Find your dream car in a junkyard. The Junkyard Life team was a hundred miles into a day-long, junkyard crawling road trip when we hit pay dirt in Woodstock, Alabama. Oddie Hubbard, the 72-year-old owner of Stinnett's Auto & Truck Parts, gave us a tour of his place, and the story behind a mysterious black Mopar that had been tucked away at the junkyard for decades.
Make friends, find cars
We've learned that junkyard owners and counter men can be downright difficult to deal with, and that's on their good days. Say the wrong thing and you will never get passed the gatekeepers of the greasy kingdoms. I’m talking about yards where you don't pull-your-own parts. We were lucky on this day.
Oddie gave us a squinty-eyed once-over and determined we were suitable guests. After some junkyard small talk and the obligatory, “got any old cars?,” he led us into the 'off limits' area of his yard.
“Wait right here,” Oddie said, as he shuffled across the black dirt.
He disappeared through a side door of a metal building, leaving us to wonder, “What the heck are we in for?”
A few moments later we could hear a chain rattle, then spin, as the large, steel, roll-up door lifted before us, revealing a 1973 Dodge Charger 440 entombed in a dark storage building filled with transmissions.
|This all-original, low-mile 1973 Dodge Charger 440 has been parked at Stinnett's Auto Parts for more than 20 years.|
Big block black beauty B-Body
“Wow!” A time capsule of Mopar's youngest and often overlooked Dodge Charger was crammed between dozens of transmissions and two Harley Davidson police motorcycles.
“It's a 440 car,” Oddie said.
“Now we’re talking,” I reply. “A big block Mopar in black.”
The entire car appeared all-original, with just a hair over 52,000 miles showing on the odometer. The paint, Rallye package stripe and interior still looked mint. The 440 Magnum emblems on the hood and the ominous black hue had me believing that I would find a four-speed and bucket seats. Not so. This 440 Charger was ordered with a split bench seat and a column shift automatic.
Oddie gave us the lowdown on the 1973 Dodge Charger 440 Rallye that he bought from a car lot more than 20 years ago. Oddie worked at the lot and the B-Body Charger was a trade-in with an interesting back story.
“A probate judge in Alabama owned the car but his son kept getting speeding tickets in it," said Oddie. "That didn't look too good, so he had to get rid of the car."
That's where Oddie took the keys and relieved the judge of the embarrassing, lead foot shenanigans his son enjoyed in the Charger. Life and career changes have dictated Oddie's decision to sit on the Mopar muscle car.
I had to ask Oddie if he would sell the Charger. On that day he would have. He even tossed out a number. Since that visit, he has changed his mind about letting go of the Dodge and I can’t blame him. A big, black Dodge with a 440 looks tough and its like money in the bank.
|Stinnett's Auto Parts in Woodstock, Alabama has 600 foreign and domestic late model vehicles in their inventory along with an all-original 1973 Dodge Charger 440 in storage.|
Stinnett's family-owned and operated
Stinnett's is a family operation. Oddie Hubbard bought Stinnett's Auto & Truck Parts, which sits five miles east of Vance and the Mercedes Benz plant, in the early 1990s. You may find any number of Hubbard family members around the front counter during the week. Oddie's son, Pat Hubbard, 48, answered the phone on a recent afternoon and Oddie's wife, Era, was just within earshot.
Oddie worked in construction, the timber business and at a car lot before getting his hands dirty selling parts. When asked why he got into the junk business, Oddie didn’t hesitate to answer.
"Just did," said Oddie. "Don't know why."
Stinnett's junkyard has about 600 cars, foreign and domestic late models, on the yard. Oddie pointed out that the word 'junkyard' wasn't a term most modern day automotive recyclers used.
"Salvage yard is what they call them, nowadays," says Oddie.
|Mopar's big 440-cu. inch engine pumped out a 280 hp rating in 1973.|
We pull the parts and save you money
Oddie’s son, Pat Hubbard, is a wealth of junkyard wisdom and knows that time is money. Pat doesn't understand why someone, even a local mechanic, would drive 30 miles to the pull-your-own parts yards in Birmingham for the same parts that Stinnett's could pull for you, saving gas and time.
"People don't realize they are spending more in the long run," says Pat. "You figure your rate, then factor in driving time, plus your paying a helper to go with you. That's four and a half hours of labor costs spent on driving and pulling a part."
Pat talked to a local Woodstock area mechanic who said he was going to Pull-A-Part instead of Stinnett's. "Don't make no sense to me," said Pat.
– Jody Potter, junkyardlife.com
Know of a car or a junkyard I need to visit or want to send me photos and info about a barn find, car or junkyard?Send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stinnett's Auto & Truck Parts
Open: Monday - Friday
Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
25721 Highway 5Woodstock, AL 35188-3130
(*Note: web/gps search gives your wrong address, see map below or link)
Map for Stinnett's Auto & Truck Parts:
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More 1973 Dodge Charger Rallye 440 photos
|Distinctive red “Rallye” stripes along the sides of the big black 1973 B-Body cannot be missed. The Rallye package was primarily a gauge and trim upgrade.|
|A column shifted TorqueFlight 727 automatic transmission moves the 440's ponies to the rear wheels on this 1973 Dodge Charger. Hubbard's ’73 Rallye features a split bench seat.|
|The 440 Mopar engine sits untouched and unmodified in the ’73 Charger.|
|440 Magnum emblems are buried under the dust and dirt on the Power bulge hood of this junkyard-owned 1973 Dodge Charger.|
|How long would you let a Mopar with a 440 sit?|
|A/C was needed to cool the hot shoe that drove this 440-equipped Charger.|
|A power bulge hood is a sign that this Dodge Charger packs some muscle.|
|You wouldn't think 440 muscle when you peek inside and spot a standard steering wheel, bench seat and column shift auto in the Dodge Charger.|
|Add a judge, speeding tickets and a junkyard and this is what you get. A mothballed Mopar from the end of the muscle car era covered in dust, surrounded by transmissions.|
|The VIN number on the ’73 Charger for the numbers chasing crowd.|
|The 1973 Dodge Charger featured redesigned tail lights with vertical slats.|
|Motorcycles and transmissions crowd the space around the 1973 Dodge Charger at Stinnett's Auto Parts.|
|Chrome mirrors and Rallye stripe were part of the Rallye package on Dodge Chargers.|
|Is that a custom personalized tag from 1994?|
|Dodge sold 119,318 Chargers in 1973. The largest total production of any year Charger.|
|Twin bumperettes are easy to remove and a popular way to improve the ’73-’74 Charger's looks.|
|A single snorkel air cleaner tops off this 440 Mopar power plant.|
|The ’73 Charger is almost 18-feet long. The Rallye stripe makes it look even longer.|
Know of a car or a junkyard I need to visit or want to send me photos and info about a barn find, car or junkyard?
Send emails to email@example.com.