Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Atomic Blast 10: Rat Rod inferno of good times

 Atomic Blast Rat Rod event at Gulfport Dragway.

Junkyard Life had a Blast… An Atomic Blast. The annual Rat Rod celebration in Gulfport, Mississippi is very aptly named The Atomic Blast. This is one of the only West Coast flavored Rat Rod Runs on this side of Nevada. We are now believers in The Atomic Blast. We've always loved the original recyclers (hot rodders) but now we have an all new appreciation for driving junk. These apocalyptic cars captivated our hearts for two days. Simple, not simple, fast, brutal, fun loving, flat, satin, fire! I need a thesaurus to find more words to describe this fun event.

We had heard of the Atomic Blast, but had never attended. Once our friend Stefanie Lea from Road Rage Garage heard we had never been, she made a request (an order?) for us to attend. Stefanie has found a way to submerse herself in what she loves — flat finished patina preserved tire smoking hot rods and the great people that come along with them.

The weather forecast would have scared the slick hot rods away. Not the Rat Rods. Keep in mind, some of these are driven and they don’t necessarily handle well in the rain. Some of them don’t actually have a water tight roof. Yet, these tire smokers did come from near and far.    

A pink rat rod truck burns the tire completely off the rim.
The Rat Rods burn rubber until they got no more to burn.

Smoking Isn’t good for You? Yes, It Is!

These rat rod guys are not afraid to light em’ up. This is practically an event that advocates smoking…tires that is. They like crawfish too, but let’s get back to the smoking. Junkyard Life brother Jay explained to us newbies why it is called “The Atomic Blast.”  He explained it to us, but yet…unpack all of your adjectives and you still feel the best words really are “Atomic Blast.”

Stefanie Lea raises her arms to signal the rat rods to start burning their tires.
Stefanie Lea says "Light'em up!"

Stefanie Lea: The Goddess of the Burning Radials 

Coordinator and hostess Stefanie Lea waits until near dark. Then she places two Rat Rods that are actually flame throwers on the track behind the burnout box (another aptly named area). She then places as many fearless homegrown Rats in the burnout box that dare rise to her calling.

When the sun begins to lower itself in the horizon behind the Gulfport Dragway, Stefanie raises her arms like a symphony conductor and line locks engage. RPMs go up and she gives the go ahead to start incinerating tires. Wait. There is more.

Once the cars begin to disappear engulfed in the tire smoke–another cue from Stefanie awakens the now invisible flame throwers to shoot fire from the center of the smoke...thus, The Atomic Blast!

Billowing smoke rises high above the burnout box and flame throwers shoot up into the sky making an atomic spectacle.
This looks like the aftermath of an atomic blast. Well, not a real one, just the smoke and fire from dozens of big block rat rods, some with built-in flame throwers. It is a sight to behold! 

Watch this! The sight, the smell we love (Hey, note to self: million dollar scented candle idea) and the sound. Oh my. The sound. The sounds we love from a variety of Detroit power plants. Roaring together in automotive symphonic harmony. You can feel the heat and the patriotism. Many rods are adorned in American flags and like the song says, when the smoke clears, the flags are one of the first things you see. You, my friend, have been Atomic Blasted. There is no coming back from that.

Dennis Landry wheels his RATical rat rod down a beach road in Gulfport, Mississippi


This sub culture of the car genre is so much fun. The Atomic Blast offers so many activities and is so inclusive. If you feel you just can’t see everything…fear not. Stefanie has included what she calls “Roll Call” where every car cruises, i.e., “rolls” in front of the bleachers to give everyone a good look and often a little rubber is left behind.

Grumpy's 1941 Dodge WF-31 with a Detroit Diesel 92TA engine and flame throwers that shoot enormous amounts of fire high into the air.

More Cruising Add Water and Music

The Atomic Blasters also do a beach cruise along the beautiful coast of Gulfport and Biloxi. Nothing is more rock and roll than that. Except maybe the musical guest. The Martini Shakers treated us to some awesome throw back rock-a-billy.  A great band and really nice people. It is so nice to see and meet people that love where they are and what they do. These guys rock.

There was even a kid’s motor bike cruise that also drew a lot of attention. What can you do if you are a young car guy or girl that can’t yet have four wheels? You make do with two wheels and look like a tiny Fonz. "Ayyy!"

