Tag Archives: junkyard

  • What Do These Car Pictures Say To You?

    Philadelphia, 1973. (Photo courtesy Hemmings.com)

    If you really know your classic American cars, you'll want to see if you can identify any of the cars in two photographs that appear in the blog on the Hemmings web site (link below).

    It's not as easy as it sounds, because the pictures were taken in a Philadelphia junkyard, in 1973, and the vehicles were not exactly in top driving form! You'll see what I mean when you click on the link below.

    Hemmings' apparent reason for publishing the pictures was to initiate a sociological discussion. They write in the caption, "It’s said one can discern a culture’s true nature by sifting through its refuse. If that’s the case, then what do these 1973 Dick Swanson Documerica photos of cars stacked in a Philadelphia junkyard tell us about that area’s car culture in the early Seventies?"

    The thing is, most of the readers preferred to comment by identifying many of the cars in the pictures! So you may as well jump in and either identify the cars or add your 2¢ about the sociological implications of crushed cars! Click here to see both photographs and enter your comments.

      Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • John Findra: The "Anti"-Restorer!- Custom Built Model Cars


    Auto enthusiast John Findra doesn't work on real cars. He's a model builder, and much of his business comes from customers who'd like custom model replicas of their favorite old cars. But for fun, he builds classic car models and then "un-restores" them! "Underhauling", as opposed to overhauling.

    John says we live in a world where perfection is so tantamount to success that "perfection almost becomes boring. A car in its original state is a man-made idea of perfection, but when you take that car and put it out in nature, nature now takes over and creates its own perfection. Nature has its own way of reacting to metal and rubber."

    John's research takes him into overgrown fields and old barns, two of the best places to find old, abandoned, rusted-out cars. He brings his camera with him, so he can document the pattern of shattered glass, the shape of the rust holes, the way paint peels, how rust drip lines form. Then John goes back to his workshop and creates model cars that reflect the reality of "nature's perfection" (see an example in photo above).

    Watch the video, courtesy of Etsy, by clicking here. You'll also find several of his "un-restored" classic models available for sale on that page.

      Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • Customizing a Chevy Corvair Van Bumper to Fit Project PileHouse

    PileHouse is starting to shape up and we can now envision what the truck will someday look like when it's "done". But I still felt that the front end needed "something more". After staring at it over lunch one day, I decided that the truck needed a custom bumper to "complete" the front end. My only rules were that it had to flow with the grill trim and relatively flat front end. So I took some measurements, snapped a few reference pictures with my Iphone, and headed off to one of my favorite places; the New Ringgold U-Pull-It junkyard. This place is HUGE and they're nice enough to drop all of the "classic" cars and trucks in one section where you can rummage around. It's there you'll find everything from a 40's Ford to an El Camino or even obscure European classics like a Renault LeCar. This place is a hotrodders dream! All you need is a battery powered reciprocating saw, some hand tools, a tape measure, and a good imagination to find parts for your custom project.

    So I set off with my bag filled with Eastwood Hand Tools and the portable reciprocating saw in hand. After a couple hours measuring bumpers, and scratching our heads, my buddy Matt R. and I narrowed it down to two vehicles. Eventually we chose the front bumper off a 60's Chevy Corvair van (obscure enough for you?!). The length and shape was pretty darn close to the stainless grill trim on PileHouse, and I was sure I could make it work. We quickly got down to business and cut the bumper off so I could bring it home.

    With bumper and truck meeting for the first time, I can see that although the size was "close", the bumper was still going to need a few inches chopped off, and the radius changed to match the front of the truck.

    I started by marking the corners of the bumper where I wanted them to sit and noted some measurements of the bumper and the front end while on the truck to give me some reference points throughout the project. Next I pulled out the angle grinder and cut the bumper in half in the center, and laid it back in place.

    After test fitting the bumper halves, I overlapped them in the center to give me an idea of what had to be removed to get the bumper to the correct length. Once I cut the excess off I found an additional cut had to be made to allow the bumper halves to lay back to match the curve of the front end. With this last cut made, they were sitting exactly how I wanted and I spot welded them in place until I could join them together. Finally, I welded some small strips of metal in place to join the halves temporarily.

    With the bumper now shaped to fit the front end of PileHouse, I removed the tack welds on the corners and put the bumper on the work bench to add braces to the backside and ground off the temporary front braces. Next I had to fill the opening that was created when the radius was changed. I found that the last piece I cut off was a good fit after a little sanding. With the filler metal set in place, I began welding it all together with the Eastwood MIG 175. After welding the seams up on both sides I took the angle grinder with a flap disc and blended the welds. A few minutes of grinding I had a smooth, invisible transition where I had modified the bumper.

    With a complete front bumper bar, I test fit it one more time. I'm happy to report I now have a bumper that fits perfectly and I'm only out about $30 and a few hours of work! From here I'll fabricate some simple bumper mounts to bolt it to the chassis, and then we can move on to the next step in making PileHouse road worthy!

    -Matt/EW

      Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • Running Board Fabrication, A Front Bumper, and an Engine

    In one of our last small updates we hinted at the running board project I had started on Project Pilehouse. Fast forward a little and we have just about completed the passenger side running board, complete with the outer skin we formed with the Eastwood Bead Roller, Electric Metal Cutting Shears, and the MIG 175.

    In other news, I hit a junkyard that is about an hour from Eastwood headquarters in search of a new front bumper for the truck. Sadly the original front bumper had been stolen from our property and we needed a replacement that matched the front end of the truck. After walking the classic car section of the yard, I stumbled across a 60's Corvair Van that had close measurements and shape to what I was looking for. After a few minutes with a battery powered reciprocating saw, we had it removed and were on our way home. Below is an initial photo of how it looks mocked up to the truck, I think with a little sectioning, chopping, and tweaking, this thing could look better than the original!

    Lastly we have a 400 SBC lined up for the truck from the Hudson Performance Speed Shop here locally. It's a good runner and it should be easy to clean up, detail, and mate to a transmission to get the truck moving for cheap!

    Watch this space for the full DIY video on how I fabricated the new running boards from scratch and all of the other exciting updates here soon!

    -Matt/EW

      Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • How did it come to this? If the junkyard cars could talk.

    I've been going to junkyards for years and years. In fact it is one of my favorite past times. There is nothing like the feeling of scoring THE part you needed for your project at the junkyard. It also feels good saving some of these parts from their demise in the crusher. Over the years I have literally traveled the world in search of junkyards; always hoping I can get that same "high" you feel when stumbling across a rare part or car in a junkyard. Along the way I have tried to take pictures of some of the most interesting places, vehicles, and situations these vehicles have been in. It always makes me wonder what the cars would say if they could talk. How did they get there? What happened that ultimately made this car meet its demise? Below are some photos I've snapped over the years, that made me stop and memorialize it with a picture. Enjoy!

    Some sort of homemade tow truck?

    This probably turned heads back in the day. Look at how all those chrome parts!

    Abandoned Chopped Roof Project?

    Falcon Sandwich?

    This vintage Italian car very, very far from it's origins in a Pennsylvania junkyard!

    This Audi was a little far gone to restore. Nearly broken in half!

      Click Here To Read Full Post...