Thursday, December 22, 2016

Cars in yards: 1973 Dodge Charger

The Dodge was parked in the side yard at a house near Birmingham, Alabama. The tires were sunk up to the rims in the dirt.

Mopar or No Yard. At least hide it a little better! It was not in a shed or a carport. Not covered up with a tarp or visually blocked by a vast array of refrigerator doors. It was however, rolled to the edge of the yard. The very edge. A chain link fence, the sole divider, standing to protect the Charger from drooling Mopar fans
  How could a 1973 Dodge Charger be forgotten and relegated to the far, side yard? How could anyone forget this curvy girl? 

Side view shows the beauty of the long bodied 2-door Mopar.
See the Magnum wheel I love? Complete but incomplete with a strange rear side marker light and missing engine designation emblems.

Guess what’s under the hood?
  I don’t know what resided under the flat hood. But, the hood actually is a clue. Mopars with fatter motors often had a bulge in the hood. My guess is that a standard 318-cubic-inch mill provided a good balance of torque and fuel economy for this black beauty. Bigger engine-optioned Chargers were often proudly advertised via emblems and trim. None here, but this one hopefully packed some high octane muscle, in order to live up to the “If You Can’t Run With The Big Dogs” tag under the front bumper. Or was this canine sent to the porch? 

Who knows if this Mopar had a built 440 but it appeared to be a base optioned car.
To the porch we go!

Magnum shoes
  It was wearing at least one of my favorite Mopar wheels – the famed Magnum 500. It also had a way cool red stripe that does seem like it could be factory. The stripe broke up the sea of black sheet metal with a splash of color. It reminded me of the wide Rallye stripe that Dodge Charger made famous. Keep in mind this could be considered subtle when compared to the “High Impact” colors Dodge unleashed a few years prior to 1973. We could say with authoritative certainty this was not Panther Pink or Limelight Green. 

Hideaway headlights were no longer available on 1973 Chargers.
In order from left to right. Road, Ron, fence... 1973 Dodge Charger.

No hiding

  1973 was the year that Charger lost its hide-away headlights, but it did have an option package denoting a Special Edition known as the “SE”. That option gave the buyer a slotted rear side window where an ‘opera’ window would be located in other makes. Some Chargers also had a nifty hood ornament. Junkyard Life digs hood ornaments. 
  We can tell from the roof that this car was not an SE, although it does appear to once have worn a vinyl roof. We could not verify if the Charger had high back bucket seats or a bench with a sporty look. But Dodge fans may be able to help us identify them with one glance. Send us a comment/email.

  This Charger did not appear to be too far gone. Yes, it was rough around the edges. I would do floor pans, brakes, a 440, a primer hood, a touched-up set of Magnums and let this Dodge Charge! Again…what was it doing here????

Happy Hunting!
Ron Kidd
— Junkyard Life

Old cars are always on our mind at Junkyard Life.
We found this 1973 Dodge Charger in a side yard near Birmingham, Alabama.

Do you have a classic or muscle car in the yard or a barn find? Send us details and we’re on the way!  Send emails to Jody Potter at or Ron Kidd at

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Ford Explorer misses out on million mile quest, destroyed by parking fail, tree wreck

Lucky that the vintage Yellowstone camper did not suffer damage.

Down, down, and totally out. Ron Kidd had a very bad day. His Ford Explorer took a hit from a neighbor’s tree. A hit so big, that it popped out both headlights, broke the rear door glass, puncture the windshield, destroyed the A-pillar, wrinkled the door, hood, fenders, roof, and planted a family of feral cats in the front seat. 
  Ron, as you can see, is very attached to the 4-wheel-drive Ford that carried him 350,000+ miles. That’s 14-times around the earth! I had no doubts that, in Ron’s care, the Explorer would eclipse 1 million miles on the odometer.
  “I had just parked it in the backyard,” said our woeful junkyard hero, Ron Kidd.

Love is a highway, but the Old Gray Mare is...
  Sure, Ron had swapped out the engine at least once. A junkyard engine, no less. Always kept fresh rubber on the wheels, A/C charged, fresh plugs, and the latest... ok, not the latest, tunes on the radio. The Explorer was his go-to, heavy-hitter. Always there for junkyard adventures. No job too big or dirty. Could this be the end of the road?  

Uh, Yes
  The insurance adjuster gave him the bad news. Total loss. It was a somber day for a guy who considers his cars a part of the family.
  He’s thankful that the tree didn’t take a swipe at his vintage Yellowstone camper. Maybe, just maybe, Ron can get by with one of the, seven-or-so, other vehicles in his stable?

The Ford was totalled by the significant damage to all sides except the rear tailgate.
The Ford Explorer was totaled by significant damage to all sides except the rear tailgate. A-pillar caved beneath the weight of the tree and wrapped over the hood on both sides.

Note: Four wild, stray cats bolted out all of the Explorer’s windows and doors when I moved in for a look at the damage. Yikes!
* No animals were harmed while taking the photo.  

Do you have a crushed car or a classic or muscle car barn find? Send us details and we’re on the way!  Send emails to Jody Potter at or Ron Kidd at

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Watch 1967 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-door post called "Dibs"

I want it! Ron Kidd dives into the details of a green 1967 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-door post, that he called “dibs” on, deep in the woods of Alabama. The car and our fearless Ron Kidd are featured in the latest Junkyard Life video. 

Do you have a classic or muscle car barn find? Send us details and we’re on the way!  Send emails to Jody Potter at or Ron Kidd at