Abandoned Cars I
J.D. Adams & Company was founded in 1885 by Joseph D Adams who invented the first leaning-wheel pull grader. The company was based in Indianapolis. The leaning wheel, combined with an angled blade, increased the grader’s ability to excavate and move material in a specific direction. The grader could be pulled using a team of horses or by a motorized machine. This well-preserved example of an early 20th Century Adams grader was found in Hosmer, S.D. Above, a 1911 advertisement for Adams equipment. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
Photographer Charles Skaggs found what looks like the remains of a circa 1936 Chevrolet work truck near Lee's Ferry, Ariz. Chevrolet advertising opined that it had made three major improvements for 1936: increased power, reduced operating costs to a "record low," and "modernized its truck design and construction in every important part and feature."
The Ford Model A was produced from October 1927 through 1931, replacing the aging Model T, which was sold for18 years. Prices for the Model A ranged from $385 to $1,400. Nearly five million were made in that short span of time. This Model A — in restorable condition — watches life go by on the side of a highway. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
This 1961 Ford Galaxie Sunliner was discovered in Missouri. Ford gave the car a cleaner look for 1961 with tailfins nearly gone and the with the addition of two giant circular taillights. A new 6.4-liter "Thunderbird" V8 was added to the lineup, making a claimed 401 horsepower, mated to a 3-speed Cruise-O-Matic transmission. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
Like its competitors, Dodge came out with an all-new pickup truck design for the 1948 model year, which remained basically unchanged through 1953. This example of a Dodge pickup from the 1948-1950 model years — based on the grille design — was found in Utah. Also, above is an advertisement for the 1949 pickup. (Photo by Jim Prueter)
This 1946 Chevrolet sits in a salvage yard, perhaps waiting for a new owner. The '46 Chevrolet was basically a carryover from the 1942 model after production of new cars ceased during the World War II years. All 1946 models relied on a 6-cylinder, 90 horsepower engine carried over from the pre-war years. (Photo by Ralph Gable)
There were critics who joked about Studebaker's post-World War II styling adventures, but the Studebakers of that era have stood the test of time from their rounded slopping rear end with wrap-around window to their "spinner" grille. This 1950 four-door, that featured suicide doors, watches as life goes by on a North Carolina highway. Above, a magazine advertisement for the 1950 Studebaker. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
This post-WWII Willys Jeep found in eastern North Carolina has become a trash depository, its useful life long gone. The Army Jeep was transformed for civilian use after the war in 1945 and was particularly popular with servicemen who had driven the military variety. (Photo by Jim Meachen)
This 1963 Ford Galaxie was found in South Carolina in retirement in someone's yard. The Galaxie was a full-sized car built in the U.S. between 1959 and 1974. The name was used for the top models in Ford's lineup through 1961. The '63 model was essentially unchanged from the 1961-62 models except for some freshening and added trim. Also pictured, an advertisement for the '63 Galaxie. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
Packard was one of the premier luxury cars in the U.S. prior to World War II although it was losing some of its luster in the late '30s by building several more affordable models. In 1937, Packard re-introduced a six-cylinder engine, its first since 1928 when it went exclusively to eight-cylinder powerplants. This 1941 Packard sedan was discovered in Holbrook, Ariz. (Photo by Ted Biederman)
The first post-World War II Ford came off the assembly line in July 1945 as a 1946 model. Ford was throughly updated in 1941 before production was halted in 1942 for the war, and the 1946 was a continuation of the '41 model. An all-new Ford was introduced in 1949. This 1946 Ford was found in North Dakota. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This circa 1930 Chevrolet truck has survived its "beast of burden" lifestyle in Utah — at least for now. The first Chevrolet trucks went on sale in 1918, the same year that the Chevrolet Motor Company became part of GM, called the Model 490 Light Delivery. (Photos by Jim Prueter)
The Chevrolet Impala was introduced for the 1958 model year as top of the line Bel Air hardtops and convertibles. The third generation 1962-1964 featured new "C" pillar styling for all models except the 4-door hardtop. This style proved extremely popular, and contributed to the desirability of the 1962–1964 Impalas as collectibles. These two 1964 Impala SS models found in eastern North Carolina look as if they are ready for restoration. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
Ford designed the Edsel to be a cut above the Ford to compete with models from GM's Oldsmobile and Pontiac brands and Chrysler's DeSoto. But the Edsel, manufactured for just three model years (1958-1960), never caught on with the public, and was labeled "the wrong car for the wrong time." This 1959 station wagon was found languishing in Santa Rosa, N.M. (Photos by Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman)
Like its competitors, Dodge came out with an all-new pickup truck design for the 1948 model year, which remained basically unchanged through 1953. This example of a Dodge pickup from the 1948-1950 model years — based on the grille design — was found in New Mexico. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
In 1962, the full-sized Oldsmobile 88 was in its fifth generation (1961-1964). The base Dynamic 88 was powered by the 280-horsepower Jetfire Rocket V-8 while the Super 88 received the 394 Skyrocket V-8 making 330-horsepower. Both models were outfitted with a 3-speed Roto Hydra-Matic transmission. This 1962 model was found enjoying retirement in Munger, Mich. (Photos by Jim Prueter)
This 1946 or '47 Diamond T tractor was discovered in a backyard in North Dakota. Diamond T was well known for its reliable military trucks during World War II and it continued to build work trucks and pickups after the war. The owner of this truck has kept it in very restorable condition. At bottom is an advertisement for a 1947 truck. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
The 1963 Buick Skylark and Special was a "compact" car (193 inches long) sharing the same chassis, engines and basic sheet metal with the Pontiac Tempest and Oldsmobile F-85. Engine choices included a 3.2-liter V-6 and a 3.5-liter V-8. Transmission choices were a three on the tree manual, a four-speed floor-shifted manual and a two-speed "Dual Path Turbine Drive" automatic. This copy was found in a barn in eastern North Carolina. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
The redesigned 1949 Buick was the first to use "VentiPorts" that became a trademark of the Buick brand. The top line Roadmaster received four ports while the remaining Buick lineup got three. The ports actually corresponded to the displacement of the straight-eight engine installed. This rustic Buick is on display at the Cow Canyon Trading Post in Bluff, Utah. (Photos by Jim Prueter)
These interesting International tow trucks from the 1950s were found on the lot of Troublemaker Film Studio in Austin, Texas. Apparently the 1950-era trucks were used as props in the film studio movies. The studio has a very very cool collection of old trucks. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
Ford was thoroughly updated for 1941 with a new look including a three-piece grille. There were three car lines — Special, De Luxe and Super De Luxe. A new entry-level engine was added to the lineup, a 3.7-liter straight 6 developing 90 horsepower. The popular 2.2-liter flathead V-8 continued as the top-line engine. This used-up 1941 Ford was found in South Carolina. (Photo by Ralph Gable}
A 1951/52 Cadillac is flanked by post-war 1946/47 models living in retirement in the southwestern U.S. These cars were the luxury class of North America after World War II. Post-war Cadillacs introduced many of the styling features that came to be synonymous with the late 1940s and 1950s American automobiles, incorporating many of the ideas of General Motors styling chief Harley J. Earl. (Photo by Jim Prueter)
This 1940 Pontiac sedan was discovered in a barn in eastern North Carolina. The '40 had a handsome well-designed dashboard with radio controls in easy reach — a feature that has become scarce these days. Pontiac sold 217,101 units in 1940, a big jump from 1939 when 137,249 units were sold. Above is a restored dashboard from a 1940 car. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
Ford received a new body style for 1955 and a new top-of-the-line model, the Crown Victoria, replacing the Crestline. The Crown Victoria featured a chrome "basket handle" across the hardtop roof. This styling feature was used to visually separate the front of the passenger compartment from the rear. This 1955 or 56 Crown Vic — with its signature chrome warp-around feature — was discovered in a truly abandoned state of decay in eastern North Carolina. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
The Jeep Willys became popular after World War II and was sold in a variety of formats. This early 1950s model Jeep pickup proclaims its 4-wheel-drive configuration on the side of the hood. It was found in retirement on Highway 82 near the Continental Divide in Colorado. (Photos by Jim Prueter)
In 1949, Chevrolet presented its first "all new" model since the end of World War II. A lower, sleeker profile, with the lines of the front fenders smoothly blending into the doors to be countered by the rear fenders that continued to "bulge" out of the sides of the car. This slightly updated 1950 Chevrolet sedan was found at the Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba, Mo. Depending on model, the 1950 sedan sold for $1,450 for the Styleline Special to $1,529 for the Fleetline DeLuxe. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This early 1960s Ford Econoline pickup truck was spotted in Cuba, Mo. Based on the compact Ford Falcon, the first Ford Econoline utility van and pickup was introduced to the public on Sept. 21, 1960 for the 1961 model year. The design put the driver on top of the front axle with the engine near the front wheels, called "cab over." Early models sported a 144 cubic inch (2.4 L) inline 6 engine with a three-speed manual transmission. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
Dodge started selling "Job Rated" trucks in 1939, aimed at getting the customer the truck that fit the job for which it was purchased. The Job Rated designation carried through to the mid-50s when it was dropped. This early '50s Dodge "Job Rated" truck was discovered in Utah by Jim Prueter, its job apparently at an end.
Plymouth jumped on the compact-sized sporty car craze in 1964 with the Barracuda, which was produced through the 1974 model year. This 1966 first-generation Barracuda has suffered considerable abuse as it rests in a North Carolina lot of used-up cars. The Barracuda actually pre-dates the Mustang by two weeks. Three engines were offered in the first three years — a 2.8-liter inline 6, a 3.7-liter inline 6 and a 4.5 liter V-8. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
This 1955 Dodge Coronet was spotted in Santa Rosa, N.M., perhaps awaiting some restoration. The Dodge lineup was all-new for 1955 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. (Photo by Jim Meachen)
The McCormick-Deering was a tractor built by the International Harvester Company from the mid-20s until the Deering name was dropped some time in 1948 or 1949 when the tractor became the McCormick. This tractor, probably from the '40s, was found in retirement in Hosmer, S.D., next to a vintage gas pump and travel trailer. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This 1953 Willys Jeep station wagon was found in good condition in Door County, Wis. The Willys Jeep wagon was the first mass-produced all-steel station wagon designed as a passenger vehicle. It was built in the United States from 1946 to 1965 with more than 300,000 sold. (Photo by Ed Meachen)
Following World War II, the first all-new Chevrolet pickup and the rebadged GMC edition entered the marketplace in June 1947 as 1948 models, labeled the Advance Design series. The series was built through the mid-50s with only minor design tweaks. This GMC truck from the 1948-53 period lives in retirement in Bluff, Utah. (Photos by Jim Prueter)
Ford has built the F-Series pickup truck since 1948, the first generation produced from 1948 through 1952. It was the first post-war truck design from Ford and marked a big change from a pickup based on a car chassis to a pickup built on a dedicated truck platform. This example of the first F-Series (circa 1948-50) is still in use — as yard art at a home near Seattle, Wash. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
A once-vibrant 1969 Ford Mustang has been cannibalized and left to be slowly dissolved into the weeds and scrub bushes. The1969 edition was the first model to use quad headlamps placed both inside and outside the grille opening. Ford offered a variety of engines in the '69 from the 3.3-liter I6 to the rumbling 429 cubic inch Boss V-8. Nearly 300,000 Mustangs were manufactured in 1969, a steep drop off from the 607,558 built for the peak year of 1966. Above, an advertisement for the '69 Mustang. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
This 1954 Chevrolet panel truck was spotted in Bluff, Utah, its service as a laundry company delivery vehicle long past. But with a good cleaning and perhaps a little service, it looks as if it could spring back into action. (Photos by Jim Prueter)
This ragged-out Morris Minor convertible — used as yard art — was found near Boone, N.C. The diminutive Morris Minor was built in Great Britain from 1948 through 1972 with more than 1.3 million manufactured in various configurations including a two-door sedan, convertible, wagon and panel van. Engine horsepower through the years ranged from 27 to 48. Some of the earliest models took a glacier-like 50 seconds to go from 0-to-60. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
An old Jeep looks rather forlorn as it endures the hardship of Colorado weather in its retirement from active duty. MotorwayAmerica contributor Jim Prueter found the Jeep near Gateway, Col.
