Monday, June 28, 2010

Where We Were, Part 1 -mid June 2010

Truth be told, we should have started this blog 10 or 15 years ago, but alas the junk in the yard predates the internet. As big a project going through everything in the yard is, making sense of the thousands of pictures we have taken of the progress is a project in itself! So begins this series "Where We Were" - where we reach back in time to see what we already got rid of before Tetanus Burger came into being.

So let's work our way backwards, to see what went away earlier in June, 2010. Directly preceding the brown VW bus was this choice example of Swedish engineering.

It once was an early 1970's Saab 96. Some time between the early 1970's and now, it has become one with the earth, even so much so that a small tree had taken root on top of the car itself sprouting out from under the passenger side wiper arm. Nope, not through the car (as I've seen a lot of), but literally growing from the nourishing soil that had accumulated on the surface of the car!

This particular thing (which I really think you couldn't call a car anymore), had so deteriorated that I decided the best way to move it was to saws-all off the windshield pillars and try to wrangle it apart into two easier to move chunks. Even then the passenger door refused to unlatch and took another few days of wrestling with a crowbar to get it all apart. And even then the suspension in the front section was so attached to nothing, that the two tires would not point in the same direction.

The back half was easier to move, resembling a rickshaw more than anything at this point.

So we called around to places that would take this "car" away, and found it far more difficult than we had expected. Most places would not touch it since it had zero title or paperwork (and we had "owned" it so long without it ever being registered, and it was acquired during a period when you didn't need titles on cars more than 15 years old). In one telephone call I even argued with some idiot kid to told me that "without a title, how would we know it's not stolen", where he basically said that it must be stolen if it has no title! It's interesting that it's qualifies as "a car" to the town who wants you to clean up your yard, but not to the only people who can take it away.

Other places were not interested in it because it was so old, so rusty, or in two pieces, especially any of the advertised "Junk Cars removed for free" operations. Finally one junkyard agreed to take it, and even give us money for it! I then learned not to be quite so forward in the future with the condition of these said once-auto-mobiles (and since quite immobile).

Rather like the two fragments of the Titanic resting on the bottom of the ocean (no doubt in better shape than this car), the two sections waited for a few days until the junk man cometh! Thankfully they gave us some real money for it ($100 I think), which is absolutely amazing since I seem to remember that our dad bought it as a junk parts car back in like 1988 for $25. It goes to show you, things can appreciate with age, just not usefulness.

When the junkyard guy came by, he seemed a little disappointed that the iron content was so low (but percentage wise, probably more than a modern car, which has lots of plastic). To sweeten the deal we put the front half of the Saab on an old trailer, which was mostly iron.

But they were happy to take it away, and happy enough to take the Bus the next week, which we filled with fenders and other crap. In the case of the Saab, I made sure to take advantage of the 5 tires per car quota, and even tossed in a VW seat since one of the Saab seats was missing.

Yep, this car is stolen! Better call the cops on us! We're running a chop shop for $25 rusty cars. Right.



Thalia said...

Very, very excellent.

nicknamehere said...

I love the term "auto-immobiles" and it fits your situation so well.

It's amazing they gave you money for the old car! I'm always really stunned to see what people will pay for. Here's hoping you find more places like this in the future!

MissSpottyJane said...

It might be hard to believe, but when the city forced my mom to get rid of her mini-hoard of junk cars around 2003~ish, somebody stole the rusty Ford Pinto from in front of the junk yard, before they had a chance to haul it in.

How they got away with a broken down, leaded fuel car on 30 year old flat tires is just beyond me. I have to think that the thieves sold it to another junk yard in pieces, but I like to imagine that it was re-built and smuggled into Mexico.