While its mile-high elevation is common knowledge, many visitors might be surprised to learn that Denver, Colorado, and its environs, are officially situated in a semi-arid, high desert environment. This is, of course, nothing but good news for those who head west in search of parts for their restoration projects.
Just how good the sheet metal can be in the eastern shadow of the Rocky Mountains is epitomized by Speedway Auto Wrecking, a virtual El Dorado of vintage iron situated about 15 miles north of central Denver in Erie, Colorado. Even armed with the knowledge that it's closest to exit 232 of Interstate 25, enthusiasts might get lost for a time en route to the front doors at 4394 Weld County Road 12, but this is one case where perseverance is richly rewarded.
Roland K. Cochran founded the business in 1968, and current manager Bill Renoad estimates that there are 7,500 vehicles dating back to the 1940s on the 55-acre property. Not only is the inventory replenished periodically through purchases from auctions and tow companies, the place is exceptionally well organized with different sections of the yard devoted to a single make, or sometimes even model, largely in chronological order. Freely roving herds of sheep and longhorn cattle keep the weeds at a manageable height.
Even though it's a strictly cash business with no shipping services or web site, Speedway has an international word-of-mouth reputation that's attracted hobbyists from as far off as Canada, Sweden, and even Australia. Renoad recalled, for example, a time when "we were pulling 350 Chevy motors right and left for a British customer who was building 50 Cobra replicas." In spite of the strong financial incentive that record steel prices are currently offering to crush cars, Renoad declares that, "with old stuff, there is always something that somebody needs, even if it looks like a frame and a shell. Our philosophy is that, if the car is complete, we try to keep it together and let someone bring it back to life."
Speedway Auto Wrecking
4394 Weld County Road 12
Shipping services not available