This 1968 Mercury Cyclone has been stripped of all its important parts, some of which have probably been transplanted in other Cyclones of the same age. The Cyclone started life in 1964 as a sporty option for the Mercury Comet. In 1968 the Comet name was dropped, and the Cyclone gained several engine options including the high-performance 427 cubic inch V-8 with four-barrel carburetor generating as much as 425 horsepower used mainly for drag racing, according to How Stuff Works. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
This old Willys Jeep faces the ravages of a Wisconsin winter. We figure it probably looks better in snow. (Photo by Jerry Brown)
The Buick Century name was first used by General Motors in 1936. A new Century came into the picture in 1973, and in 1982 the Century was built on a mid-sized platform. It got a facelift for 1989 and minor design changes in the following years. The last Century was built in 2005. This abandoned Buick residing next to an equally abandoned house in southeastern North Carolina appears to be a 1991 model. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
A 1960s-era Freightliner cabover is slowly being overtaken by bushes as it rests in retirement. Freightliner trucks have been built since the 1940s and are currently owned by Daimler Trucks North America. (Photo by Ralph Gable)
The Honda Prelude is a sports coupe that spanned five generations from 1978 until 2001. This first-generation Prelude (1978-1982) was photographed in abandoned condition in front of an abandoned house in northern Vermont. It is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and came with the choice of a three-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission. (Photo by Jim Meachen)
This 1989/1990 model Mercury Cougar has seen better days and might be hoping for a good home. But chances are good it will continue to be relegated to neglected and abandoned status. The Cougar is a nameplate applied to a diverse series of automobiles sold by Mercury from 1967 through 2002. The seventh-generation Cougar got a new body and chassis in 1989 and was built through 1997. The standard engine in 1989 was a 3.8-liter V-6 making 140 horsepower mated to a four-speed automatic. The 1989-90 models can be differentiated from the later seventh-generation models because of their slightly larger grille. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
Ford retained the basic design of its 1942 model when it got back into production in 1946 following the end of World War II. One of the few changes was to the grille, a series of horizontal bars. The 1942 Ford had a vertical bar design. And Ford eliminated its low-priced Special sixes, which left it with six- and eight-cylinder DeLuxe and Super DeLuxe models. This 1946 Ford two-door patiently waits beside a road for someone to rescue it from abandonment and neglect. Notice someone has changed out the original hood ornament for a 1950's model. (Photos By Ralph Gable)
This van was spotted buried in vegetation in the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state. We don't know if anyone checked to see what or whom was inside — other than more plant life. (Photo contributed by Susan Skaggs)
This early '90s model Ford F-150 may be gratified that it has been put out to pasture, stripped of most of its necessary parts, after it was horribly desecrated in the last years of its useful road life. (Photo by Ralph Gable)
This mid-60s C10 Chevrolet pickup was discovered rusting away in a small eastern North Carolina town. The 1960 model year introduced the third generation pickup that went through the 1966 model year. The base engine introduced in 1963 was a 3.8-liter140-horsepower inline 6. An optional 165-horsepower 4.8-liter six was available. Chevrolet did away with the curved windshield in 1963, making it easier to differentiate the 1964 through 1966 models. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This 1956 Chevrolet needs some love to get it out of the neglected and abandoned category. It was spotted in eastern North Carolina behind a body shop garage. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
This early 1950s Ford pickup was found in an abandoned condition enjoying retirement in the beautiful North Carolina mountains. Above, a magazine ad for the new 1951 Ford pickup touting its gas mileage. (Photo by Jim Meachen)
This neglected 1956 Buick appears to be in restorable condition. Buick sold 153,627 copies in '56 with two V8 engine options making 225 horsepower and 255 hp. Prices ranged from $2,416 to $3,704. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This mid-1980s Lincoln Town Car watches another season change from fall to winter in rural northern Vermont. The Town Car, built from 1981 to 2011, was Lincoln's most popular nameplate. The first generation from 1981 through 1989, came in two-door and four-door formats. The first generation was powered by a 302-cubic inch, 4.9-liter V-8. (Photo by Jim Meachen)
Three generations of the compact Ford Falcon were built from 1960 through 1970. The Falcon was given a more squared-off appearance for the second generation (1964-65). This second generation Falcon was found in neglected condition in North Carolina. The new Mustang was based heavily on the Falcon's unitized frame design. It could be ordered with three variations of the inline 6 and with three V-8 engines, the biggest a 302 cubic inch (4.9 liter). (Photos by Ralph Gable)
This sixth generation (1973-1979) Ford F-350 tow truck has apparently seen its final duties as it sinks into the ground in eastern North Carolina. (Photo by Jim Meachen)
What looks like a mid-70s Ford Mustang lives in the Wisconsin snow stripped of most of its exterior features including the doors. (Photo by Jerry Brown)
The 1960 Chevrolet Corvair was a revolutionary new design from General Motors, the only mass-produced American car to feature a rear-mounted air-cooled engine. The Corvair was produced from 1960 through 1969 and included a two-door coupe, convertible, four-door sedan and four-door station wagon. This forsaken copy was discovered living among trash and debris in a junk yard. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
The weeds have growen so high around this 1977 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL that they appear to be an untrimmed hedge. The 450SEL designates a 4.5 cubic inch 8-cylinder engine, which made 180 horsepower mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. This series of S Class, manufactured from 1972 through 1980, was judged one of the safest cars on the road in that decade. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This 1936 Ford four-door sedan has been picked clean with just the shell and the remnants of its V8 engine block remaining. The V8 was the standard engine offering for Ford cars in 1936. The mid-30s Fords were very popular and ran neck-and-neck with Chevrolet for the title of "best selling car." Above is a rather interesting magazine ad for the '36 Ford. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
The Jaguar XJ series was first sold in 1968 with the second generation Series 2 produced from 1973-1979. Pictured is a second-generation Jaguar, with a 5.3-liter V-12 — according to the emblem on the rear. It was found in retirement in North Carolina. The big engine — making 265 horsepower — was first used in 1972 with a top speed of 140 mph. It was billed as the "fastest full four-seater available in the world." (Photo by Ralph Gable)
This 1971 Saab 96 wagon was discovered in Louisiana in what appears to be restorable condition. The standard 4-cylinder engine in the Saab 96 from 1967 to 1976 made 65 horsepower and was timed in an excruciating turtle-like 15 seconds from 0-to-60. The Saab 96 was built from 1960 through 1980 and underwent incremental changes and updates through the years. (Photo by Jim Prueter)
The Volkswagen bus was extremely popular in the United States in the late 60s and through the 1970s. The second-generation bus was built from 1967 through 1979 with gradual changes over the years. This circa 1975 bus was discovered in retirement — and in decent shape — in northern Vermont. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This 1970s era Volkswagen Beetle was discovered living with an attractive growth of weeds in eastern North Carolina. The Beetle was enormously popular in the U.S. through more than three decades reaching 15 million sales in 1972 setting an all-time sales record surpassing the previous record holder, the Ford Model T. (Photo by Ralph Gable)
This1952 Buick two-door coupe, discovered in Wisconsin, sports a two-tone yellow and rust look. Buick was one of the most popular nameplates in 1952 with total U.S. production of 303,745 with the four-door Deluxe Sedan leading with 63,346 sold. (Photo by Jerry Brown)
This post-war circa 1946 Dodge Power Wagon was used — as indicated by its markings — as a utility truck for a volunteer fire department. It was discovered along the side of the road in western North Carolina. Derived from the Dodge military trucks used in World War II, it was the first civilian 4X4. It was produced in various model series from 1945 to 1981. Dodge resurrected the name in 2005 for a series of Ram Trucks. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
The Dodge lineup was completely redesigned for the 1955 model year, and the new Dodge lineup consisting of the Coronet, Royal and Custom Royal helped revive Chrysler Corp.'s fortunes. This base model 1956 Coronet two-door was discovered in eastern North Carolina. It appears ready for restoration. (Photo by Ralph Gable)
This 1959 Edsel sedan was discovered languishing among other used up vehicles in a North Carolina junkyard. The Edsel was developed as an upscale brand sandwiched between Ford and Mercury in the Ford Motor Company lineup. But it never caught on selling less than 120,000 copies in three model and was a multimillion dollar failure for Ford. Pictured directly above, an ad for the '59 model. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
This circa 1949-1952 International Harvester L-Series truck cab was found rusting away in an eastern North Carolina field.The L-Series was introduced in 1949 as a replacement for the KB-Series and was available as everything from light pickup trucks and delivery vehicles to full-size tractor-trailers. Electric wipers, a radio, and a clock were optional. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This 1955 Oldsmobile, resting in a Wisconsin field, looks ready for restoration. Oldsmobiles were completely restyled for the 1954 model year with new longer and lower body shells and wrap-around windshields and rear windows. The 1955 models were heavily face-lifted with new grillework, taillights and body-side chrome. Horsepower for the 324-cubic-inch Rocket V8 increased to 185 for 88s and 202 for Super 88s. Above, a magazine ad for the 1955 Olds. (Photo by Jerry Brown)
This 1937 Chevrolet one-and-a-half ton work truck was spotted serving as yard art near Santa Fe, N.M. In 1937, Chevrolet introduced new trucks with streamlined styling that many still consider the best designs of the era. (Photo by Jim Meachen)
This 1966 Chevrolet Impala has been the object of cannibalization with its engine bay completely gutted. The Impala was redesigned in 1965 and set an annual sales record of more than one million in the U.S. There were some minor styling modifications for 1966 including new horizontal taillights, which replaced two sets of three round lights. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
This 1950 Chevrolet was discovered in rather good condition living in a field in New Mexico. In 1950 the Chevrolet two-door Styleline Special started at $1,390 and came with an inline six-cylinder engine making 92 horsepower. (Photo by Jim Prueter)
McLaughlin Automobile Company under the guidance of Sam McLaughlin formed a 15-year alliance with Buick under the direction of William Durant near the turn of the 20th Century. For the first few years cars produced by the alliance were known as McLaughlins. Then the name was changed to McLaughlin-Buick. Our photographer, Jerry Brown, discovered this circa 1914 McLaughlin-Buick living in Canada. Notice that it sports very aggressive tires that probably weren't found on the car when it was new.
