Friday, November 28, 2014

Making waves, junkyard-style, in a vintage Glastron Carlson boat

Junkyard boat detour. This new thing we discovered leads to questions. The questions lead to answers, and the answers lead us wanting to buy this boat. Right? Isn’t that simple? I get it. When we think of cool, vintage cars, we think of design victories and groundbreaking, body styles. Well, imagine that cool thing (insert car of your choice), pulling this cool thing!

  Behold! A 1982
Glastron Carlson! These neat-o boats are so cool! We stumbled upon this one, and after a closer examination, found ourselves in love with this glittery refugee of 1970’s styling. So, we began thinking... and that never gets our tribe anywhere logical, and always far from ‘normal.’ The thought began with picturing this boat (above) being pulled behind my 1972 Oldmobile Vista Cruiser. That alone, is enough reason to buy it, right?

A closer look
  The original-owner gave us the 50-cent tour of his C512 Glastron boat. During the first ten years-or-so, it was on the water a lot. The lakes, the rivers, and maybe even a trip to the coast. He shared a scrapbook of outings with the boat and the good times it provided. Judging from the pictures, the five-passenger boat was usually filled to capacity. Smiling faces, of the captain and several shapely women, made up the bulk of the photos. 
  “Did the Glastron come standard with the pretty women,” I asked, “or did you have to pay extra?” 
  “Oh, I paid alright,” he replied. “Boy, did I.” 

Volvo power
  This Carlson boat is powered by a Volvo 4 cylinder engine. Our research has uncovered several engine options that changed with the times rather than the hull size or model. 
  Further evidence that this boat was made for us? Dig the trailer! The aluminum slotted mags on the trailer were factory equipment. Be still, our hot rod hearts. Did we have a relative at Carlson? The excessive metal flake paint was perfect for the body. The glittery seats just sealed our fate, even though they need re-working.

  The formative years for the Carlson Glastron were the same years we here at Junkyard Life adore from automobile industry. Mainly, from 1969 through the early 1980s, where they, like us, apparently found themselves stuck in the 1970s. Speaking of 1970’s – these guys also built a model called a Scimitar that had a roof design emulating the very fad and hip T-Tops!

  This cool boat is as close to a floating Trans Am as I have ever seen. This boat begs to be pulled by a Trans Am – like a black and gold Special Edition or a Nocturn Blue, WS6 or a Silver Anniversary – just to name a random few, for no specific reason. Any resemblance to cars we, at Junkyard Life, may own is pure coincidence. For all we know, there may have been a law in the late 1970’s – if you owned a Trans Am and were in the market for a boat – you had to look at these. 

  It may have been a law that I just made up, but you don’t want us to be law breakers, do you?

  We really like these boats, now. Remember the famous 1973 James Bond “Live and Let Die” movie and the boat-jumps-everything-scene? That was with a Glastron Carlson! That doesn’t help our logic at all. It is an indication that all safety-minded boaters should stay off the waterways until Ron, Anthony, and Jody figure out that the poor boat cannot actually do this.


In green? That is so perfect for us Junkyard Life weirdos.
This beautiful baby, whose color resembles Sunset Orange Metallic was sold recently. Lucky, new owners, we envy you.


This 1979 Model CVX-18 seats five, runs great and promises a ton of fun.

New plan

  So, now that we are
Glastron Carlson crazy, I have a new plan. Rescue one of these (hopefully this one), pull it with something cool and vintage, and hit the water. The history, the design, and lines of these Carlsons are made for us. I must make one more mention of the trailers with aluminum slotted wheels. 
  It was Carlson over-excitement for me. If we got your attention, check them out. I found a lot of friendly forums and a wealth of information from like-minded, vintage boat junkies. 
  If you walk into the Junkyard Life shop and see 1970’s Pontiacs, and other street machines, then spy a boat in the midst. Before you ask yourself, “which of these is not like the other?” Look again, that boat may fit in perfectly.

Ron Kidd
(The Water Roaming Car Guy)
— Junkyard Life

Ron Kidd loves green on everything with an engine.

T-top glory in a 1981 Glastron-Carlson Scimitar advertisement. A Trans Am on the water!

This concludes the boating portion of Junkyard Life.

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

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