Rat rodders compete in the crawfish eating contest at the Atomic Blast 10.
Crawfish eating contest is part of the kick-off festivities.

Cruising, Crabs, Crawfish, Rats – oh my!

To kick our weekend off, we caught the cruise to The Cajun Crawfish Hut in Long Beach, Mississippi. Just a stone's throw from Gulfport down Beach Boulevard on Highway 90. Here, they fed us spectacular food, rocked us with the Martini Shakers and schooled us in crawfish consumption. The now famous Atomic Blast Crawfish Eating Contest was soon underway. MC’ed by the infamous original rat rodder Dennis Landry, aka Crab or Crab Who? This event was great messy fun! The winning consumer of the Cajun crustaceans was a 27-year-old Army paratrooper named Shane Jackson. Shane is no stranger to Atomic Blast awards. It seems the first rat rod he built kicked the bucket on the first time out, which granted him the dreaded “Damn My Luck” award. 

We spotted more than 200 Rat Rods and other cool cruisers in the pit area and campgrounds at Gulfport Dragway during the Atomic Blast 10.

We Want More!

Do you like traditional home grown hot rod fun? Do Rat Rods fill your hot rod heart? Then you need to do this. Do you want to see a 425 Olds duke it out with a 390 Ford? Grudge races, swap meet, food, music and tire smoking traditions? The Atomic Blast is for you. This annual Rat Rod Run is held every April at the Gulf Port Dragway. Let us not let the West Coast have all the fun. Thank you, Road Rage Garage for including us in the party. Check those calendars and we will see you there! We were told they also have a Halloween event in October for those of us who will have a hard time waiting. Keep a rat look at the calendar and never miss The Blast again.


Ron Kidd

— Junkyard Life 

Step 1: Apply throttle

Step 2: Hold down the gas pedal

Step 3: Never let up

Shane Sink, Jackson, Mississippi

Shane Sink's winning combo burned the tires right off the rim.

Dennis Landry, Larose, Louisiana
Landry, known as the godfather of this event with his big-cubed Rat Rods and willingness to keep the rubber burning and the party going was also the Master of Ceremonies at the Atomic Blast. You could spot him easily in his orange shirt and white overalls.

Dennis Landry gets ready to fire up his Rat Rod for a beach cruise.

And away he goes!

Burnout box was always filled with mayhem. Two rat rods take a spin for the crowd.

Do you have a great story? Send us details and we’re on the way!  
Send emails to Jody Potter at junkyardbull@gmail.com 
or Ron Kidd at Kidd403@bellsouth.net.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Digging out a 1974 Chevrolet Caprice Estate

1974 Chevrolet Caprice Estate station wagon in green has been parked in woods for three decades and is covered in pine straw and sunk to the rims in the dirt.

The Big Green Family Machine. Junkyard Life gravitates toward some strange vehicles. For us, this find is not even that strange really. We love vintage station wagons. What were we supposed to do when the opportunity presented itself to own a well-optioned 1974 Caprice Estate Wagon?  

Look at all the boxes the original owner checked off… tilt wheel, air conditioning, power windows, power seats, power door locks, third-row seat, roof rack, and more. 

Power needed to cruise this castle down the highway was provided by a Small Block 400 with a TH400 transmission. Considering this Estate weighed slightly north of 5,000 pounds, torque under foot is a given. This behemoth isn’t going to like a small motor. Chevrolet didn’t even entertain the idea. The word “thrifty” and the name Caprice are not found in the same sentence. 

Rear tailgate on the 1974 Caprice features the glide-away option.
Disappearing tailgate? Yes!

Clam Up and Glide Away!

To have a moment of clarity is welcome. Let us clear our head and credit a really forward thinking option that many people have never seen. The awesome tailgates on the Caprice Estate wagons have a cool trick no one can deny. The “Glide Away” tailgate. This option (only available on the full-size wagons) would sell most people who dig new fangled gadgets and have fond memories of magicians at childhood birthday parties. 

  1. Insert a key into the quarter panel on the right rear of the car.
  2. Turn key to the right and the window DISAPPEARS into the roof.
  3. Turn the key to the left and *Alakazam!…the tailgate disappears! It slides under the floor leaving you with… wait for it… a totally open rear cargo area! As if you have no tailgate at all! Ta-Da! Cool. 