This mid-1950s Mack B Model truck was discovered in retirement along the side of a highway in south-central Virginia. The B Model was manufactured from 1953 through 1966. Above is a magazine advertisement for the 1955 Mack. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This 1967 Ford Fairlane looks restorable. The fifth generation Fairlane was revised in 1966 to match the full-sized Ford, which was restyled in 1965. The front end was highlighted by vertically stacked headlights. The Fairlane received a minor facelift in 1967. The top-selling engine both years was the 289 cubic inch V-8, referred to as the 289. The GT model, such as the one pictured, had a more muscular 390 cubic inch V-8 making 335 horsepower.1966-67 were the only two models years of the fifth generation before another redesign ushered in the sixth generation. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
This Morris Minor 1000 2-door from the 1950s lives among the trash of a junkyard. It probably was once a proud family car. The Morris Minor 1000 was produced from 1956 through 1971 in Oxford and Birmingham, England. Nearly 850,000 copies were sold. The car had limited sales in North America. (Photo by John Harper)
A 1940 Chevrolet coupe has been abandoned on a flatbed in eastern North Carolina, perhaps ready for shipment to a junkyard. Chevrolet was restyled for the '40 model year and the changes resonated with the public with 760,000 produced — 38 percent more than 1939 — in three "series" starting at $659 and ranging up to $934 for the top end Special DeLuxe. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
Jim Prueter found this rather attractive but decaying 1961 Chevrolet Biscayne in a New Mexico field. The Biscayne, built from 1958 through 1972, was the least expensive model in the Chevrolet full-size range. Although the Biscayne was generally a no-frills car, it could be purchased with a big-block V-8. (Photos by Jim Prueter)
This Peterbilt cab, probably from the late '70s to mid '80s — we admit no expertise when it comes to large trucks — is resting (perhaps permanently) in some eastern North Carolina weeds. Peterbilt Motors was founded in 1939 and continues to be a builder of Class 5 through Class 8 trucks, headquartered in Denton, Texas. (Photo by Ralph Gable)
Frazer, which was built from 1946 through 1951, was the upper-medium priced luxury car from the Kaiser-Frazer Corp. It was restyled for 1951 and included a four-door convertible, a hardtop sedan and a unique hatchback sedan. This 1951 example was found in restorable condition. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This 1959 Chevrolet Apache pickup was spotted in a wooded junkyard of old, worn out vehicles. It is one of the Task Force line of pickups built from 1955 through 1959 for Chevrolet and GMC. Chevrolet introduced its innovative small block 265 cubic-inch V-8 in the Task Force series. The new modern styling as well as the innovative V-8 made Chevrolet the best selling truck brand for the second half of the 1950s. (Photo by John Harper)
Ford was restyled for the 1961 model year with a new grille, a squared off roofline and new round taillights. This example was found in Florida in a deteriorating condition. Above in an ad for the 1961 Galaxie. (Photo by Ralph Gable)
This rare Datsun 1000 four-door sedan was spotted returning to nature in a wooded junk yard by photographer John Harper. The little Nissan would be classified as a sub-compact (city car) in today's market with a length of 152 inches and a wheelbase of 87.4 inches. Curb weight was just 2,039 pounds. It was powered by a small inline four-cylinder making 34 horsepower and 48 foot-pounds of torque mated to a four-speed manual transmission. The 1958 sedan was the first Nissan offered in the United States retailing for $1,695. A magazine advertisement touted the 1958 model. (Photo by John Harper)
This 1961 Chevrolet Impala bears the inscription "Jim Rathman Chevrolet" with the number 11. Rathman was a well-known race car driver and the winner of the 1960 Indy 500. A native of Florida, Rathman opened a Chevrolet dealership with his winnings. This rare Chevy was spotted in Stark, Fla. The Chevy was restyled for 1961 with a trimmer, more flowing design. (Photo By Ralph Gable)
This late 1960s or early 1970s Volkswagen Beetle was found enveloped in weeds near White Lake, N.C. The original Beetle was first sold in the U.S. in 1949 and sales continued into 1979 before the car was discontinued in North America. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
We like this unique display some enterprising home owner erected in their yard near Newton, Iowa. We call it a very good use of a neglected Model T Ford. (Photo by Jerry Brown)
This rather dilapidated 1951 Ford was found by the side of a North Carolina highway. In 1949, Ford came out with its first all-new design since World War I, and the first all-new design by the so-called Big Three U.S. auto companies. Notice the 1952 taillight not so artfully installed. The new streamlined design, which was produced through the 1951 model year, featured such changes as integrated rear fenders. In 1951 Ford offered an automatic transmission for the first time, the Ford-O-Matic. The '51 Fords were powered by either a 3.7-liter inline 6 or a 3.9-liter flathead V-8 making 100 horsepower. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
A beaten and battered 1953 Chevrolet was found peering out of heavy overgrowth in Wilson County, North Carolina. The Chevy got a new design for '53 including the debut of a one-piece windshield. Total car production that year was 398,028. Prices started at $1,524 for a business coupe and topped out at $2,273 for a Townsman eight-passenger wagon. (Photo by Jim Meachen)
This Oldsmobile Omega coupe was found looking rather well for its age resting in a field of weeds in Tennessee. The Oldsmobile Omega, largely unloved during its 12-year run, was a compact car sold from 1973 through 1984. It faced a host of reliability problems through its cycle. There were two generations of Omegas, both badge engineered on Chevrolet models, and both using the GM X platform architecture. The Omega shared the same engines as the Chevrolet Citation, the Pontiac Phoenix and the Buick Skylark — the so-called "Iron Duke" I4 and a 2.8-liter V6. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
This abandoned bakery truck, which presumedly had a Ford Model T front end, made its last bread delivery decades ago and looks as if it is awaiting restoration. Photographer Jerry Brown discovered the ancient Anaconda Bakery delivery truck near Wales, Wis.
A mid-1980s Ford F-150 pickup rests nose-to-nose with a late 1970s Lincoln Continental. Both are in the process of being overrun by trees and underbrush. (Photo by Ralph Gable)
This 1957 Ford has probably been for sale for a considerable amount of time based on its condition. The Ford sedan was spotted along the side of a road in rural Kentucky south of Cincinnati. The full-size Ford was restyled for 1957 and came with six engine choices — a 3.7-liter inline 6, and 4.5-liter, 4.8-liter, 5.1-liter, 5.4-liter and 5.8-liter V-8s. Transmission choices were a three-speed manual or a two-speed or three-speed automatic. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
A 1955 Mercury sedan (left) and a 1951 Ford appear to be carrying on an abandoned car conversation in eastern North Carolina. Mercury shared much of its styling with the standard Lincoln in 1955. And for the first time, Ford featured an optional Ford-O-Matic 3-speed automatic transmission. (Photo by Jim Meachen)
Buick reworked and renamed its entire lineup for the 1936 model year to celebrate the engineering improvements and design advancements over the 1935 models. This is an example of a post-1935 Buick, late '30s model, which was found parked along the side of a highway in central Florida. Below, an advertisement for the 1928 Buick. (Photo by Jeffrey Ross)
It appears that someone "abandoned" this restoration of what looks like a 1955 Buick in stripped down guise . Note it has four VentiPorts, which denotes either the larger V-8 engine or higher trim level. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
This 1968 Plymouth Satellite, discovered in Tennessee, appears to have been stripped of most of its essential parts. The Satellite, built from 1965 through 1974, started out as the top trim model for the Plymouth Belvedere and was available only with a V-8 engine. The second-generation Satellite was restyled for 1968 and the lineup was expanded beyond a two-door hardtop and convertible to include a four-door sedan and station wagon. It was restyled again for the 1971 model year. Below is infromation on the Satellite from a 1968 Plymouth brochure. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
Flying A gasoline became the primary brand of Tidewater Oil Company in 1936 and was used on the East Coast through 1970 when it was permanently discontinued. Phillips Petroleum purchased Tidewater's western refining, distribution and retailing network in 1966 and dropped the brand name on the West Coast. The Flying A continued to be used on the East Coast until 1970 when it was discontinued by Getty Oil Company, which in 1966 merged with Tidewater. This remnant of days gone by was photographed near Bailey, N.C. (Photo by Jim Meachen)
This copy of a ninth-generation (1983-1988) Ford Thunderbird seems to be in restorable condition. After lackluster sales of the eighth generation, Ford designed a sleeker Bird for the mid '80s. Two engines were carried over from the eighth generation, a 3.8-liter V-6 and a 4.9-liter V-8. A 2.3-liter 4-cylinder turbo was added to the lineup in 1983. Below, a page from a 1984 Thunderbird brochure. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
The Chrysler Windsor was a full-sized sedan built by the Chrysler Corporation in the U.S. from 1939 through 1961. The 1942 Windsor under went a refreshening after the war for the 1946 through 1948 model years. It came with a four-speed manual transmission and a 114-horsepower inline 6-cylinder engine. This example of the 1946-48 models seems to be in restorable condition getting some protection from the elements inside a shed. Below frrom a 1946 Chrysler brochure. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
A first-generation Ford Mustang sits in abandonment in North Carolina perhaps awaiting rescue by someone looking for a good restoration project. Ford sold nearly 419,000 Mustangs in its first year of production from April 17, 1964, through April 17, 1965 — and the rest is history. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
For the first time in several years, Buick offered an Estate Wagon on the B-body LeSabre platform in 1970. The only engine available was a Buick 7.5-liter V-8 making 360 horsepower mated to a three-speed automatic transmission. It was a heavy car by today's standards weighing in at about 5,000 pounds. This 1970 example seems to be in drivable and restorable condition. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
A 1952 Cadillac and a mid-1980s Lincoln Continental share space in a yard littered with old motorized stuff in North Carolina. (Photo by Ralph Gable)
A 1946 Ford that once served as a roadside advertisement for a business lies in decay in eastern North Carolina. The '46 was basically a carryover from the 1942 model, the last made before production stopped for World War II. Outside trim was nearly identical to the 1942 except for the new horizontal grille consisting of three stainless steel bars. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This relatively well preserved 1938 Chevrolet two-door sedan, minus a rear window and sporting a smashed-up grille, was discovered in Ellendale, N.D. The Chevrolet was redesigned for the 1937 model year, so styling changes were few for 1938, but did include a reworking of the grille. The volume-leader in 1938 was the Master DeLuxe Town Sedan, which sold for $750. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
Like counting rings in a stump to determine a tree's age, you might be able to count how many inches the tires of this1964 Dodge Dart, discovered in southern Virginia, have sunk into the dirt to determine how long it has languished in the same location. Keeping it company is an old Chevrolet Suburban. Chrysler built the Dart from 1960 to 1976, first as a full-sized car in 1960-61. After one year as a mid-sizer in 1962, it was given compact car dimensions in 1963. Three engines were available in 1964, a 2.8-liter slant-6, a 3.7-liter slant six and a 4.5-liter V-8. Horsepower ratings were 101, 145 and 180 respectively. (Photo by Ralph Gable)
Three early 1960s Cadillacs, including one presumably ready to haul off a dilapidated travel trailer, reside near two 1950s era pickup trucks in this Arizona scene shot by automotive journalist Jim Prueter. A shame to see vintage American automotive history rusting away.
