Scrapyards

A10_scrap0T

Here’s something you don’t see every day… 0r ever if you live in the UK. A Datsun in a scrapyard and not just any old Datsun, a triple S! This 160J SSS popped up on eBay a few days ago listed as breaking for parts. As these A10 model 160J SSS have a short case 5 speed gearbox, perfect for fitting into 510 and 710 models, I was on the phone to them immediately! Yeasterday I went to check it out as it was only a couple of hours away…

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R. J. W.Wilkinson was a curious kind of scrapyard. It was a proper old school vehicle dismantler and repair shop. A place where old cars went to be broken down into their component parts, which would subsequently be labeled and stored away to give life to other old cars in need. Engine re-bores and rebuilds were also offered along with numerous other services. But what makes the place special is it’s period of operation. It’s hard to say for sure when it started but as about a third of the stock seems to have been from pre-war, it must have been pretty early. Right through until the seventies, parts were meticulously stashed away with the business ceasing full time operation the following decade. Since then not much has changed but finally, having apparently reached his 90’s the old man passed on and so an era came to end, which brings me to the purpose of this post.

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Looks like Iceland got a few old Japanese cars if this Icelandic scrapyard is anything to go by. Amongst the wild variety of rusting gems there’s both 230 and 430 Cedrics to be seen but best of all how about this fantastic S40 Prince Gloria?! This was probably sold there as a PMC B200 as it was in Scandinavian countries, although later ones wore Nissan badges, following the 1966 absorption of PMC into Nissan. Apart from the damage it looks to have survived it’s years with remarkable little rust. Check out the rest of the scrapyard gallery on www.opuszczone.com

Thanks to Gompo on Autoshite.com for the heads up!
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The traditional old British scrapyard where you could wander about freely and remove parts from rusting old cars is really a thing of the past but here and their, a handful have so far escaped the EU legislation which has done so much to change the vehicle dismantlers trade. Yards that have cars much older the 10 years are few and far between so it was quite a surprise to see what old machinery still remained in this Shropshire yard I visited earlier in the year. As is invariably the case there were few old Japanese cars of any description but still quite a number of other old cars, some available for sale complete for restoration. Full gallery after the jump…

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Back at the end of 2007 I posted what was to be the first part of a series of photo galleries featuring a number of awesome scrapyards I have visited over the last few years. The pictures here were shot back in 2001 and 2002 at a fantastic scrapyard in the south of Finland. The variety at this place was unbelievable with everything from 1950’s American cars to obscure Russian and Eastern European stuff. There was even a Canadian built Bombadier half track and a number of very early pre war cars. Whilst many had clearly languished there for a very long time, others looked to be very savable indeed, including several fairly rare Japanese cars. Places like this have disappeared from the UK and with European regulations these kind of scrapyards will soon be a thing of the past even in Finland.

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I’ve always loved scrapyards and for many years have enjoyed clambering round them looking for lost treasures. Sadly due to European Union bureaucracy, scrapyards are slowly disappearing and the wonderful old cars that have produced much nostalgia for enthusiasts as well as vital, often unobtainable parts are all going to the crusher. In the UK, decent old style scrapyards are all but extinct, having been replaced by over-the-counter “recyclers” now but in 2001 I found heaven on a visit to Finland. There are plenty of scrapyards in Finland and most are full of old cars, some dating back to the early 1950’s. Amazingly, in some yards, it’s rare to see a car newer than about 20 years old! The yard featured here was the first of about half a dozen I visited on my first trip to Finland in 2001. It was situated in the south, not far from Turku and held a wonderful variety of old cars including more Datsuns that I had ever seen in one place before!

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medlers

For decades Lenny Medler operated a vast scrapyard in the wilds of Norfolk. Lenny was something of an eccentric by all accounts. He wouldn’t spend money on proper buildings or fences and didn’t trust banks, preferring to hide away his cash himself, apparently in a home made safe. Certainly when I visited, I was amazed to see that the perimeter “wall” around the original yard was simply made from squashed cars stacked on top of each other. After he passed away in 1989, his wife took over running the business, but it slowly wound down and with environmental rules beginning to put pressure on the old style scrapyard allied to the rising price of scrap metal, the main yard was cleared at the end of the nineties.

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