This made for easy access for loading and unloading. This changed the standards for tailgating parties forever. Tailgating sans the tailgate. Interesting.

"Caprice Estate" emblem on quarter panel of 1974 wagon.
Fun, quirky emblem on "Caprice Estate" is a symbol of a bygone era. Cell phones have never been aboard this beauty. All eyes up, seeing the world.

Green inside, green outside

The color of our former party wagon is also interesting. Code 49 on the trim tag. Some GM literature refers to this hue as Medium Green Metallic. Others call it Medium Green Poly. Our favorite paint of this era was Medium Dark Green. So, not too dark. No, not dark enough. A compromise was in order, but what do we call it? One year prior to our wagon, a beautiful green offered on the Trans Am (Code 48) Brewster Green.* 

Green interior of 1974 Chevrolet Caprice Estate station wagon includes a bench seat and has become a makeshift storage container.
Thirty years go by fast. Just the other day this 1974 Chevy Estate wagon was ending a career as the family car, handed down to the next (youngest) driver on the totem pole.  

Bench seat fun

Our big green party machine was used as a family car and fulfilled its station wagon destiny. Road trips to grocery runs, this wagon did it all. We spoke with the seller's daughter who took her driver’s license test in the green wagon. The car she didn’t want to be seen in has a fan following now. 

Now we load it up and assess the damage and fill out our rust and corrosion score card. How did the wagon fare in the battle of Alabama environmental elements? Inventory the good parts and bad parts. Once we have that hammered out, we can determine the fate of this car. Something good will come out of this. How could it not? Junkyard Life and a vintage wagon… What could go wrong?

Ron Kidd
— Junkyard Life

1974 Chevrolet Caprice Estate station wagon has been parked in woods for three decades and is covered in pine straw and sunk in the dirt.

Junkyard Life’s Full-Size Wagon Fun Facts (or Full Facts?):

  • Chevrolet only gave two choices of rear gear in the Estate wagon… 3.08:1 or an optional 3.42:1. Positraction was also offered, but unfortunately our example doesn’t have that.
  • Apparently, they also gave you two engine choices. A small block 400 (like our feature car has) or a 454 fat boy.
  • The small block 400 residing under the hood was not intended to be the mad powerhouse that the car community has now found them to be. It was a low RPM torque motor made for applications such as our wagon.
  • 1974 was the first year (for the Caprice) to have a 4-barrel on the small block 400 engine. 
  • Until 1972 if you noticed a Caprice or Impala with a “400” badge on the lower fender trim — you could be looking at either a small block 400 or a 402 big block. Yes, one emblem for two different engine. To our knowledge, they never made a 402 emblem.
  • The Glide Away tailgate proved to be popular across the board in GM full size wagons such as the Pontiac Safari, the Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser and the Buick Estate.
  • These big wagons really proved themselves useful. Over the years full-size wagon owners boasted the ability to carry sheets of 4' x 8’ plywood, sheetrock or paneling. Try that with your modern crossover.
  • Ron figured this wagon to be a 1973 model due to the presence of an external coil and points distributor. Jody said he had seen a 1974 with this pre-H.E.I. ignition. Ron bet it was a 1973 while Jody was rather confident. Jody was right. The 1974 was the last of that ignition and by 1975 electronic ignitions could be found under most General Motors products. Bye-Bye points and condensers. We won’t miss you. 
  • It is no secret that Chevrolet was targeting the Cadillac market with their high standards on the Caprice. But they had one advantage on that luxury model. Cadillac did not make a big wagon to option out this highly. Okay, we DO know that Cadillac did make a wagon. However, you would not want to ride in one. We mean for the “still on Earth” buyers. Don’t spoil our mood here.
  • The wood grain simulated finish was the industry salute to the days when actual wood was used on vehicles. “I got me a ’34 wagon, they call it a ‘Woody’” said The Beach Boys. From surfers to soccer moms, wagons are a life necessity. Us too.

Ron Kidd looks around the wagon for clues.
Ron Kidd exploring the forgotten wagon before we haul it home.

