Abandoned Car of the Week

The birth of GM's automatic transmission

Oldsmobile was General Motors' test vehicle for a new automatic transmission developed in the late '30s dubbed Hydra-Matic Drive. It went into production in May 1939 for the 1940 model year. The first Oldsmobiles so equipped were shipped in October 1939 in the Oldsmobile Series 60 and the Oldsmobile Series 70. It was not unusual to see the new transmission advertised on Oldsmobiles of the time as displayed this abandoned. (Photo by Jim Prueter)

A retired 1950s Cadillac

This early 1950s Cadillac was found in retirement in a car graveyard in Arizona. In the decade of the '50s, Cadillac introduced numerous styling trends as well as new technology.  In 1953, for instance, the "Autronic Eye" was introduced. This feature would automatically dim high-beam headlamps for the safety of oncoming motorists.
(Photo by Jim Prueter)

Put out to pasture

This circa 1980-86 Ford F-350 work truck has been literally put out to pasture in southeastern North Carolina. 1980 marked the start of the seventh-generation truck and the first complete redesign since the 1965 model. The seventh generation receive a new chassis and body, distinguished by flatter body panels and a squarer grille. This architecture lasted through the 1998 model year. Numerous gas and diesel engines were available.
(Photo by Jim Meachen)

Early 1980s Lincoln

This circa 1982 Lincoln was found in an Arizona salvage yard. Lincoln played second fiddle to Cadillac through the decade of the 80s. In 1982 Lincoln was outsold by its chief competitor, 240,189 to 69,537. The 1982 Lincoln Continental Signature Series came with a 3.8-liter V-6 mated to a 4-speed automatic.
(Photo by Jim Prueter)

Pre-war International

The D-40 Series International truck was built from 1937-1940. It came with a six-cylinder engine that made 89 horsepower mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. This abandoned truck was found in Nevada.
(Photo by Jim Prueter)

The remains of an early Malibu

Chevrolet started using the Malibu name in the mid -60s on the compact Chevelle, and these remains come from two mid-1960 models. Beyond salvaging even for parts, these steel structures rust away in an eastern North Carolina driveway.
(Photo by Jim Meachen)

1957 Ford in retirement

The 1957 Ford was one of the company's biggest hits through the years, although it was outshined by the '57 Chevrolet, which has become a classic auction favorite. There were 11 varieties of the Ford including a retractable hardtop convertible and two-door and four-door station wagons. This 1957 four-door sedan was found in a Utah salvage yard. Ford actually outsold Chevy in '57 — 1.67 million to Chevy's 1.5 million.
(Photo by Jim Prueter}

Car-watching Falcon

The Ford Falcon was produced by Ford from the 1960 to 1970 model years, the first compact car marketed by the American Big Three automobile manufacturers. This second-generation 1965 Falcon sits abandoned watching the traffic on a South Carolina road. Most second-generation Falcons were propelled by an inline 6-cylinder engine mated to a 3-speed automatic.
(Photo by Ralph Gable)

First year of third-generation F-Series

This 1957 Ford F-Series pickup was found in Utah. The '57 is the first year of the third generation F-Series, which was built through 1960. The third generation was a significant modernization and redesign for the F-Series, which originated in 1948. 
(Photo by Jim Prueter)

Cougar, F-150 retirement mates

A third-generation (1974-1976) Mercury Cougar lives in retirement behind a circa. 1970 Ford F-150 Custom pickup in eastern North Carolina. The third-generation Cougar was also reworked as a Ford Torino and a Mercury Montego. There were five engine options ranging from a 5.8-liter to a 7.5-liter V-8. All were mated to a three-speed automatic transmission. The F-150 appears to be from the fifth generation (1967-1972).
(Photo by Jim Meachen)