A lineup of Toyotas from about nearly three decades ago resides in the Wisconsin snow, perhaps part of a new-new car lot that time left behind. (Photo by Jerry Brown)
A mid-60s Ford F-850 commercial truck is camouflaged in the woods near Chapel Hill, N.C., its work life long over. (Photo by Ralph Gable)
This 1950 Pontiac two-door Streamliner discovered in eastern North Carolina appears to be in restorable condition. It was the second year of an all-new post-war design under the styling direction of famed GM designer Harley Earl. Several models were built including the Chieftain, Streamliner, Catalina, business coupe and convertible. Pontiac sold 450,000 Pontiacs in 1950, the most in the brand's history up to that point, trailing only Chevrolet, Ford, Plymouth, Buick and Dodge in domestic sales. A 268 cubic inch straight-8 Silver Streak was the top engine that year making 108 horsepower and 208 pound-feet of torque. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This Leyland tractor appears in the early stages of abandonment. Leyland Tractors was created after the merger of British Motor Corp. and Leyland Motors to form British Leyland in 1968. Leyland built tractors through 1982 in Bathgate, Scotland, before the company was sold to Marshall, Sons & Co. Marshall continued to build tractors until 1992 when production was stopped. We have no idea as to the model year of this used-up Leyland example. (Photo by Ralph Gable)
A Texas farmyard in the San Antonio area sports at least two vintage and no longer used cars — a 1956 Chevrolet (left) and a 1958 Ford Thunderbird. The used-up tractor in the foreground has us stumped as to make and model. (Photo by Jeffrey Ross)
This early 1980s Jeep Wagoneer lives in retirement in the weeds. The Wagoneer was built from 1963 through 1991, a sport utility vehicle (SUV) before the term was even coined. The wagon received only minor styling changes through the years. The Wagoneer was moved upmarket in its later years by AMC before Chrysler acquired AMC in 1987. The Wagoneer could be purchased with either a six-cylinder or V-8 engine in the early '80s and with a four-speed automatic transmission. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
A mid-1960s GMC pickup — decorated with a set of antlers — sits next to a vintage gas pump in the Yukon in northwest Canada. Some enterprising landowner apparently decided to set up this nostalgic display. (Photo by Jerry Brown)
A 1964 Ford Galaxie 500 convertible rests in the North Carolina sunshine missing its top, a wheel, and taillights. The Galaxie was Ford's top-of-the line full-sized model from 1959 through 1974. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
The most interesting aspect of the 1959 Chevrolet was its "bat wing" fins, which took the popular late-50s tail fin design in a slightly new direction. This copy is slowly rusting away in a western North Carolina yard. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
Practical perhaps, but weird looking in our estimation, the AMC Pacer hit the market in 1975. It was designed, according to AMC, to offer the interior room and feel of a big car in a small-car package with its extraordinarily wide stance and enormous glass area. Despite good reviews from the automotive press, the Pacer never really caught on with the public and was discontinued in 1980. This abandoned early-model Pacer appears in restorable condition. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This 1963 Chevrolet Impala looks in restorable condition as it deteriorates in a North Carolina yard. Chevrolet's advertising catch phrase for 1963 was "Jet Smooth," perhaps because the popular full-sized Chevy wasrestyled with a new grille, bumpers, hood, sculptured side panels, and rear deck contours. The Impala was Chevy's top-of-the-line with the most popular engine choices the small-block 283-and-327-cubic-inch (4.6 and 5.4 L) V8s. (Photo by Jim Meachen)
This old bus has eluded the scrap yard by hiding in overgrown bushes and a couple of trees felled by storms over the years in eastern North Carolina. We were not able to determine the vintage of the destroyed people hauler — perhaps a school bus — but we do know it has come to an inglorious end. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This 1957 Chevrolet station wagon has been stripped of its manhood (i.e. engine) and has been left to rust into oblivion behind an auto repair shop. The '57 Chevy is one of the most sought-after classic cars. It was available in two-and four-door sedan formats, two- and four-door hardtop, convertible, station wagon and delivery vehicle. It came with a choice of an inline 6 and two V-8 engines making 140, 162 and 185 horsepower respectively. More than 1.5 million copes were sold. (Photo by Ralph Gable)
This rare find of a 1947 Kaiser (left) and Frazer were found in a yard in Wayne, Alberta, Canada. The Kaiser-Frazer car company was founded on July 25, 1945, and displayed prototypes of their two new cars in New York in 1946. Kaiser and Frazer shared bodies and powertrains. The cars, the first all-new sedans in the U.S. following the end of World War II, were powered by a 226-cubic-inch L-head six making 100 horsepower mated to a three-speed transmission with optional overdrive. (Photo by Susan Skaggs)
This abandoned 1967 Dodge Dart was discovered near Winchester, Tenn. The original Dodge Dart, which was built from 1960 through 1976, was on a compact car platform from 1963 onward after starting life as a full-sized car. The Dart was completely restyled in 1967 with a 115-horsepower slant six as the standard engine. In 1967, Dart came in two- and four-door sedans, a hardtop and a convertible. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This 1980s era Ford F-150 has become a planter of sorts with a tree growing out of what once was the bed of the truck. Seems the tree, along with other vegetation, has grown quite attached to the retired pickup. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
Ford built the Ranchero from 1957 through 1979, a vehicle with a cargo bed integrated into a car body combining the looks of a sedan and the utility of a light duty pickup. This 1965 model was based on the compact Ford Falcon. The 1957 through 1959 models were based on the full-sized Ford platform before Ford moved the Ranchero to the smaller Falcon platform in 1960. This 1965 model was spotted along with a multitude of other used up cars in the hill country of Texas. (Photo by Jeffery Ross)
This 1956 GMC pickup, once used as a tow truck, could stand some tender, loving care. It is living the old Biblical saying, dust to dust, and ashes to ashes; and perhaps we can add, rust to rust. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
Following World War II International truck production began with a slightly new design in 1947 highlighted by the barrel-shaped grille sprouting little "wings," which are mostly gone from this 1948 model truck discovered in North Carolina. International stuck with the front-end design until 1950. This truck apparently hauled heavy farm equipment in its working life. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
It appears the "for sale fresh date" has long expired on this 1951 or 1952 Ford F-5 work truck discovered rusting away in Trapper Creek, Alaska. The truck was restyled for 1951 and received only a few minor changes for the 1952 model year. (Photo by Jerry Brown)
Oldsmobile was endowed with a new exterior design for the 1948 model year based on General Motors' newly developed C-Body, but clung to its pre-war flathead straight-eight engine. For 1948, the compression ratio was increased from 6.5:1 to 7.0:1 and horsepower was nudged upward from 110 to 115. Customers who waited until 1949 were rewarded with an all-new overhead valve V8 engine. This '48 model, discovered in Ellendale, N.D., is outfitted with a 4-speed Hydramatic automatic transmission. A three-speed manual was also available. It also appears that its owner outfitted it with an add-on air conditioner. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This 1956 S-line International pickup truck has been retired by Larry's Wrecking Service in Hosmer, S.D. The International Harvester company built pickup trucks from 1907 through 1975. The standard Black Diamond 240 six-cylinder engine in the 1956 truck made 131 horsepower and 208.5 pound-feet of torque. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
Its work years long past, this rather bedraggled 1956 Ford F-300 lives in retirement beside a barn in North Carolina. Ford completely redesigned its lineup of trucks in 1953 and added "00" to the end of the existing monikers, thus the F-1 became the F-100, etc. One of the biggest changes was a new "full wrap windshield" extending over to the vertical door post. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
This 1969 Mercury Monterey is nearly swallowed up by weeds in eastern North Carolina. The large Monterey was introduced in 1952 and built through the mid '70s, the last generation running from 1969 to 1974. Four V8 engines were available for the last generation ranging in size from a 6.5-liter to a 7.5-liter. A three-speed automatic was the transmission of choice. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
Studebaker was on its last legs when these two 1965 sedans hit showrooms. About 20,000 Studebaker cars were sold in 1965, not enough to keep the struggling company afloat. The last sedan came off the assembly line in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, on March 16, 1966. The third member of this all-Studebaker lineup is a 1960 pickup truck. Above is a 1965 ad for the Studebaker commander. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
This used up 1941 International pickup truck was found near Trapper Creek, Alaska, its bed now used for growing weeds — or perhaps flowers of some variety. (Photos by Jerry Brown)
The grille from this1954 Buick Roadmaster has probably been transplanted in another Buick. But this car seems still relatively intact despite the organ donation. The 1954 was an all-new model, significantly bigger than the model it replaced, growing nine inches in length and more than five inches in wheelbase. The standard Roadmaster engine was a 5.3-liter Nailhead V-8 mated to a two-speed Dynaflow automatic transmission. The1954 Roadmaster engine came in two horsepower variants,164 and 188. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
This 1938 Nash Ambassador business coupe has seen much better days. While Nash offered a full range of cars from coupes to sedans and with a choice of six and eight-cylinder engines, sales sagged to 41,543. The Nash lineup was completely revised for 1939 with sharper, more modern styling and sales surged to 60,348. One interesting feature that could be ordered for the first time in 1938 was the Nash Weather Eye, which directed fresh, outside air into the car's fan-boosted, filtered ventilation system, where it was warmed (or cooled), and then removed through rearward placed vents. The process also helped to reduce humidity and equalize the slight pressure differential between the outside and inside of a moving vehicle. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This 1965 Ford Thunderbird could stand some tender, loving care, and might still be restorable. The '65 was the second year of the fourth-generation Bird, which ran from 1964 through 1966. It gained a more squared-off appearance from the third generation (1961-63). The standard engine was a 300-horsepower 6.4-liter V-8 mated to a three-speed automatic transmission. Standard front disc brakes were offered for the first time in '65. After record Thunderbird sales in 1964 of 92,000, volume eased off to 75,000 for the 1965 model year. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This 1967 Buick LeSabre enjoys nice surroundings in its abandoned retirement. The LeSabre entered its third generation in 1965 and continued through 1970 with incremental styling updates. The '67 LeSabre received a slightly updated grille treatment. The first three generations of LeSabres were full-sized six-passenger body-on-frame cars. Engine options included four V-8s ranging in size from a 300-cubic-inch 4.9-liter to a 455-cubic-inch 7.5-liter. The standard transmission was a three-speed automatic. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
This shell of a 60s-something Corvette was spotted in a grove of trees outside San Diego. Perhaps someone had plans for it that never materialized. And we figure it might still be resurrected into a useful commodity. (Photo by Jim Meachen)
This 1963 Ford Galaxie was discovered rusting away in some North Carolina weeds among other discarded equipment. The first generation of the Galaxie was produced from 1959 through 1964 with minor mechanical changes each year, but with noticeable styling updates. The '63 was arguably the best looking of the group. 1963 production for all Galaxie styles and engine sizes (V-6 and V-8) totaled 679,652. Horsepower ranged from 85 with the smallest V-6 to 425 with the largest V-8. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