View looking over roof and luggage rack on 1974 Caprice Estate.
The view atop the stately battleship, known as a 1974 Caprice Estate wagon, looks promising. New roads ahead on the back of a trailer. Destination: The Junkyard Life Top Secret Undisclosed Storage Facility.

Editor’s Notes:
*This may be the only time we allow Ron to use the word “Alakazam!” in a story. He came up with this after the original phrase was cut in editing. In retrospect, we should have just let him say “open sesame” like he wanted. Now we have a story with the word “alakazam” in it.   

** We wondered how Ron would get through this assignment without making a Pontiac reference. There it is (with Brewster Green)

Do you have a classic car in the yard, or a great story? Send us details and we’re on the way!  Send emails to Jody Potter at junkyardbull@gmail.com 
or Ron Kidd at Kidd403@bellsouth.net.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Rescue time for 1966 Pontiac Tempest


Dig it out! Buying a 1966 Pontiac Tempest two-door for $300? Unheard of, you say. The Junkyard Life team has been working on this deal for more than a couple of years. Maybe four? It was time for a quick touch base with the Tempest's owners about the future of the widetrack Pontiac that has been parked in their yard since 1977. A deal was made in short order – it was time for the Tempest to go to a new home. Ours!

Red and rusty 1966 Pontiac Tempest two-door has no rear glass. It fell into the backseat due to the rot around the window channel.
The red Tempest features a mashed roof and a back glass that found a better view in the backseat. Glass is still intact, the sheet metal, not so much. 

Never give up
This rescue shows that persistence pays off! We've been searching for a good, used core support for another one of our "someday" projects and this car has been simmering in our back pocket. It is always good to keep tabs on the old, automotive landmarks in your town. One day they will be gone. Either eliminated by nature or a more diligent car hound will scoop them up.
We know! These junkyard dogs will hunt!

Stay with us! More to come on the 1966 Pontiac Tempest!

Jody Potter
— Junkyard Life

The distinctive flared tail panel found on 1966 and 1967 Tempest, LeMans and GTOs.

Swoopy script "Tempest" emblem on the 1966 Pontiac.

Rust devoured the ’66 Tempest hood and pock-marked the top of one of the fenders with holes. A GTO scooped hood would be a nice replacement!

Pontiac wasn't the first with stacked headlamps but certainly a contender for best design.

Inside the Tempest we found blue vinyl bench seats, A/C controls, and original radio. 

Last tag on the 1966 Tempest? 1977 – only 11 years old when put out to pasture.

More to come as we load up this old Pontiac and head for home. Stay tuned!

Do you have a classic car in the yard, or a great story? Send us details and we’re on the way!  Send emails to Jody Potter at junkyardbull@gmail.com 
or Ron Kidd at Kidd403@bellsouth.net.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Buying a 1979 Pontiac Firebird Esprit Part 1: Splashdown

1979 Firebird Esprit sprays water 10-feet high during a cruise home through a massive rainstorm. 

Got my Firebirds and boats mixed up. Buying a 1979 Pontiac Firebird Esprit from FaceBook Marketplace was easy. Getting it home proved a challenge. Splash down occurred after a torrential downpour flooded a highway in Tarrant, Alabama. Junkyard Life's Ron Kidd wheeled the Mayan Red Firebird through the deluge of rain. "Hey Ron! You might wanna... Too late." Splash test dummy indeed. Faith, my daughter and Junkyard Life's female Firebird fanatic, bought the car but Kidd begged for the opportunity to drive the unproven Second Generation Bird 76-miles home. I'm sure she cringed when the 10-foot wave of water covered her new car and also the windshield of our follow vehicle that she was driving. Captain Kidd never faltered. The red Bird made like a redfish. Swimming through safely. Check out the video below.

1979 Pontiac Esprit window sticker and envelope full of paper work tells the story that this was a pampered car.
Dealer items, window sticker, build sheet and a mountain of maintenance receipts came with the Esprit.

Paper trail We found loads of paperwork and documentation were included on this original paint car. According to the Georgia license plate, the car had been parked in a Tuscaloosa, Alabama apartment complex parking lot, where we were inspecting it, for more than a year. The current owner had moved from Georgia and was in the process of moving again. Undeterred by a few door dings and a dead battery we dug in for a closer look. The Firebird was rust-free and appeared to have been meticulously maintained during most of its life. The dash, uncracked and not faded, was evidence that the car had been parked in covered area. (Note: A second gen Bird dash can be expensive to replace.) The engine, though not original, looked fresh and boasted 2 more cylinders than the Esprit came with from the factory. Best of all, the A/C worked!

