Abandoned Car of the Week

Double decker



A 1950 Packard rests on top of a 1949 Frazer in a Casa Grande, Ariz., salvage yard. Unfortunately, neither make was even close to the top of the heap at the turn of the decade. Frazer and Packard had both fallen on hard times. Packard's 1950 sales declined by more than 60 percent to 42,627 from 1949. Frazer managed only 21,000 sales in 1949 and would survive only a few more years.
(Photo by Jim Prueter)

A used up 1959 Ford wagon



The crossover of the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s was the so-called station wagon. One of the most popular was the 1959 Ford wagon that could carry up to nine people. Unlike today, manufacturers offered a full range of engines. For example, the '59 Ford could be purchased with five engine sizes ranging from an inline 6 making 145 horsepower to a massive 7.0-liter V-8 making 350 horsepower. Prices ranged from $2,565 to $3,075. This abandoned example was discovered in Arizona.
(Photo by Jim Prueter)

No longer fighting fires

Seagrave is the longest running manufacturer of fire equipment in the United States. And a 1960s example of a Seagrave fire truck was found in retirement in New Mexico. By the insignia on the door it was apparently used by the Vaughn, N.M., fire department. Vaughn is a small town of about 500 people in east-central New Mexico. (Photo by Jim Meachen)

An expressive GMC — With a friend

This very restorable 1960/61 GMC pickup was found in Arizona together with a friend — can you spot the "guard cat?" GMC pickups were totally redesigned in 1960 featuring for the first time a full-width hood, and an expressive "jet pod" grille. The grille design was used in 1960 and 1961 before being altered slightly in 1962. The GMC came with a choice of five V-6 engines with horsepower ranging from 150 to 205. (Photo by Jim Prueter)

Texas Chevy in retirement



For the second time in as many years, Chevrolet came up with a totally new car in 1959. From the front and rear the 1959 Chevrolet resembled nothing else on the road. The headlights were placed as low as the law would permit and the most visual new change was the flat, wing shaped tailfins. This 1959 was found in a field in Blanco, Texas.
(Photo by Jim Prueter)

Old Plymouth lives in New Mexico



Known in the 1950s as one of the "low-priced three" along with Ford and Chevrolet, Plymouth enjoyed solid sales. For instance, in 1950 Plymouth was the nation's third-best seller with 610,954 units sold. Chevrolet (1.5 million) and Ford (1.2 million) were first and second respectively. This circa 1950 two-door coupe is part of an idyllic scene in a New Mexico ghost town.
(Photo by Jerry Brown)

'Hippie' Mercury in Utah



Mercury, designed to bridge the price gap between Ford and Lincoln, was redesigned for 1952 and became essentially two vehicles — the base Custom and the higher-priced Monterey. The Mercury continued to be powered by Ford's flathead V-8 in 1952 and 53. This "hippie" copy of a 1952/53 Mercury was found near Hanksville, Utah.
(Photo by Jim Meachen)


The remains of a '46 Chevy



Chevrolet was the number two automaker behind Ford in 1946, the first full year of sales following World War II. Chevrolet sold 398,028 cars, about 70,000 fewer than Ford. It would take Chevrolet a couple years to ramp up to the one million units it sold prior to the war in 1941. This example of a '46 Chevrolet was found in an abandoned condition in Texas.
(Photo by Peter Hubbard)

Stopping for Mexican food



This used-up abandoned 1955 Chevrolet truck was spotted along Route 66 in Tucumcari, N.M. Perhaps its last stop was for some Mexican food at the Ranch House Cafe. It appears to be outfitted with a modified camper. For 1955 Chevrolet offered an impressive total of 75 "Task-Force" models on 15 different wheelbases designed for everything from light delivery to over-the-road hauling.
(Photo by Jim Meachen)