Car Life>>junkhunting

What did you do on New Year’s Eve? Party with friends? Family get together? A vacation maybe?

How about a walk around the junkyard? That’s just what I found myself doing this past Saturday.

The weather was nice here in Central California and there wasn’t much else to do, so my dad and I headed down to the local Pick N Pull to look around. We weren’t hunting for anything in particular, although I was keeping
my eye out for a 5-speed transmission to swap into my 240Z.

Even if you
aren’t looking for something specific, a walk around the wrecking yard
can still be a very interesting way to spend an afternoon. It wasn’t until after I got home that I thought it might be fun to share the few photos I grabbed with my mobile phone.

I hope you’ve got your old clothes on…

You might be surprised at the kind of cars you’ll find in the yard. This C4 Corvette was pretty well stripped, but probably served up some good parts to someone.

Here’s an MR2 that looks like it was pretty “tuned” at one point. Note the shaved door handles.

This Lexus SC400 was amazingly complete. The 1UZFE V8 was fully intact – ready to be pulled out and swapped into something really cool. I actually spotted about five SC300s and SC400s in various states.

Check out this trippy headliner that was in an old Ford pickup. It’s a little strange to think that once this truck was someone’s pride and joy.

This Ford sedan was probably the oldest car we spotted during our visit. Cool racing stripes, eh?

Sometimes you’ll spot some truly rare vehicles at the junkyard – like this very straight and complete ’74 Audi 100. I’m guessing not many of the folks at Pick N Pull are looking for classic Audi parts.

I took a peek inside and found the complete set of original Audi dog dish hub caps. Cool.

Here’s another car that looked like it was still in salvageable condition – a ’77 Corolla wagon. Probably one of the many cars that wound up in the junkyard after failing California’s strict emissions tests. Sometimes the costs of getting a car to pass smog will exceed its total value and thus it’s disposed of…

Expensive paintwork on a scrapyard

I’m sure somebody once spent a lot of money having the custom paintwork done on this Buick lowrider. Now it’s just rotting away.

A 2JZ sitting under the hood of a first gen GS300. Quick, someone call Dominic Toretto.

Finally, a really cool ’62 Comet wagon that was tucked away Ford section among the Tempos and Escorts.

I saw some other interesting stuff on Saturday and I regret not snapping more photos. Perhaps I’ll do some more detailed Junkhunting the next time I find myself at the wrecking yard?

Anyone have any cool junkyard stories?

-Mike Garrett



Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

love this feature


I once found a toy mk2 golf gti sat on the door of a mk2 golf same colour aswell


yes! great feature! junkhunting is a vital aspect of speedhunting =)


I would've taken the wheels off that SC400 before I took the motor.


cool! intersting article!


Very cool stuff. You've got it pretty Lucky in California, though. Here in Wisconsin, anything in the junkyard justs rusts away!


In case anyone was wondering. This was the Fresno branch, right off Highway 99. I actually found both a 280Z and a 280ZX that looked to have decent 5-speed transmissions. Now I just need to decide whether it's worth pulling one or if I should just buy one that I know is good...

Glad you guys enjoyed it!


I want that Audi,..its so nice to live in Florida, no emissions regulations :D


more posts on junkyards please

japanese junk as well


Did you get your 5 speed transmission?


Wrote off my first car (mazda famila) then 2 years down the track went to pick a part and saw it there and someone had tried to repair it


wooooow, grab the 2jz for the datsun!


Very cool, i request more junkyard hunting coverage, i always find it interesting to see what there is to be found in US junkyards since they always seem to have more interesting cars than european junkyards, in sweden not much is to find unless you drive a base model euro car.


I wish they pick and pulls of this quality in IL, but we don't :(


2jz engine.. NO SHIT?!


I think we need to pull a Wangan Midnight and look for awesome cars in junkyards. It would make for a nice little series of features!


Awesome. I wish we had stuff like this in our junkyards.


Wow, twin turbo! Carbed too.


I once found a turbo starion next to an awd eclipse. Both complete and in good condition.


junkyards are evil and go against everything a car lover believes in, they are unwritten declarations of lost prospects and a place for meercenaries to make a easy buck.


Very interesting !


que pena por esos autos aki en chile cuesta mucho tener uno de esos u.u


Hmmm... where is this junkyard, in need of mr2 parts ha ha

Nice finds!


I think all the photographers should get out one day and do some junkhunting! Casey, get out to Pick N Payless! There's some random cool stuff in there!


One of my all time favorite articles on Speedhunters. Just a pleasure to read, thanks Mike!

I once visited a junkyard specializing in Toyota's. I spotted an SW20 MR2 as well - dark green. It was intact, with the only thing missing the motor and the wheels. Looked inside and the key was still in the ignition. Guess who has that key now :-)

And I'm happy to say that there was not a single AE86 sitting in the junkyard, something I was very relieved to see. I did spot a Blacktop 4AGE, though..


This is what's up. I do this every once and a while clear my head. I vote for another junk yard feature or have ppl send in pics from junk yards of cars that used to be cool. I have alot of pics if ya need them.


