Abandoned Car of the Week

BMW lives in the weeds



This late-80s BMW 3 Series convertible was found in an abandoned condition in eastern North Carolina. Convertibles were introduced to the second-generation 3 Series lineup in 1985. The first 3 Series was sold in the U.S. in 1977.
(Photo by Jim Meachen)

Open air Studebaker



The Studebaker Champion was produced from the 1939 model year until 1958. It was a full-size car in its first three generations and a mid-size car in its fourth and fifth generation models. The base engine was a 2.8-liter inline 6 making 85 horsepower. 1950 marked the first year Studebaker offered an automatic transmission. This third-generation 1951 Champion convertible was discovered in a New Mexico salvage yard.
(Photo by Becky Antioco)


A Wyoming dump truck



This mid 1950s International R Series dump truck was discovered in retirement in a field of weeds in Randolph, Wyo. Most of the R Series trucks featured an inline 6-cylinder engine with a Cummins diesel as optional. Three, four and five speed transmissions were available.
(Photo by Jim Meachen)


One-year look Ranchero



The fifth generation Ford Ranchero was built from 1972-1976, but the 1972 is a distinct — at least from the front — one-year model because the front of the 1973 was changed to meet federal crash-test standards. There were four engine choices including three V-8s in 1972. This "retired" copy was found in South Carolina.
(Photo by Ralph Gable)

A Chevy wagon



This 1954 Chevrolet 4-door station wagon was discovered in New Mexico. 1954 was the last model year on the platform introduced in 1950 before big changes that were to come in 1955. Available engines were a 3.5-liter (215 cubic inch) inline 6 making 92 horsepower and a 3.9-liter (235 cubic inch) inline 6 making 106 horsepower. Transmission choices were a 3-speed manual or a 2-speed powerglide automatic. Of the 1,150,816 Chevrolets produced in 1954, 56,735 or about 5 percent were wagons.
(Photo by Jim Prueter)

Fourth-generation Camaro



The fourth generation Chevrolet Camaro (1993-2002) remained unchanged from 1993 through 1997 with exterior styling changes coming in 1998. The standard engine from 1993-95 was a 3.4-liter V-6. A 3.8-liter V-6 was introduced for the 1995 model year, and a small block V-8 was standard in the Z28 trim level. The Camaro came with a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission. This copy of a circa 1993-1997 Camaro was found near White Lake, N.C.
(Photo by Jim Meachen)

One of the last Studebakers



The Studebaker automobile company built cars from 1902 through 1966, a mainstream car-builder for more than 60 years before reaching an inglorious end with the closing of its last assembly plant in March 1966. This 1965 Cruiser sedan was discovered in retirement in Virginia, one of only 20,000 Studebaker's produced in 1965. 1965 Studebakers used a General Motors-sourced 230-cubic-inch 6-cylinder engine or a 283-cubic-inch V-8. Both engines were also used in Chevrolets.
(Photo by Ralph Gable)

Texas Ranchero



This 1964 second-generation (1960-1965) Ford Falcon Ranchero was discovered in Texas in what looks like restorable condition. The Ranchero was produced by Ford from 1957 through 1979 on various platforms including full-sized, compact and intermediate. The Ranchero was adapted from a two-door station wagon platform that integrated the cab and cargo bed into the body. A total of 508,355 units were produced during the model's production run. The second generation trucks came with a variety of engine sizes, the smallest being a 2.4-liter inline 6 making 90 horsepower. If performance was needed, there was a 4.7-liter V-8 available.
(Photo by Peter Hubbard)

Chevy II in retirement



This circa 1962-65 Chevy II Nova wagon is obviously no longer in service as a business vehicle. It was found in retirement along U.S. 301 in eastern North Carolina.  After the rear-engine Chevrolet Corvair was outsold by the conventional Ford Falcon in 1960, Chevrolet began work on a more conventional compact car that would eventually become the Chevy II.  In its first generation, five engine options were offered — a 4-cylinder, two inline 6 cylinders, and two V-8s. Transmission offerings included either a 3-speed or 4-speed manual, and a two-speed automatic.
(Photo by Jim Meachen)

Living in New Mexico



This 1955/1956 Dodge was spotted in Santa Rosa, N.M., perhaps awaiting some restoration. The Dodge lineup was all-new for 1955 — a big comeback for the brand after slumping in 1954 — with a longer 120-inch wheelbase and a 212.1 inch overall length. There were six body styles including a wagon and convertible. It could be purchased with either a 4.8-liter inline six or a 4.4-liter V-8. Dodge completely revamped the styling for 1957.
(Photo by Jim Prueter)