Sunday, December 15, 2013

Cars in Yards: Army Brat Biscayne

Four door Chevy, painted Army green was missing its keys, so it was left untouched.

Sedentary soldier. I recently discovered these pictures in my Junkyard Life archives. A few years ago, I stumbled upon this 1966 Chevy Biscayne in the weeds at the back of a property near Birmingham, Alabama. The family, who owned the car, knew little of its history. The green, four-door Chevy probably has a cavalcade of history due to its obvious military beginnings. I uncovered a lot of mysterious facts that I would love to know more about. 

  A Biscayne featured the lowest price trim line available on the full-size Chevrolet. This Chevy was almost free by sticker shopping comparison, as they had no bells. No whistles. 
(Junkyard Life note: Where did that saying come from? Was a bell or whistle actually an option on some car at some point?
  This Biscayne was especially thrifty, because it was ordered as a fleet vehicle for the US military! 
  I know not of which branch. Any clues or info will be welcome. 

My clues were:
  • No options. Not even an automatic transmission, for a full-size Chevrolet.
  • A weird green color.
  • An unusual stamped plate on the dashboard resembling a cowl tag.
  • Evidence of something that may have been lettering on the door that someone had sanded off. 

The famous Bow Tie mirror from the mid-1960s was standard. You didn’t have to pay for it, because believe me, they wouldn’t have.
Photos: Ron Kidd

Pappy, Where are Your Keys?
  This car was all business. It was an inline six cylinder with a manual three-speed transmission shifted on the column. Tax dollars for an automatic? No way. It was a bench seat sedan with manual everything. How do I know it was a military issue? I guess I really don’t. It had a metal stamped plate on the dash with lettering alluding to that conclusion. I couldn’t take a decent picture of it because the family could not find the keys to open it. That’s right. It was sitting throughout the lives of past owners, because no one could find the keys.   
  I wish I had a picture of that strange cowl tag on the dash so I could share it with you. What would have happened to this car if someone just had the keys? A real full-size Chevy fan would never let this happen!

Ron Kidd
— Junkyard Life

I wonder what stories this car could tell? It  was in service during Vietnam, Watergate, and the moon landing. Junkyard Life wishes we knew what else? The car and the family are gone, so the mystery remains. I hope this car fell into the right hands.
Photos: Ron Kidd

The Biscayne emblem was in great shape on this seemingly green car. The color may be a clue as to which branch — maybe the Army?
Photos: Ron Kidd

Dog dish hub caps, one original, one not. I think the one submerged in earth, top photo, is not the original. I venture to guess it was the simple Bow Tie to cover the lugs. Hey, be glad they payed for that. I bet Chevy didn’t give them a choice!!
Photos: Ron Kidd

I asked them if I could come back in a couple of weeks and give them time to find the keys. They agreed and seemed delighted at my enthusiasm. However, they still didn’t find them. I suspect they didn’t even look. If the car had been there for twenty years, what made me think they would suddenly find them for me? Stupid retrospect.
Photos: Ron Kidd

Happy Hunting!

Know a junkyard that we need to visit? Got a car story?  
Send emails to Ron at or Jody at

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