and regularly graded.

Way Out Salvage, Inc.
823 Madison 3665
Kingston, AR 72742
479-665-4126
www.wayoutsalvage.net

There are a few panel vans in the yard, including this 1970 model with rusty floors.

There are a few panel vans in the yard, including this 1970 model with rusty floors.

Several years ago, a couple of guys were traveling cross country in this ’73 three-door Transporter and were breaking down every 100 miles are so. They were directed to Way Out Salvage, where they traded for a single cab pickup. The Transporter was parked and is now loaded to the gills with headlamps, taillamps and bumpers.

Several years ago, a couple of guys were traveling cross country in this ’73 three-door Transporter and were breaking down every 100 miles are so. They were directed to Way Out Salvage, where they traded for a single cab pickup. The Transporter was parked and is now loaded to the gills with headlamps, taillamps and bumpers.

If you were the driver of this ’64 Beetle when it was road worthy, everyone knew who you were because of the car’s one-of-a-kind paint scheme.

If you were the driver of this ’64 Beetle when it was road worthy, everyone knew who you were because of the car’s one-of-a-kind paint scheme.

There are rows and rows of Beetles in the yard, in a rainbow of colors, from which to remove parts.

There are rows and rows of Beetles in the yard, in a rainbow of colors, from which to remove parts.

A school bus is loaded with many good, small parts. Stacked alongside are rear engine covers that have been removed and are ready to ship.

A school bus is loaded with many good, small parts. Stacked alongside are rear engine covers that have been removed and are ready to ship.

There are probably a half dozen VW Things in the yard, but they have been heavily picked over. This one has a single taillight and a steering wheel left, but not much else!

There are probably a half dozen VW Things in the yard, but they have been heavily picked over. This one has a single taillight and a steering wheel left, but not much else!

This section of the yard is where you’ll find a lot of fastbacks, although there is a station wagon sandwiched between the two cars in the foreground.

This section of the yard is where you’ll find a lot of fastbacks, although there is a station wagon sandwiched between the two cars in the foreground.

This group of “Squarebacks” were part of a 40-car VW purchase. It took about a year to get them all to the yard.

This group of “Squarebacks” were part of a 40-car VW purchase. It took about a year to get them all to the yard.

The “53” on the doors of this ’63 Beetle are a reminder of the ’63 Beetle named Herbie that was featured in several Walt Disney films. Herbie’s racing number was 53, which was chosen by the film’s producer, who was a fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher and Hall of Famer Don Drysdale, who wore number 53 on his uniform.

The “53” on the doors of this ’63 Beetle are a reminder of the ’63 Beetle named Herbie that was featured in several Walt Disney films. Herbie’s racing number was 53, which was chosen by the film’s producer, who was a fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher and Hall of Famer Don Drysdale, who wore number 53 on his uniform.

There are a few panel vans in the yard, including this 1970 model with rusty floors.

There are a few panel vans in the yard, including this 1970 model with rusty floors.

Someone wanted the sliding sunroof from this Beetle, so they just took the whole roof.

Someone wanted the sliding sunroof from this Beetle, so they just took the whole roof.

This ’68 Beetle convertible has been in the yard for about 10 years. There is a metal rack in front of it loaded with doors that are in good condition, and are ready to ship.

This ’68 Beetle convertible has been in the yard for about 10 years. There is a metal rack in front of it loaded with doors that are in good condition, and are ready to ship.

Getting around the yard is very easy due to the way the grounds are kept clean of brush and briars, and there are no loose parts to trip over.

Getting around the yard is very easy due to the way the grounds are kept clean of brush and briars, and there are no loose parts to trip over.

The roof of a junked Squareback is put to good use on the yard’s forklift to protect the engine and its operator from the elements.

The roof of a junked Squareback is put to good use on the yard’s forklift to protect the engine and its operator from the elements.

The decal in the rear window of this 1981 Rabbit pickup says, “It is floored! 0 to 55 in 11 minutes.” The truck has factory air conditioning and good seats.

The decal in the rear window of this 1981 Rabbit pickup says, “It is floored! 0 to 55 in 11 minutes.” The truck has factory air conditioning and good seats.

This 1970 three-door Kombi was parked in a driveway when another vehicle left the road and crashed into it head-on, relegating the Kombi to the salvage yard.

This 1970 three-door Kombi was parked in a driveway when another vehicle left the road and crashed into it head-on, relegating the Kombi to the salvage yard.

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