Crown Victoria Police Interceptor was built for the 1992 through 2011 model years and remains in service with many government agencies and taxi companies to this day. Known as the P71 (those are the 5th through 7th characters in the VIN), high-mileage examples of these cars once clogged every wrecking yard in North America, but lately their numbers have been dwindling. Here is a 2003 model, in the correct black-and-white livery, spotted in a Denver-area self-service wrecking yard recently.Most police departments remove their badging from retired cars when they sell them at auction, but the CITY OF LONE TREE lettering is still visible on the decklid of this one.It's rare to find a P71 with an odometer showing below 200,000 miles, but that's what we've got here (barely). These cars were solid and reliable, though subject to frequent failures of non-essential components such as window regulators.The P71 wasn't particularly fast, with between 190 and 250 horsepower (depending on model … [Read more...] about Junkyard Gem: 2003 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor
Given that I have boxes full of automotive switches, lights, clocks and other electrical accessories pulled during All You Can Carry junkyard sales, and given that not all of that stuff gets consumed at my notorious Car Parts Boombox Building Parties, I always have plenty of high-quality electrical hardware on hand when I need to do some low-voltage electrical project in my garage.In my role as the very dignified Chief Justice of the 24 Hours of Lemons Supreme Court, I travel to racetracks all over the country, reviewing new cars and dispensing my unique brand of justice. Many 24 Hours of Lemons cars have arrays of LED driving and off-road lights bolted on, and when they crash into each other (which happens frequently at tricky, crowded tracks such as Sonoma Raceway or New Hampshire Motor Speedway), these lights get knocked off. At the end of each day's race session, the wrecker crews pick up all the busted-off car parts they can find -- e.g., bumpers, mufflers, starter motors, giant … [Read more...] about To control your 12-volt garage work lights, hit the junkyard
Every week, Murilee regales us with a selection of something notable from his junkyard travels. Whether it’s an Audi 100 with infernal inboard brakes or some oddball Camry, the man never fails to disappoint.Surely, he’s not the only one to prowl the yards across America. What’s your best score taken from a machine in The Crusher’s waiting room?For this author, pick-yer-part yards were non-existent in the communities of my formative years, except for the town dump where one could scavenge parts for free from battered and discarded automobiles. You were often competing with black bears looking for their supper, though, so caution was warranted. Murilee has no such concerns at his local U-Pik save for the sketchier customers eyeing his junkyard toolbox or crazed LeMons inmates competitors making a beeline for cheap GM superchargers.Nowadays, the only outlet of the self-serve variety is a solid 75 minutes from my home — a distance which, combined with our … [Read more...] about QOTD: Mining That Junkyard Gold?
third-generation Acura Integra went on sale for the 1994 model year and sold very well in North America. Well-built, reliable, and an immediate favorite of racers and customizers, resale values stayed up and it took a good 15-20 years before the third-gen Integra began showing up in large quantities in self-service wrecking yards; today discarded examples are plentiful.Since the model’s junkyard numbers are beginning to decline after a few years of glut, I decided to photograph one for this series. Here’s a very typical California 1994-2001 Integra, covered in flat-black paint and showing evidence of merciless beatings during its 23 years on the road.B18B1 engine in this car made 142 horsepower. Because the 1994-2001 Integra was based on the 1992-1995 Civic, most of the mechanical components will swap between the two types; I am taking advantage of this compatibility with my own Civic.in Portland, Oregon.some sense.Duran Duran song isn’t so great, but at least we see … [Read more...] about Junkyard Find: 1994 Acura Integra LS Sedan
Steve Magnante digs deep into Denver’s Colorado Auto & Parts and pulls up some serious muscle cars on episode four of Junkyard Gold. He finds a 1965 Mustang 2+2, four-speed car, a 1968 390 monster, and a worse for wear four-speed Mercury Cougar. He also spots a 1968 Pontiac GTO Convertible as well as a 1970 Chrysler 300 Hurst Convertible mystery car. You’ll also get to ask Steve questions as you watch the episode. That’s right! If you use the new commenting feature on MTOD, Steve will be answering any and all of your questions! Head over to Motor Trend on Demand right now and check it out. … [Read more...] about Chat with Steve Magnante on Episode 4 of Junkyard Gold!
