Bygone Junkyard

Scenes from a long gone Ohio salvage yard
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By Gary Hufford

The attached pictures from 1988 show a junkyard that my car buddy, Tom Kitchen, and I were able to buy some neat cars out of. I had a rollback wrecker back then that made it very easy to drag the cars out.

This yard was located in West Dayton, Ohio, and had more convertibles than any I was ever in. Ernie, the owner, was at a point that he would not sell any parts off the cars, so Tom and I bought four complete cars. Tom even got a 1964 Ford Fairlane “K code” Sport Coupe with factory four-speed. I fondly remember a 1962 Thunderbird parts car with factory air and a 1966 Fairlane that I bought from the yard.

By the early ’90s, the yard was cleaned out and gone.

Cars usually look better in pictures than in person, and this 1959 Ford Sunliner convertible is clearly rough around the bottom. But boy, would it have been a looker when new.

Cars usually look better in pictures than in person, and this 1959 Ford Sunliner convertible is clearly rough around the bottom. But boy, would it have been a looker when new.

A complete 1961 Ford Starliner with all of its Starliner trim would be a boon to a restorer today. Hopefully at least all of this unique trim was saved, if not the whole car.

A complete 1961 Ford Starliner with all of its Starliner trim would be a boon to a restorer today. Hopefully at least all of this unique trim was saved, if not the whole car.

A 1959 Mercury two-door hardtop and a 1957 Ford Skyliner share some real estate. Either would be a great find today.

A 1959 Mercury two-door hardtop and a 1957 Ford Skyliner share some real estate. Either would be a great find today.

A 1957 Lincoln Premiere was one of many convertibles in the yard, and it’s not the only pot of gold in this image. There’s a 1970 Olds 4-4-2 visible at the far left of the image and a postwar Cadillac coach in the background. The 1960 Chevrolet coupe behind the Lincoln convert is also a desirable car today.

A 1957 Lincoln Premiere was one of many convertibles in the yard, and it’s not the only pot of gold in this image. There’s a 1970 Olds 4-4-2 visible at the far left of the image and a postwar Cadillac coach in the background. The 1960 Chevrolet coupe behind the Lincoln convert is also a desirable car today.

A 1963 Thunderbird coupe faces off against a 1962 Chrysler, an early-1960s Valiant sedan and a 1961 Cadillac coupe and a 1955 Clipper.

A 1963 Thunderbird coupe faces off against a 1962 Chrysler, an early-1960s Valiant sedan and a 1961 Cadillac coupe and a 1955 Clipper.

A 1961 Plymouth Fury convertible is highly desirable today, but when this example was photographed in the late 1980s, it was an undesirable ugly duckling. With luck, someone with foresight saved this Fury before the yard was cleared out in the 1990s.

A 1961 Plymouth Fury convertible is highly desirable today, but when this example was photographed in the late 1980s, it was an undesirable ugly duckling. With luck, someone with foresight saved this Fury before the yard was cleared out in the 1990s.

A 1956 Plymouth Belvedere convertible is a rare sight today, and the 1961 Chevy Impala next to it has legions of fans. Either of these rough drop tops would be considered restorable today due to their respective rarity and desirability.

A 1956 Plymouth Belvedere convertible is a rare sight today, and the 1961 Chevy Impala next to it has legions of fans. Either of these rough drop tops would be considered restorable today due to their respective rarity and desirability.

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