A hopped up Chevy 350 engine was installed by a previous owner.
A V6 was originally installed in the 1979 Esprit but a previous owner added some horsepower. A Chevy 350 with 4-bolt main, and double hump heads gives it some added juice.

Water you talking about? What makes this story freaky is that Faith took a spin and plunge down an embankment into the woods when she hydroplaned in her 1978 Pontiac Formula Firebird. Her new-to-her 1979 Firebird Esprit sailed like a boat on its first voyage during the ride home. We hope this one stays on the road! Stay tuned for more on how the first, a 1978 Firebird Formula, led to the second, a 1979 Firebird Esprit.

Jody Potter
– Junkyard Life

The Mayan Red Firebird has red seats, red dash, red carpet. You get the picture? Red, red, red, on red.
Inside the 1979 Esprit are red deluxe seats and red everywhere else.

Rear angle of Mayan Red 1979 Firebird Esprit with 15x8 WS6 wheels.
A set of WS6 8-inch snowflake wheels were added to the 1979 Esprit.

A black Formula steering wheel was added because I like the performance look of the wheel. It was standard item on Trans Am and Formula.
A Formula steering wheel was source from Ames Performance. This company sells only Pontiac parts and has been a big help getting old Ponchos back on the road

Sunset on a red 1979 Firebird Esprit with my daughter Faith behind the wheel.
1979 Firebird Esprit are not as popular as Trans Ams and Formulas at shows but this one will turn heads when people see or hear it coming.

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 junkyardbull@gmail.com or Ron Kidd at Kidd403@bellsouth.net.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

1934 Ford Race Car restored and makes debut at World of Wheels

 Black 1934 Ford race car restored after rescue from woods is displayed at World of Wheels car show behind checkered flag that line the area around car.

Full circle. The 1934 Ford race car we hauled out of the woods is running! The J-2 made its debut in the World of Wheels car show in Birmingham, Alabama this weekend. After decades spent at the bottom of a "holler" deep in the Alabama woods, the race car was rescued and returned to the Massey family. Mike Massey, son of Sam Massey, one of the former drivers of the car back when it toured the dirt bullrings in the late 1940s and 1950s, spearheaded the efforts to restore it back to its racing roots condition. 

I got the unexpected news while walking through the woods. Ironic, since the voice on the other end of the line was calling about the 1934 Ford race car that the Junkyard Life crew hauled out of the woods in 2016. Mike Massey called to let me know that the old "J-2" family heirloom had been fully restored. 

Back in time
A quick look at the restored ’34 and you see a period correct race car from the 1950s with the flat head V8, black paint, and a few dings and imperfections.
  "We left a few dings in it because these cars weren't show cars back when they raced," Massey said.
  The car is lettered as it was when the Massey brothers raced it with the "Massey" name and "J-2" number. The body was heavily reworked due to decades of decay and racetrack abuse. The rear section including window was replaced with metal from a 1935 model.

The Massey family has been racing for many decades. They thought all the original race cars were gone. The rescued ’34 is a welcome sight in their shop.

Rear view of the 1934 Ford race car on jack stands in the Locust Fork, Alabama garage.
Massey & Sons Garage, Locust Fork, Alabama.

Whatever it takes
  The truth is that these auto racing pioneers raced whatever junk they could bolt or weld together. Spending as little money as possible in most cases. Some built race cars from wrecked daily drivers that were headed to the junkyard because they were cheap and plentiful. In the 1940s and 1950s, a few dollars could buy you a body and chassis from an "old" – at that time – 1930s-era vehicle.

Flathead engine
  The look would not be complete without a Ford Flathead V8. Massey did not disappoint. The engine is loud as it should be for a race car.

Engine shot of Ford Flathead V8 on the 1934 FOrd race car that was rescued from Alabama woods.
Ford Flathead V8 rumbles the floors in the 1934 Ford race car.

World keeps turning, keep driving
  The Massey family urged Mike to put the car in the World of Wheels show. Some may scoff, but I agree with their choice. I think there is no better time to share the car and this chapter of the story.
  A dream and a lot of work can 
take you anywhere you want to go. 