The formula for the original Detroit muscle car was very simple: take a cheap midsize car, stuff a big engine into it, and add some racy-looking stripes and gingerbread. Then, as profits for the original hilariously fun but uncivilized version decline, bulk the car up with luxury goodies and add sufficient power to keep it quick. This is what happened with the first three generations of the Ford Taurus SHO, with the 1996-1999 version rolling out of showroom floors featuring a wild Yamaha/Cosworth-enhanced V8 engine… and no manual transmission option. Here's a very clean '98 Taurus SHO that I spotted in a Denver-area self-service yard last week.The Taurus SHO didn't even get an automatic transmission as an option until the 1993 model year, but at least 5-speed versions could be purchased through 1995 (non-SHO Tauruses with three pedals are so incredibly rare that I consider this 1986 Taurus MT-5 to be my greatest Junkyard Treasure of last year). For the 1996-1999 Taurus SHOs, a … [Read more...] about Junkyard Treasure: 1998 Ford Taurus SHO
Civic was king of its domain in the late 1980s, with every single new one flying out of American Honda showrooms so quickly (and generally priced well above MSRP) that certain corporate managers got rich by shaking down inventory-starved dealerships. The fourth-generation Civic wagon wasn't sold in quite the numbers of its hatchback or sedan brethren (or even the two-seater CRX version), but owners loved them and most stayed on the streets for a good couple of decades. Here's one that made it to age 28 before being scrapped in Northern California.This one made it tantalizingly close to the magical 200k mark. Did it fail to pass California's stringent emissions test? Did it get too many parking tickets? Or did the Achilles' heel of 1980s Hondas engines (the head gasket) finally give out?Most of the Japanese 1980s "wagovans" that I see in junkyards these days have four-wheel-drive, because those are the wagons most worth fixing and/or paying parking tickets for. A decade ago, though, … [Read more...] about Junkyard Gem: 1989 Honda Civic Wagon
This is going to cause some headaches for the forum dwellers who claim that nothing less than rectangle-port heads and a giant cam will make 500 hp on an LS engine. We made nearly 500 with a little cam, a factory truck intake, a pair of nearly stock cathedral-port heads, and a 150,000-mile iron 6.0L short-block. We’re a bit surprised, too—but only slightly. While everybody else says you need to go big, we think being conservative might just be an asset, after all.In parts I and II of the Iron Maiden saga, we began with a baseline dyno test of the stock engine and ended by testing a set of CNC-ported 5.3L heads from West Coast Racing Cylinder Heads (WCRCH), a stock LS6 camshaft, shorty headers, and a factory LS6 intake manifold that made 457 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque. Those are stout numbers, but now we’re gonna really step on the throttle! Our Test 1 baseline for this installment is the results of the final test from last month.Jumping right into it, we removed the … [Read more...] about Iron Maiden, Part III How to Make 496 HP from a Junkyard 6.0L
General Motors figured they could partake of some of that European prestige by adding EURO badges to Chevrolets. On a car as resolutely Michiganic as the first-generation Lumina, this may have been less than convincing. Here's a first-year-of-production Lumina Euro sedan in a California self-service wrecking yard.We've seen a good example of the high-performance version of the first-gen Lumina, the Z34, in this series. The Euro name went on the cars that weren't base-level, which means that a large proportion of non-fleet Luminas were Euros.This one is a Euro 3.1, which sounds like a high-performance machine from Stuttgart or Göteborg. In fact, it was built in Oshawa, Ontario.This car has the 3.1-liter version of GM's versatile 60° V6 pushrod engine, rated at 135 horsepower for the 1990 model year. This engine was standard in the Lumina Euro; the base engine was the unlovable Iron Duke 2.5-liter four-cylinder, about the least European engine imaginable (at least in post-1960 … [Read more...] about Junkyard Gem: 1990 Chevrolet Lumina Euro 3.1 Sedan
The successor to the original Datsun Z Car, the S130, made its North American debut as the 1979 Datsun 280ZX. In its Japanese homeland, it was known as the Nissan Fairlady Z… and that's exactly what we've got for today's Junkyard Treasure: a Japanese-market, first-year Fairlady Z, now residing in a Denver self-service wrecking yard.This car came to the United States via a well-worn path: An American soldier, sailor, or Marine is stationed in Japan, buys a sweet sports car to drive while living there, then loves it enough to have it shipped back home later on. This 1989 U.S. Forces Japan sticker indicates the likely final year of the car's residence in Japan.It was pretty rough before it got parked outside in harsh Colorado conditions for years and years, and it passed the point of being worth restoring long before it arrived in this Denver wrecking yard. You can get a very nice S130 2.8-liter Fairlady Z for well under 20 grand in Japan, which is cheaper than restoring a basket … [Read more...] about Junkyard Treasure: 1979 Nissan Fairlady Z