Part 2 Please I Love this article


hahaha kudos to the Dominic Toretto reference. Love features like this article aswell!


the junkyard early on Saturday was my happy place too... nothing better than finding exactly the part you need.

ebay ruined it tho. stupid kids now scrape the places clean of sellable parts, to resell at higher prices, and use screwdrivers to wreck parts they don't buy... fuckin hate scalpers.


if you do decide to pull it out a 5-speed transmission, make sure it can shift in and out of gears. i remember pulling a t50 for my car and it didn't have a shifter so i bought it as is. as soon as i got home and place my shifter, it would not shift into 2nd -_-.


i love the junkyard! ive found a hardtop for my miata. a few lsd rear ends, countless bolt ive lost here and there. one time a friend and i dropped a motor onto the gorund (using no hoist) on a half off day. the motor, for a miata, was a 1.8 and runs like a champ. actually races in NASA in a car named Montey owned by Sonny W. from socal. junkyard motor made 128 HP!!! quick someone what is stock power for 1.8L NA miata motor?


mike yes its worth pulling, just get a warranty! half the fun is the find =]


I used to spend alot of time at the pick a parts and ecologys in so cal for my customers to do auto to manual swaps or find and si ecu for there zc swap or when og rikens got blowd up or the hf manifold to turbo craze. I still go every once in awhile just for fun. I actually like the domestic side more now though.


lol, custom paintwork. random stencils and spheres, oh my. I hope that comment was meant to be as 'tongue in cheek' as the MR2 comment.

Aaaaaand, that 1UZ needs to meet that MR2. MC8R replica, or just wedged in the w20, whichever is harder.



More junkyard articles! I don't even think there's a junkyard at my place *disappointed*


Need to do a junkyard raider section on this site!


Me and a friend found a 80s volvo 240 sedan tucked away amongst some GMs with a perfect body, interior, and original wheels. Was missing a radiator and a few minor details but would've made an awesome first car / sleeper / daily. Yard only lets you strip parts so it's going to keep sitting there...


fiable un moteur de supra, si on veut elle peut les décimer tous.


Great post Mike! Having lived in the Central Valley most of my life, this post stikes an extra chord! Love it!


i was at a pick and pull at the same time but in sacramento, the one off of sunrise blvd....


I knew that custom candy paint was a lowrider! I just wasn't sure which G-body it was though...


I love walking around the boneyards looking for interesting bits. My girlfriend thinks I'm nuts.


I can't believe that you have such complete cars in parts yards.

Here in Australia certain individuals go and ruin the cars and use them to practice breaking into to a point were they are nearly un-salvagable and its quite annoying / such a shame.

From what I can see here you can go purchase a car from the yard and restore it?


Hurts to see a car the same model as yours at a yard, but its awesome to see the occasional 1940's american classic.


Mike, one of the things I miss most about living in Cen Cal.

For the two buck entry fee, you can spend alot of your day just roaming around the yard, a little bit like a theme park. Miss those lazy Saturday Junkyard trips!


junkhunting rules! we definitly need more of this stuff!


save them!


More Junkyard please .


Best cars I ever seen at a junkyard here in where I live in SoCal was a late 80's Galant VR4, Mercedes 190e 2.3 16v and a early 90's Celica All-Trac... The Galant was stripped and so was the 190e, but the Celica was fully complete, Unfortunately I was strapped for cash and didn't grab anything, 2 days later completely stripped.


Looks like someone has taken the engine out of the MR2 already (joke).

Great post, I love junkyard hunting pictures like this. Send us more from time to time!


I HEART junkyards oh so much! I'm always finding some automobile junk to place on my garage walls.


Thats FANTASTIC how everyone is into junkyards and junkhunting. THANKS guys, you just made my day. My new years resolution is to go to more junkyards when the weather warms up here in New England.


i was one day walking in the woods near my house in NH and in the very middle of the woods was a clearing that was full of old vw's and even a 51' chevy 3500 with the inline engine still in it!


wouldnt mind taking that audi....!!!


If you can pull it for real cheap then why not? If you can potentially save some money then I would, and if it's shot then you can spring for a new one, right?


here in pennsylvania me and my brother hit a lot of junkyards...find eg dc2 ef even dc5...we love it...have fun hunting


I love junkhunting, and reading posts like this. has alot of sad storys in it, worth a look!

I recently saved a genuine RA60 celica SunChaser convertible from a junkyard here in Australia, almost complete. It was sitting ontop of a shipping container for years, the attendent wasnt sure if it was special or not so they didnt crush it. Lucky me!


Thanks guys. I'll be sure to do some more detailed investigating the next time I head out to the junkyard!


one of the best stories around Speedhunters


I have 280zx with L28 in very good condition, but I would like to buy engine with more horses (260-300hp) and NMs. Anything for sale? 1jz,2jz,rb25? Please help.


Thanks for the coverage Mike!

I once used to roam the junkyards WEEKLY. But since I became a Cars and Coffee addict I haven't had much time any longer.

My top finds have been, a 60's Porsche 912, an 80's Maseratti Quatroporte, a Fierrari, an Austin Healey 3000 (?), a W112 coupe.and a plethora of 1960's american muscle cars, 50's cruisers, and european sports cars.


Thanks for sharing...

David Fernandez

Reduce REUSE recycle the earth please being conservative!!$$$


When cars like MR2 is in the junk yard. My chance of 'street-legal'ing those 90's are slimmer.. :(