Both Ford and General Motors played catch up after Chrysler found instant success with its first minivan introduced in November 1983 as a 1984 model. Ford's answer to the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager was called the Aerostar and was introduced nearly two yeas later in the summer of 1985 as a 1986 model. The standard engine in early versions was a 2.3-liter 4-cylinder. A 2.8-liter V-6 was optional. In 1988, the 4-cylinder was dropped and the Aerostar became the first minivan with a V-6 as standard equipment. This first-generation minivan (1986-1991) was found behind a garage in eastern North Carolina apparently done with the chores of driving life. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This 1949-50 Chevrolet work truck has been stored away, it's useful life long ended. This style Chevy came with several straight six engine configurations in three-quarter ton format and commanded new-vehicle prices ranging from $1,060 to $1,435. The Chevrolet truck was restyled in 1947, the first all-new truck since before World War II. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
This vintage 1972-73 Volvo 1800ES "coupe station wagon" appears abandoned but ready for action outfitted for summer fun in the middle of winter with a boat and tricycle secured to the top. This style of the sporty 1800 Volvo was produced for only two years reaching showrooms in 1971 as a 1972 model. The rear seat could be folded down to create a long, flat loading area. Only 8,700 copies of the 1800ES were built. (Photo by Jeffrey Ross)
The Chevy II/Nova compact car was first built from 1962 through 1979. The Nova was the top model in the Chevy II lineup through 1968 when the Chevy II nameplate was dropped in favor of Nova. This 1968 model rests in retirement in the weeds of an abandoned farmyard in eastern North Carolina. The Chevy II was popular in 1968 with 201,000 sold with a price range of $2,222 to $2,419. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This 1970 era Volkswagen convertible is suffering from neglect. The popular Beetle was sold in the U.S. for three decades before production ended in the late '70s. It was revived with an all-new and modern rendition in 1999. (Photo by Ralph Gable)
The Chevrolet Suburban has the distinction of being the longest continuous nameplate in the world. The first model hit the market in 1934 as a 1935 model. This fixer-upper is a seventh-generation1969 model and the last generation of the three-door Suburbans. A second door was added to the passenger side with the first eighth-generation Suburban in 1973. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
Even the For Sale sign appears abandoned on what's left of this late '60s Chevrolet C/K pickup. Two inline 6-cylinder engines and a variety of V-8 engines were available in the late '60s. Manual transmission were of three or four gears and automatics were of either two-speed or three-speed configurations. (Photo by Ralph Gable)
We think this rather imposing tow truck is a Mack from the mid-50s. Looking as if it was designed for heavy-duty hauling, it rests in retirement near Saratoga, N.C. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This 1963 Pontiac Bonneville station wagon has lost its luster because of neglect. The third-generation Bonneville covered the 1961 through 1964 model years and was Pontiac's costliest and most luxurious model. Three V-8 engines were offered as well as standard automatic transmission, and numerous options including power steering, air conditioning, cruise control, power windows, power seats and a radio. (Photo by Jim Meachen)
This 1972 Pontiac LeMans was spotted in a field, perhaps ready to be adopted by someone interested in restoration. The Le Mans was a model name applied to compact and intermediate-sized cars marketed by the Pontiac division of General Motors from 1962 to 1981. The third generation built from 1968 through 1972 included coupe, sedan, station wagon and convertible styles. A four-door sedan such as the one pictured started at $2,932. About 170,000 LeMans models were produced in 1972 with the hardtop coupe leading sales at 80,383 according to OldRide.com. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
This 1973/74 Chevrolet Nova was found in a state of retirement in a North Carolina weed field. The Nova was built from 1962 through 1979 and again in a different format from 1985 through 1988. It went through four generations before ending production in 1979. Four engines were available in 1973 including two 350-cubic-inch V-8s, one of which was under the hood of the pictured model. A two-barrel carburetor version made 145 horsepower and 255 foot-pounds of torque. A bigger four-barrel carburetor version pumped out 175 horsepower and 260 foot-pounds of torque. The car proved popular in the '70s with 369,509 copies sold in 1973 and 390,536 in 1974, the peak year of its 18-year production run. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This early model Mazda Miata has not only suffered the indignity of being abandoned, but it has been thoroughly burned as well. It was discovered along a wooded stretch of road in the hills surrounding Louisville, Ky. The Miata, now known as the MX-5 Miata, was launched in 1989 and since then nearly one million of the little roadsters have been sold worldwide. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
Chevrolet restyled its pickup truck in 1947, the first all-new truck since before World War II. The truck was an immediate success and remained relatively unchanged until 1954 when it got its first front-end restyling. Styling cues tell us this truck is either a 1949 or 1950 model. Over one million Chevy pickups were built from 1947 to 1955, which is one reason they are easy to spot rusting away behind a barn or garage. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
Research has discovered that this Danville, Va., bus, built by General Motors and belonging to the Danville Traction and Power Co., is of the same design and vintage as the famous segregated bus on which Rosa Parks was arrested on Dec. 1, 1955, when she refused to give up her seat in Montgomery, Ala. The Alabama bus was built in March 1948. Danville Traction and Power Co. was a public transportation system prior to the current Danville Transit System. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
This early '70s model Fiat 124 Spider was discovered infested by eastern North Carolina weeds at the back of a lot. Introduced in 1967 as a 2+2 convertible, nearly 200,000 were built through the 1985 model year with about 120,000 sold in the U.S. Four-cylinder horsepower ratings ranged from 90 to 102 through the '70s. Zero to 60 times were around 11.5 seconds, acceptable for roadsters of the era. The Fiat competed with such nameplates as MG and Triumph. Above, a 1970s magazine ad for the Fiat 124 that included a cutout of the car. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
An excellent example of a 1941 notchback Pontiac Torpedo sedan was discovered in a North Carolina farmyard by photographer Ralph Gable. Pontiac introduced the Torpedo in 1940 on the General Motors C-body. The Torpedo shared the body with the Cadillac Series 62, Buick Roadmaster and Super and the Oldsmobile Series 90. The Torpedo had larger windows and wider seats than other Pontiacs, and the hood ornament was a plastic Indian head mounted in a metal base. Available engines were a 3.9-liter Flathead inline 6 and a 4.1-liter Silver Streak inline 8, both mated to a 3-speed synchromesh manual transmission. Above, the Torpedo living area as depicted in a 1941 advertisement. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
This Georiga "yard art" was spotted near Albany, Ga., by automotive writer and photographer Jeffrey Ross. On the left is a 1941 Chevrolet pickup, dramatically restyled for 1941 with combination horizontal and vertical grille bars. One new feature of the Chevrolet pickups was a crank-open windshield for ventilation. We are not sure of the car brand, but it was from the late '30s. (Photos by Jeffrey Ross)
Pontiac was the sixth best selling brand in 1954 — but only the fourth best seller at General Motors behind Chevrolet, Buick and Oldsmobile — with 287,744 units sold. The Pontiac was sold as the Star Chief and Chieftain in numerous configurations. Two engines were offered, a 127 horsepower straight eight and a 118 horsepower inline six. This two-door Chieftain found in eastern North Carolina has seen better days. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This 1991 Pontiac Sunbird convertible has been literally "put out to pasture" on an eastern North Carolina farm, although it looks as if it could easily be revitalized into a running machine. The Sunbird was produced from 1975 through 1994 and was available through the years as a notchback coupe, sedan, hatchback, convertible and station wagon. For the '91 model year a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder making 110 horsepower and a 3.1-liter V-6 making 140 horsepower were available. The Sunbird shared a platform with the Chevrolet Cavalier, Buick Skylark and Cadillac Cimarron. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
A GMC truck has come to an inglorious end in the weeds of a company's back lot. We can't determine the exact age of the GMC, which we assume served its masters well over the years, but we figure it's from the early seventies based on the dashboard layout. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
This 1939 Chevrolet rests in the Wisconsin snow minus its headlights. The 1939 Chevrolet was a continuation of a new generation that hit the showrooms as a 1937 model. Styling changes for '39 included a revised grille treatment. Prices started at $628 for the Master 85 coupe and ranged up to $883 for a Master DeLuxe station wagon. Chevrolet sold 577,278 copies in 1939, down significantly from 1937 sales of 815,420, but more than the 1938 total of 465,156. (Photos by Jerry Brown)
MotorwayAmerica contributing photographer John Harper found this circa 1950 Jaguar XK120 roadster, apparently at one time undergoing restoration, in a garage near Charlotte, N.C. Just over 12,000 were built from 1948 through 1954. The XK120 was motivated by an 3.4-liter inline six making 160 horsepower. The roadster's lightweight canvas top and detachable side windows stowed out of sight behind the seats. (Photos by John Harper)
A 1991 Dodge Daytona and a late-70s model Ford Pinto wagon appear ready for launch. They were discovered in this "blast off" position near Winchester, Tenn. The Daytona two-door hatchback was built from 1984 through 1993. The standard engine in 1991 was a 2.5-liter turbo four making 150 horsepower. The Pinto was built by Ford from 1971 through 1980 and included a two-door sedan, hatchback and wagon. Its peak sales year was 1974 when an astounding 544,209 were produced. Sales had fallen off to 185,054 in its last year in 1980. Only four-cylinder engines were offered and from 1975 through 1979 there were two choices, a 2.3-liter and a 2.8-liter. Horsepower ratings ranged from 82 to 102. Above, an advertisement for a 1977 Pinto wagon. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
A 1967-1972 era GMC truck has come to an inglorious end under a tree in a North Carolina back yard. GMC redesigned its light duty trucks in 1967 and the sheetmetal remained unchanged through the 1972 model year. GMC ranked third in U.S. truck sales in 1968, but slipped to fourth by 1972. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
Resting in retirement are two 1955 or 1956 Packard 400s produced in the waning years of the once-proud luxury brand. The Packards of this era were built by the Studebaker-Packard Corp. of South Bend, Ind. Production of the 400 was 7,206 units in 1955 and 3,224 in 1956. The last Packard was produced for the 1958 model year. At right, is an early 1980s model Lincoln. (Photo by Ralph Gable)
This circa 1990-1992 Cadillac Brougham, stretched into a limo, has apparently been permanently parked in a grassy field in eastern North Carolina, its service no longer needed — or wanted. We are sure New Year's Eve partiers and young and excited high school prom participants spent many happy hours inside. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
A 1968 AMC Ambassador SST trim line hardtop coupe rests comfortably in a field of eastern North Carolina weeds. It was one of the first mainstream cars in North America to get air conditioning as standard equipment. (Photo by Jim Meachen)
This equipment-loaded 1970 era Mack truck is nearly enveloped by weeds in southeastern North Carolia. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
This 1980 Ford F-350 tow truck rests in eastern North Carolina weeds, its days of duty apparently at an end. 1980 marked the beginning of the seventh generation Ford truck, the first ground-up remake of the popular F-Series since 1965. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
These 1949-1953-era Studebaker pickups were discovered in retirement in Indiana. The 1949 model was the first all-new post-war pickup from Studebaker, introduced in May 1948. Little was changed over the five-model-year run with the exception of a horsepower boost in the six-cylinder engine from 85 to 102 in 1950. The truck came with a three-speed manual transmission and ahead-of-its-time doubled-walled cargo bed. (Photos by Jerry Brown)
This 1953 Buick Special — notice the three fender portholes — was spotted in a southeastern North Carolina field. The Special was Buick's lowest priced model, below the mid-level Super and the top-of-the-line Roadmaster in 1953. General Motors renamed the Special the LeSabre for the 1959 model year. The 1953 Special was powered by the Fireball straight eight. The Special got the more powerful Nailhead V-8 in 1954. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
