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.
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.
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
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