Monday, December 19, 2011

Crushed Pontiac Grand Prix SJ recycled at scrap yard instead of junkyard

Being a car guy at times can be painful. You see things you don’t want to see. Or you find things you are looking for but under the wrong circumstances. Such as this trailer in Birmingham, Alabama loaded with crushed cars and mangled parts. This gruesome sight made me stop in my tracks when I saw a rare Grand Prix flattened under a stack of cars. What's worse than a crushed Pontiac Grand Prix SJ? A crushed, green SJ with Rally II wheels! Kill me.

One trailer load of parts that have been scrapped.

  In this batch of soon to be Pepsi cans, is a cavalcade of treasure. Included in this one load were, but not limited to:
  • An early sixties Chevrolet pickup that was still wearing its dog dish hub caps. There were actually two of those, one was on another trailer full of newer vehicles that we probably won’t miss, like Ford Festivas and such.
  • An early seventies Pinto wagon.
  • A mid seventies Buick Century. I know, although not super collectible now, I guarantee someone is looking for this.
  • Two 1963 or 1964 Chevrolets. One of them was a Biscayne with original emblems.
  • A Pontiac that I could only identify by its 15-inch Pontiac Rally II wheels. It was mostly intact with trim rings and Pontiac arrowhead centerpieces.
  • A mid-seventies Pontiac Grand Prix SJ
  • Late 1970s Ford Granada - often sought out for their brakes and front end parts for early Mustang and Falcon owners.

Sure, there's some ugly in that stack of cars.

Ford Granada on top, wanted by Mustang and Falcon owners.

Unrecognizable Pontiac with good 15-inch Rally II wheels.

Parts prices continue to climb
In my opinion the Pontiac Grand Prix SJ was the worst crime of the entire scene. I'm one of the few people I know that love those Colonnade-style Grand Prixs of the '73-'77 body style now, but I crystal ball that these cars will be valuable. They are already hard to find and I want one bad.
  To make matters worse, this was the top of the line SJ model that was packed out with options such as a 455-V8, bucket seats and console. Often equipped with power everything and a lot of classy touches that made this car more exclusive and very expensive compared to other entry level models. The SJ designation was inspired by Duesenberg and Stutz, if that tells you anything. To top that all off, if it wasn't heinous enough for me, this SJ example was in green. Ah, green. My color choice, second only to the beautiful Aztec Bronze.

  See the C10 truck? A Chevy Biscayne and Impala in there also.

Stop the classic carnage
We cannot allow these kind of shenanigans to continue. This must be stopped. There needs to be some way to allow enthusiasts the opportunity to find a home for collectible scrap victims such as this. At least let us remove everything we can off of one car to save another. Kind of like organ donors do for humans. We can start by not letting even one get to be a potential scale victim. 
  Save what you can and encourage others to restore and not crush. We have all seen those 'someday' cars that sit outside and ruin while waiting for their return to the road. I look at this scene and I see lots of opportunity that someone will not have in favor of aluminum siding.

— Ron Kidd, The Earth Roaming Car Guy at

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Jon Tabor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jon Tabor said...

I gotta wonder...are the guys who crush these not car guys? Are they not the least bit curios about the cars they're crushing? I mean, take an hour and run the VINs to see if they show up as interesting models.

Or are they forbidden from rescuing them by law, and thus even if they did know, they couldn't do anything?

Gary said...

It's always sad to see restorable cars get crushed...

Joe Marano said...

it's sad to see but all to common now a days, i hall scrap for a living and in the last month i've seen a 68-69 mustang complete, 70 Malibu, and a 65 impala in the shredder pile at the local shredder yard, not junk yard but where they get sent threw the shredder saving nothing, i've tried many times to bring them out but by law the can not and will not let me. my friend said the other day he saw several muncie 4 speed in the yard as well as other 4 speeds and when he talked to the guy who brought them in he was happy to get scrap wait :( people do NOT KNOW or care any more..... so o so sad!!!

Adam Neeves said...

Here in Australia I've seen similar things. A '50s F-truck, a rare HQ Holden Premier wagon (with it's side venetians!), a Valiant Safari Wagon, and a '24 or '25 Dodge Brothers tourer, all scrapped, all restorable, the Valiant didn't even look like it needed resto, it was a survivor. Bloody savages!

Unknown said...

anyone know of any '77 grand prix sj with the t top windows for sale? ive been looking online but i cant seem to find one

Anonymous said...

Ron, call me next time you need a shoulder to cry on. My family had a '74 "J" - Regatta Blue over white. It was the car that hooked me on Pontiacs for life. I rarely see '74's & '75's in the junkyard anymore. Mostly 73, 76 & 77 which makes sense being the highest production years. Grandmas car is out there somewhere waiting for me to rescue it, or might have had the same fate. Don't hate the junkyards for crushing them, though. At least most of them get to dontate desireable options to guys like you & me who will have one upon which we may install them someday. You are NOT alone, brother!