The Chevrolet Corvair, built from 1960 through 1969, was a unique car for its time. It was the only American-designed mass-produced passenger car to feature a rear-mounted air-cooled engine. This 1960 example of a Corvair coupe still looks restorable. The Corvair also came in three other body styles — a convertible, sedan and station wagon. (Photo by Ralph Gable)
These rusting Chevrolet trucks, a 1962 model on the left and a 1963 on the right, were found deteriorating in an eastern North Carolina field. The 1963 can be identified with its egg-crate grille appearance. Chevrolet was king of the hill in the early '60s with 483,119 pickups built in 1963, one-third of all the light-duty trucks produced in the U.S. that year. (Photo by Jim Meachen)
A 1946 International Harvester truck is found resting in the corner of a Wisconsin parking lot. It was the last year for the K Series introduced in 1940 and built through 1946 with several years of war interruption. There were 42 K-Series models with142 different wheelbase lengths and load ratings ranging from one-half ton to 90,000 pounds. The K-Series styling included headlamps integrated into the fenders. (Photo by Jerry Brown)
A 1940-era sedan is covered in pine straw in a western North Carolina woods preventing us from determining the exact make and model. But it looks like the big sedan has become a permanent resident. (Photo by John Harper)
A Mack B-60 Thermodyne wrecker lives in retirement near Saratoga, N.C. The B-Series trucks were introduced in 1953 and were built through 1966. It was one of Mack's most successful products with 127,786 sold, some of which are still in use. The Thermodyne open chamber, direct-injection diesel engine established Mack's leadership in diesel performance and fuel efficiency. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This 1940 DeSoto sedan, in rather good condition, was spotted in a Wisconsin field. Horsepower from a 228 cubic-inch inline six was increased to 100 at 3,600 rpm for the 1940 model year. Optional equipment raised the horsepower to 105. DeSoto had a banner year in '40 with more than 65,000 sold. DeSoto's pre-war peak was reached in 1941 with more than 97,000 sales. Above, a page from a 1940 brochure shows the car's seating. Note the sofa-like rear seat complete with arm rests. (Photo by Jerry Brown)
This vintage Jeep is but a shell of its former self resting in a western Virginia yard. At some point in its life it probably provided good service in a variety of roles including possibly the military. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
A new Chevrolet pickup body style was introduced in 1960 and was built through 1966. This 1964 example, complete with a couple of engines stored in the bed and resting in the tall grass in eastern North Carolina, is a stepside model. The pickup came with a base 3.8-liter 140-horsepower inline 6. An optional 165-horsepower 4.8-liter six was available. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
The cab of a pickup truck from the '40s sits beside a truck frame on a farm near Mitchell, S.D. (Photo by Jerry Brown)
This neglected 1956 Chevrolet was found behind a storage shed in western Virginia. "The Hot One is Even Hotter" was the advertising slogan that Chevrolet boasted for its 150, 210 and Bel Air series in 1956. With a new Super Turbo Fire V8, the 1956 promised a friskier, sweeter ride with safer passing. Five engines were available including a 140-horsepower inline six and four V-8 engines topping out at 225 horsepower. Chevrolet was the best selling car in the U.S. that year with 1,567,117 sales, topping Ford by 150,000 units. (Photo by Ralph Gable)
The hulk of a rare circa 1939 Lincoln Continental settles in for a winter's rest. (Photo by Jerry Brown)
A deteriorating 1948-1953 era Chevrolet half-ton pickup was discovered in "retirement" beside a barn in South Dakota. Chevrolet's post-war restyled "Advance Design" truck was introduced in 1947 as a 1948 model and was little changed in appearance through 1953. (Photos by Jerry Brown)
A stripped-out 1961 Ford Galaxie rests in the grass in Virginia. Ford began selling performance in 1961 with a 6.4-liter V-8 available with either a four-barrel carburetor or with three two-barrel carburetors making 401 horsepower. Can't tell what once was under the hood of this coupe. (Photo by Ralph Gable)
This mid-60s Volvo PV544 photographed in eastern North Carolina seems restorable. The PV544 was built from 1962 through 1966 with the B18 engine (note emblem on grille), a 1.8-liter straight four. Most copies sold in the U.S. came with dual carburetors making 90 horsepower mated to a four-speed manual transmission. A November 1963 issue of Road & Track magazine clocked the Volvo from 0 to 60 in 14 seconds, fairly quick for the time. The quarter mile was recorded in 19.1 seconds at 70 mph with a top speed of 92 mph. Gas mileage for the 2,100-pound coupe was excellent, rated at between 25 and 29 mpg. (Photo by Jim Meachen)
Auto journalist Jeffrey Ross discovered this Pontiac Fiero graveyard recently near Huntsville, Ala. The mid-engined sports car was built by the Pontiac division of General Motors from 1984 to 1988. The Fiero was the first two-seater for the Pontiac brand since the 1926 to 1938 coupes, and also the first and only mass-produced mid-engine sports car by a U.S. manufacturer. A total of 370,168 Fieros were produced over the relatively short production run of five years. (Photo by Jeffrey Ross)
This 1947 or '48 Ford is rusting into oblivion in a western Virginia yard. It is one of nearly 860,000 Fords that were sold during the two model years. The 1948s were virtually identical to the 1947s, though the early 1947s were really 1946s, while the freshened "1947-1/2" models went on to become 1948s. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
A 1953 Dodge Coronet deteriorates in a field in North Carolina. The Coronet was built from 1949 through 1976. The 1953 model was the first of the second generation Coronets and was sold as a four-door sedan, a coupe and a convertible. Engine choices were a 3.9-liter V-8 making 140 horsepower and a 3.8-liter inline six. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
What looks to be a late '30s model ton-and-a-half Chevrolet work truck rests in the desert near Lee's Ferry, Ariz. (Photos by Charles Skaggs)
This third-generation circa 1986 Subaru GL wagon was found nearly obliterated by weeds. Like today, it was sold with full-time four-wheel drive. The 1.8-liter flat four was mated to either a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
This copy of an MG 1100 was found deteriorating in a wooded area. The MG 1100 was built from 1962 through 1968 with 124,860 units sold over that time frame. Several other small English cars were built off that platform including the MG 1300, Austin 1100 and 1300, Morris 1100 and 1300, and Woleseley 1100, 1275 and 1300. (Photo by John Harper)
No wonder it's easy spot a 1963 Chevrolet still on the road, in a junkyard, or rusting away in a field. More than 1.3 million Chevrolet sedans, coupes and convertibles were sold in 1963, which dwarfs today's cars when the "best-selling" title usually goes to a model that can rack up 400,000 sales. These three 1963 Chevys were found near Havelock, N.C. The 1963 model lineup was Biscayne, Bel Air and Impala with prices ranging from $2,322 to $3,170. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
Abandoned early-model Ford Mustangs are relatively easy to find. Here's another example of a 1965 or 1966 Mustang that someone chose to abandon rather than keep in running condition. (Photo by Ralph Gable)
A 1948 or 49 Dodge pickup looks longingly at the outside world through a broken fence in a yard in southwestern Wyoming. The 1948 pickup was an all new model replacing the pre-war trucks. The new half-ton pickups originally came with a 95-horsepower flathead straight six. (Photo by Jerry Brown)
This fourth generation Honda Accord (1990-1993) was found abandoned to the grass and weeds in a North Carolina field. You are more likely to see an Accord of this vintage still on the street and not in the weeds. But the owner of this particular two-door had apparently had enough of its troubles. (Photo by Jim Meachen)
A well-used 1947 or 48 Chevrolet pickup truck was discovered in underbrush near Jacksonville, N.C. The 1947 model was the first all-new Chevrolet truck after the end of World War II and pushed the Chevy to the forefront in the pickup truck wars. Chevrolet was the best-selling pickup in the U.S. from 1947 through 1955. The 1946 pickup was a carryover from pre-war years. (Photo by Ralph Gable)
This circa early 1960s first-generation Plymouth Valiant was spotted sitting in the yard of an old house in Ely, Nev. The Valiant was developed by Chrysler as an answer to the smaller cars coming into the market at the time including the Chevrolet Corvair and Ford Falcon from General Motors and Ford respectively. The Valiant was built from 1960 through 1976 and was marketed worldwide. Two engines were available in the early years — a 2.8-liter and a 3.7-liter Slant 6. (Photo by Charles Skaggs)
A 1975 Chrysler Newport rests in a field of weeds in Tennessee. This iteration of the Newport, a full-sized sedan, was made from 1974 through 1978. The 227-inch-long car was outfitted with a 400 cubic inch V-8 making 175 horsepower mated to a three-speed automatic transmission. Published 0-to-60 time was just over 12 seconds. Fuel economy was around 10 mpg. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
A 1957 Oldsmobile 88 appears ready to charge out of the woods, sans a headlight. Under the hood is a 372 cubic-inch V-8 (6.1 liters) making 277 horsepower. Oldsmobile built 384,390 cars in 1957, the fifth-ranking nameplate in the U.S. (Photo by John Harper)
A first-generation Mercury Cougar, built from 1967 through 1970, sits next to a Ford Mustang, its platform mate. The Cougar was developed off the Mustang platform to give the Mercury brand its own pony car and siphon off some of the Mustang's incredible success. And the early Cougar was a success with 364,719 sold through the first three years (1967-1969). (Photo by Ralph Gable)
This 1950 Mercury "sport sedan" looks as if it still possesses the ability to drive out of its junky retirement home. Mercury was a big hit from 1949 through 1951 with more than 900,000 sold during those three years. 1951 was the last year of the "inverted bathtub" style and the first year for the optional Merc-O-Matic three-speed automatic transmission. (Photo by John Harper)
This early 1950s Chevrolet is decaying in a Colorado car graveyard. In 1950 the Chevrolet two-door Styleline Special started at $1,390. The upscale Bel Air hardtop moved the price up to $1,740. The two available inline six-cylinder engines came with 92 and 105 horsepower and with a three-speed manual or an optional two-speed Powerglide automatic. (Photo by Jerry Brown)
This 1964 Ford Galaxie 500 has been unceremoniously crowned with a "new top." 1964 was the fourth and final year of this body style. The big car came with three V-8 engine choices in 1964 ranging from 220 horsepower up to 425 horsepower. More than 88,000 two-door hardtops, convertibles and sedans were built that year. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
These three early 1950s Packard speciality vehicles are gathered presumably to discus family genealogy. The vehicle in back, left, served as an ambulance. The other two could have spent their active days as either ambulances or hearses. Sad to see these once-great cars in such disrepair. (Photo by Ralph Gable)
A 1975 Chrysler Cordoba and a circa 1981-1985 Chevrolet Caprice Classic live side by side next to an abandoned mobile home in Tennessee. The Cordoba was introduced by Chrysler for the 1975 model year as an upscale personal luxury car to compete with the Chevrolet Monte Carlo and Pontiac Grand Prix, two popular GM coupes. The Caprice Classic was an upscale version of the Chevrolet Impala. The nameplate was used from 1965 to 1996. Above is the cover of a Chrysler brochure depiciting the 1975 Cordoba. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
These four friends — two early 1950's model Hudson Hornets and two early 1950's model Chevrolets — look as if they are ready to audition for the next "Cars" movie. They are spending their retirement days near Cortez, Col. (Photo by Jerry Brown)
Dodge underwent a major restyling for the 25th anniversary 1939 models. The top trim level was dubbed the Luxury Liner. This 1939 Luxury Liner, found in South Carolina, is missing various parts including its grille, front bumper and windshield. And a detached door rests against the car. Dodge was apparently not content with the new design, because the front end was reworked in 1940, and again in 1941. The car got a minor refresh for 1942, but just after the '42 models were introduced, Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor forced the shutdown of Dodge’s passenger car assembly lines in favor of war production in February 1942. At top is a page from a 1939 Dodge brochure. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
A forlorn 1955 Chevrolet 6500 Series truck lives in some South Carolina undergrowth, its service long finished. (Photo by Ralph Gable)
A mid-60s model Chevrolet Malibu suffers the ravages of wind, weather and vandals in a North Carolina field. The Malibu name was first used by General Motors in 1964 as a top-line sub-series of the mid-sized Chevrolet Chevelle. The first generation was produced from 1964 through 1967. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This out-of-work 1970s International Loadstar endures a North Carolina ice storm.
(Photos by Jim Meachen)
Minus its wheels, this Jaguar XJ6, circa 1985, has become a prop for a couple of windows as it rests on concrete blocks behind an abandoned building in eastern North Carolina. This Series III XJ came with a 4.2-liter inline six-cylinder engine making 176 horsepower with a 0-60 speed of 9.6 seconds. Average price for a mid-80s model XJ6 was about $32,000. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This mid-1960s Dodge pickup has become part of the landscape as it rests on the side of a rural road in Tennessee. (Photo by Jim Meachen)
The Edsel was an automobile nameplate that was built by Ford during the 1958, 1959, and 1960 model years. it was designed to compete with mid-level GM and Chrysler nameplates such as Oldsmobile, Pontiac and DeSoto. But it never got off the ground, selling poorly especially in '59 and '60. This example of a 1959 model appears ready for the crushers. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
The 1953 Chevrolet came in three basic body styles — the base 150, the mid-level 210 and the more upscale Bel Air. The 210 was the sales leader with a base 108-horsepower 6-cylinder engine. The Powerglide automatic transmission added seven horsepower. This 210 series Chevy is rusting away, but still appears restorable. Above is a magazine ad for the '53 Chevy. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This 1964 Chevrolet Biscayne was at the bottom of a four-model lineup in 1964 with a price range of $3,230 to $3,820. Nearly 175,000 Biscaynes were sold that year. The most popular Chevy model was the more upscale Impala with more than 700,000 leaving dealerships. This battered example was discovered near Winchester, Tenn. Above, a magazine ad for the '64 Chevy. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
Multi-stop trucks — also known as step vans — are a type of light-duty and medium-duty truck created for local deliveries to residences and businesses. This 1970s-era Chevrolet van has probably seen its last duty delivering whatever it delivered in its day. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This copy of either a 1974 or 1975 Volvo 164 was found in an eastern North Carolina farm field. The 164 is a 4-door, 6-cylinder sedan sold by the Swedish car maker from 1968 through 1975. It came with either a three-speed automatic or a four-speed manual transmission. There were 46,008 164s built before the car was superseded by the 264 for the 1976 model year. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This restorable example of the 1950 Packard four-door sedan rests in a residential yard in Tucumcari, N.M. The sedan came with a straight-eight developing 135 horsepower and sold for around $3,500. 1950 was the last year for the bathtub-style Packard as sales sank from 116,000 in 1949 to 42,000 in 1950. As the above ad shows, the 1949-1950 Packard was not without innovation. All 1950 models came with the two-speed plus reverse Ultramatic automatic transmission as standard equipment. (Photo by B.J. Overbee)
Abandoned Mustangs are popular, especially, it seems, the 1967 version. At least that seems to be the case in eastern North Carolina. This example, which is sinking into the ground, seems to be in restorable condition. (Photo by Jim Meachen)
This 1937 Chevrolet Master Business Coupe was photographed rusting away in a residential section of Savanah, Ill. The business coupe through the '30s, '40s and '50s was a popular model for Chevrolet. (Photos by Jerry Brown)
A 1950 Chevrolet, minus its wheels, rests in front of a lineup of equally rusting and stripped-down vehicles on Route 66 at the Arizona-New Mexico border. The 1950 Chevrolet was the most popular vehicle in America that year, with more than 1 million cars and trucks sold. 1950 was a record-setting year for auto sales as the industry was finally in full swing after civilian production had gone on hiatus during World War II. (Photo by B.J. Overbee)
The 1955 Chevrolet was a turning point for the manufacturer, the first successful Chevrolet with a V8 engine. Though Chevrolet had produced another car with a V-8, the 1938, it had remained in production for only a year. The '55's looks, power and engineering made it a critical success. This copy lives in an overgrown field in eastern North Carolina. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
The Chevrolet Lumina sedan was built from 1990 through 2001. This is an example of the second generation built from 1995 through 2001. The second-generation Lumina was a popular model with more than 200,000 sold each year from 1995 through 1998 before sales went south. (Photo by Jim Meachen)
The Ford Mustang was introduced in 1964 and was an immediate overwhelming success. It remained on the same platform, but received styling upgrades inside and out for the 1967 model year. This example has been stripped of almost all meaningful parts including the engine. An advertisement for the '67 Mustang is below. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
The four-wheel drive Subaru BRAT was sold in the U.S. from 1978 through 1987 mimicking the Chevrolet El Camino and Ford Ranchero. BRAT is an acronym for Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter. This abandoned example looks to still be in decent shape. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This 1967 Chrysler Newport Custom was found near Winchester, Tenn. Chrysler revived the Newport name in 1961 to fill the price gap between Chrysler and Dodge that was created when DeSoto was discontinued. New to the Newport line for 1967 was a more luxurious Newport Custom series available in four-door pillared and hardtop sedans, along with the two-door hardtop. The Newport was available with a 270-horsepower V-8 or an optional 440-cubic-inch V-8 making 325 horsepower. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
A 1982 or '83 Chevrolet Monte Carlo rests in retirement next to a first-generation circa 1983 Ford Ranger. The Monte Carlo was in its fourth generation in the mid-80s. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This circa 1970 c70 Chevrolet truck was found living in a field in eastern North Carolina. It appears to have lived its life as tow truck. The badge on the side of the truck proclaims V-8 power. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
The large and popular Chevrolet Suburban lived as a three-door passenger truck until the introduction of the eighth-generation vehicle in 1973 when it finally received a fourth door (on the driver's side). This Suburban, circa 1970, has lost a door, its engine and its wheels as it slowly deteriorates. A spider has also taken up residence, weaving a web over the dashboard. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
A 1937 Ford has been striped to a skeleton. It might have been in the early stages of restoration before it was left to decay in a field. Ford did some redesign work on the 1937 Ford, creating a V-shaped grille and incorporating the headlights into the fenders. The new headlight treatment was found on the Standard and DeLuxe trim versions. Slantback sedans gained a rear trunk door. For 1937 an entry-level 2.2-liter V-8 was added. The popular 3.6-liter flathead V-8 was still the best seller. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This 1963 or 1964 Ford pickup lives in the rainforest in Olympic National Park in Washington state. Photo courtesy of Rob Van Esch. Additional abandoned car photos can be found at Rob Van Esch Photography.
This 1969 Chevrolet C/K pickup truck needs some tender, loving care. The second-generation C/K came in two inline 6-cylinder and three V-8 configurations for 1969, the top engine the 396-cubic-inch. It was in the late '60s that General Motors began to add comfort and convenience items to the vehicle line that before had been built just for work purposes. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
Plymouth became one of the best selling cars in the U.S. after World War II. There was very little styling and mechanical changes between the 1946, 1947 and 1948 models. To differentiate model years, a check of the VIN was necessary in many cases. The post-WWII facelift involved a more modest grille with alternating thick/thin horizontal bars, rectangular parking lights beneath the headlamps, wide front-fender moldings, a new hood ornament, and reworked rear fenders. This example of a post-war Plymouth coupe was found in Colorado. (Photo by Jerry Brown)
The Z-Car was a popular roadster of the early '70s manufactured by Datsun, now Nissan. An early model Z (either a 240Z or a 260Z) keeps a 1975 280Z company. The 280Z made 149 horsepower from its fuel-injected inline six-cylinder engine. The interior shot is of the 280Z. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
A 1986 Pontiac Parisienne is in its last days missing an engine, fender, grille and other assorted pieces. The top-line rear-wheel-drive Pontiac Parisienne was sold in the U.S. from 1983 through 1986 after the Bonneville was down-sized on a front-wheel drive platform. Traditional Pontiac luxury buyers still had an option — at least for a few years. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This 1949 Chrysler, despite being left to deteriorate in an unused parking lot, still appears restorable. The Chrysler line was one of the more popular "luxury" brands in 1949 with sales of 124,218. A Chrysler New Yorker four-door sold for $2,726. There were two engines options, a 250 cubic inch inline six making 116 horsepower and a 323 cubic inch inline eight-cylinder making 135 horsepower. (Photos by Jim Meachen)
This well-preserved 1947 De Soto Suburban has been put out to pasture. The long-wheelbase Suburban was built from 1946 through 1954 and arrived from the factory with seating for eight. The two-ton car was powered by Chrysler's inline six-cylinder engine. The luggage rack on top of this car was optional equipment. The Suburban was popular with taxi firms and could be manufactured as a limousine.
(Photos by Ralph Gable)
Abandoned cars will probably feel right at home at this abandoned gas station on U.S. 301 in North Carolina. Gas stations and motels along 301 have been boarding up their doors for two or three decades since the competition of Interstate 95 in the '70s. This Exxon station probably saw its last customer in the late '90s based on the $1.22 pump price for 87 octane regular. Exxon became Exxon-Mobile in November 1999. Before I95, U.S. 301 was the major north-south highway from Miami to New York. Happy Motoring!
(Photos by Jim Meachen)
The remains of a 1941 Chevrolet pickup were found discarded in an East Coast field.
The redesigned '41 Chevrolet pickup stood out because of its unusual bright chrome grille with horizontal bars over top and vertical bars below. The truck's entire front end: hood, louvers, fenders, bumpers, headlights, parking lights and grille were all new. The 1942 Chevrolet pickups were essentially unchanged from 1941. Because America entered World War II in December 1941 the government halted all civilian truck production on Jan. 30, 1942. The six-cylinder engine remained at 216.5 cubic inches from 1940 while horsepower was increased by five to 90 and torque by four to 174 pound-feet at 1,200 to 2,000 rpm.
(Photos by Ralph Gable)
The Ford Thunderbird entered the marketplace in 1955 as sporty two-seat convertible. In 1958, the second-generation Thunderbird gained a second row of seats and was transformed from a roadster into a personal luxury coupe and convertible. Powering the Thunderbird was a new 5.8-liter 300-horsepower V-8, available with either a 3-speed manual or automatic transmission. It was a rousing success selling nearly 38,000 copies. This example of the 1958 coupe has been plundered almost to the point of extinction.
(Photos by Jim Meachen)
A 1940 Plymouth sedan discovered in Colorado is suffering from broken windows and a detached hood and fender. The 1940 Plymouth was an all-new design receiving the new body the other Chrysler lines had received in 1939. The new body, mounted on the 117-inch wheelbase, was lower, wider, and longer than any Plymouth in past history. The 1940 model was powered by the familiar "L" head 6-cylinder engine, displacing 201.3 cubic inches. Horsepower was upped to 84 for the 1940 models (up two from '39), this figure reached at a speed of 3,600 rpm. Below is a picture of the '40 Plymout sedan from a Plymouth sales brochure.
(Photo by Jerry Brown)
A 1953 Ford Mainline, one of the most popular Ford models of that year, looks totally used up sitting in a field. The Mainline was the base model in 1953 with the Customline the mid-level trim and the Crestline at the top of the lineup. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
Magazine ad for the 1953 Ford
A 1954 Chevrolet two-door has found its final resting place in a field of cars.
(Photo by Jerry Brown)
A late '40s model Chevrolet pickup (left) rests beside a post-World War II Dodge pickup in a North Carolina field.
Dodge hubcap and engine
Old Dodge pickup dashboard above; when new, at right
Chevrolet pickup dashboard
The rear of the Chevy truck with the grille laying behind the cab
(Photos by Jim Meachen)
This huge Autocar Integral Sleeper Cab appears to be an early 1950s model. Indentification supplied by a reader. (Photo by Ralph Gable)
The sounds of the old tune, "Working on the Railroad," are just a
fading memory for this decaying railroad trouble shooter.
(Photo by Ralph Gable)
A 1958 or '59 Ford Thunderbird resides next to a 1960-1962 Chevrolet Covair Rampside.
(Photo by Jerry Brown)
The 1962 Corvair Rampside is depicited in this ad for the Corvair van and pickup
One of the most luxurious cars of the late '50s was the Chrysler Imperial. Only the back two-thirds of one of those Imperials remains in a Colorado field. (Photo by Jerry Brown)
The glorious Imperial, from a 1959 Chrysler brochure
Automotive cousins live side by side is this picturesque yard in North Carolina. From
left are a 1968 Dodge Dart and a 1970 Plymouth Duster. (Photos by Ralph Gable)
The magazine ad below tells people to "See the USA in your Chevrolet" and this 1951 Chevy's journey has apparently come to an end in Cortez, Colorado. (Photo by Jerry Brown)
This 1964 or 1965 Ford truck, spotted in Lenoir County, N.C., has probably seen its last
duty as a hauler. (Jim Meachen)
A 1947 Cadillac spotted in a North Carolina field looks very restoreable
This 1952 Packard looks as if it's ready to hit the streets. It was found in eastern N.C.
(Photo by Ralph Gable)
You were still being requested to "ask the man who owns one" 60 years ago as
depicted in this 1952 magazine advertisement
We think this is what's left of a late 1930s Chevrolet Suburban (Jim Meachen)
An abandoned 1966 Ford was found in an abandoned barn in eastern North Carolina.
The 1951 Chrysler was the first to be powered by the Hemi V-8, although
it was known as the Fire Power V-8 as depicted in the 1951 magazine
advertisement below. The 331-cubic-inch engine made 181 horsepower.
This abandoned Chrysler, still looking in good form, was found in
eastern North Carolina. (Jim Meachen)
The old and the restored —1941 Chevrolet dashboards
A 1941 or 1942 Pontiac Streamliner Torpedo four-door sedan has worn well in retirement
What the 1941 Pontiac Torpedo looked like as depicted in a Pontiac brochure
A 1963 Mercury Comet convertible has seen better days, but might be revived in the right hands. (Jim Meachen)
In a barn — A Hupmobile from the early '30s
This 1941 or 1942 Chevrolet truck was found residing in
a state park in Northern California.
(Two-Heel Drive, a Hiking Blog)
We could not come to a firm conclusion as to the nameplate of this two-door
sedan of late 1930's vintage. But we did conclude that the hood resting on
the car is from a 1948 Ford truck.
A 1968 Ford Torino fastback lost in the woods looks restorable
(From Hiat "Old Abandoned Cars")
A 1963 Ford Galaxie suffers the indignity of being crowned by tires and wheels. Below a
magazine advertisement depicts how the top-end Ford looked when new.
A 1967 Mustang has turned into vegetation
(Photos by Jim Meachen)
Rusting remains of a 1937 DeSoto business coupe, pictures above. Notice the portawall, also known as a whitewall insert, falling off the rear tire. At right, what a 1937 DeSoto looked like when new.
Old water truck abandoned in central Nevada
(From Ghost Towns)
A 1939 Ford very artistically rests in a Canadian wheat field.
(Old Car Junkie)
A 1941 Studebaker has seen much better days. The magazine ad below shows what the Studebacker might have looked like some 70 years ago. (Jim Meachen)
A 1941 Chevrolet work truck has become part of the landscape
(From Hiat "old abandoned cars")
Above, a 1940 DeSoto slowly sinks into the soft earth. At right, the DeSoto is the object of attention in this magazine advertisement from 1939 or 1940. The car's wheelbase is a massive 122.5 inches and the engine made 100 horsepower.
Buy this hulk and they may throw in tires and doors. Found in Port Angeles, Wash.
Best guess — a late '30s model two-door Chevrolet. (Photo by Jerry Brown)
A 1939 Ford Tudor Sedan decays in its final resting place in eastern North Carolina. At left, what the popular model looked like as depicted in a 1939 Ford magazine advertisement.
What looks like a 1936 Ford complete with a tree or shrub growing out of its roof was found retired in a pasture near West Yellowstone, Montana. (Photo by Jerry Brown)
A 1956 DeSoto Firedome lives in the shade of North Carolina pine trees.
A 1940 Dodge truck has become integrated into the landscape foliage
Can this 1950/1951 Chevrolet truck be considered abandoned? In very good shape, it was
sitting off old Route 66 apparently abandoned, at least for the time being.
(Photo by Jerry Brown)
A 1950/1951 Dodge coupe is still in decent shape. Behind it is a 1947 Chevrolet pickup
at an abandoned gas station in northern California.
(Photo by Jerry Brown)
There may be some restorable hope left for this 1952 Ford pickup found in eastern N.C.
It appears the 101 Speed Shop, Akins, Okla., on state highway 101 has ceased to exist as a speed shop and all that remains are some rusting hulks and a 1940 Ford Deluxe that appears to be in good shape despite being abandoned. Veteran automotive writer and photographer Mike Parris captured these images during a recent trip through Atkins. Included are a 1956 Ford F-100, a 1949 Oldsmobile 88, a 1949 Ford Deluxe and the 1940 Ford. Samples of Parris' work can be found at www.mikeparris.net.
This 1960 Buick has been put out to pasture in eastern North Carolina
This Pontiac lineup, from left, includes a 1950 Studebaker pickup, a mid-60s Bonneville coupe, two copies of a1965 Pontiac Grand Prix and two copies of a 1964 Grand Prix. Shot in Tijeras, N.M. (Photo by Jerry Brown)
This abandoned 1957 Lincoln's interior is rotting away, but was once extremely attractive as attested to by the nicely restored Lincoln at right.
(Top picture by Jim Meachen)
A rusty hulk rests off Old Route 66 west of Kingman, Arizona.
(Photo by Jerry Brown)
A lineup of worn out trucks in Tijeras, N.M. A circa 1946 International is on the right and
a post-WW II Dodge on the left. Second from right appears to be a '37 International pickup.
The truck with the white fenders, third from right, looks to be a 1947 Ford.
(Photo by Jerry Brown)
We're guessing about a 1957 Chevrolet pickup, shot near the Texas Motor
Speedway in Fort Worth. (Jim Meachen)
The remains of a 1940 Mercury interior. At right, what it may have looked like just after leaving the showroom more than 70 years ago.
This junked car in Washington state could be an early '50s DeSoto
A 1952 or 1953 Ford hulk is burdened with a door. It might be its own?
This 1951 Ford rests peacefully in eastern North Carolina
Abandoned Ford Falcon wagon
1957 Chevy ready to charge out of the weeds
This bus has been left to decay in Russia
An Oldsmobile and Ford rest side by side. From VW Vortex
This vintage Chrysler product has been shot up and left for
dead somewhere in Wyoming. Found at SprayGraphic.
This motorcycle has seen its last rider
An abandoned bus in Phoenix, left, and a rusting bus/delivery vehicle
Decaying 1962 Chevrolet work truck (Photo by Steven Bond)
Moss-covered truck in Washington state (Photo by Jen Owen)
Dashboards of dead cars — A Chevy Impala, left, and a 1973 Chevy Camaro
A Metro van and an old school bus rest in an abandoned farm yard in eastern North Carolina. (Jim Meachen)
Could this be Chevrolet's new wood-powered hybrid?
A sea of used-up Volkswagens in Moab, Utah. (Photos by Jerry Brown)
Austin A40 van is just a hulk
A Rolls Royce deteriorates in this photo by Joe Steinbring
Remains of a pre-WWII car in the woods
This 1958 Chevy is history
A 1950s-era Ford graveyard. From StreetFire.net
Work trucks must rest at some point,
and these Virginia specimens have apparently
reached retirement age. Photos by David St. Lawrence
Rusting hulks in Panamint Valley, Calif. From Panoramio
Skeletal remains of a 1957 Ford in Washington state
Fill it up, please
The lineup — Abandoned car lineup includes, from left, 1960 Buick, 1957 Lincoln and 1957 Chevrolet. (Jim Meachen)
Can a car be "abandoned" if it's on display in the trees?
This car didn't make it across the prairie
A 60s-era Cadillac rests in retirement
A Texas hulk
This Plymouth has probably reached its final resting place.
It won't be long and this abandoned Jeep-like vehicle
will become a permanent part of the landscape.
A winged Mopar has gone to its final resting place
These tow trucks probably aren't "abandoned." But they are old and rusty and interesting.
Abandoned but looking pretty good (Jim Meachen)
A once-luxury late-40s-model Packard has seen better days (Jim Meachen)
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