Jody Potter
— Junkyard Life 

1934 race car has a display that tells the story of its rescue at the World of Wheels car show in Birmingham, Alabanma.
A display shares story of the 1934 Ford's rescue at the World of Wheels car show in Birmingham, Alabama.

Modern rubber Hoosier racing tires are one of the obvious differences from the 1950s tires used on the ’34 in its racing days.
(Compare width to tires in photo below.)

Sam Massey stands next to the 1934 Ford race car in this yellowed vintage photo. He is wearing coverall with his foot on running board. His name is above door on roof.
Sam Massey stands next to the 1934 Ford race car in this vintage photo. His son, Mike, restored the rescued race car back to original 1950s condition.

The 1934 Ford race car sitting in dirt down in woods. Rusty, no wheels and left for dead for 40 plus years.
1934 Ford "AFTER" photo as it sits restored at the World of Wheels car show.

Did you miss part of the story?

THE RESCUE: 1934 Ford Race Car in Woods
The five year ordeal to secure permission and ownership

THE BUILD: 1934 Ford Race Car
A follow-up on the Massey family restoration

A dream can start in the woods with a shovel, a chainsaw and a tow rope.
Thanks for reading!

Know details about an old race car? Have a find of your own?  
Send us the word and we’re on the way!
Email Jody Potter at junkyardbull@gmail.com

Sunday, January 31, 2021

1972 AMC Javelin SST Alabama State Trooper


Look in the rearview mirror. We flashback a few years to take a look at Vince and Nancy Kolb's 1972 AMC Javelin SST Alabama State Trooper tribute car. I spotted the unmistakable blue and silver paint scheme associated with Alabama's highway patrol units at a local car show several years ago. The sparkling silver and blue Javelin was posted at the entrance to the show parking lot. Wary motorists passing on the main road slowed when they spotted the blue beacon atop the 1972 Javelin. Many were unsure of their speed or simply admiring a part of Alabama's highway patrol history as they passed the packed parking lot.

The Alabama State Trooper's office requested the large AMX rear spoiler on all Javelins because the highly visible space was needed for a large "STATE TROOPER" decal.

Big, bad, brute
Try to imagine pulling up behind a State Trooper Javelin in 1972. Unabashed style and intimidation. The giant rear spoiler emblazoned with STATE TROOPER shouts, "Back off!" "You don't want none of this!" A giant gumball light begging to be turned on. Waiting, ready for high speed pursuit. By no means do you want to pass any State Trooper on the highway for fear of getting pulled over for speeding. But a Javelin SST?

What would I do? In my youth-gone-wild days I might have tested this snarling beast. Now wiser, I know that a State Trooper in a Javelin is armed with an engine loaded for bear. Blasting the speedo needle deep into the triple digits to catch would-be highway racers was just another day in an Alabama State Trooper Javelin.

Alabama Javelin Highway Patrol History

In the early 1970s the state of Alabama, experiencing an economic crisis, found they could order budget-based patrol cars from AMC. The base model pony car Javelins equipped with 401 cubic-inch V8s were powerful enough to meet the Alabama Highway Patrols needs and cheap enough to keep the state happy. 

By the numbers
In 1971 the Alabama Department of Public Safety ordered 83 Javelins but only 71 were delivered before the 1971 model year ended. A total of 61 of the 71 were painted Quicksilver Metallic. The remaining 10 Javelins delivered on the initial purchase order were for the investigative unit and varied in color. 

That left 12 Javelins undelivered under the first purchase order. The everchanging marketing and production gurus at AMC decided to no longer offer a base Javelin on their 1972 models. The Javelin SST was AMC's plan to lure the upscale pony car market. The ADPS decided to stick with AMC and order more Javelin SSTs, which came with more options such as wood grain dash, rocker panel and fender trim (bright moldings), and SST emblems. ADPS ordered 62 1972 Javelin SSTs. The first order of 1972 models included the 12 remaining under the first order and AMC delivered those Javelin SSTs in the same Quicksilver paint color used on the 1971 models. When the state placed the second order, for 1972 Javelin SSTs, Quicksilver was no longer a paint option. Of the remaining 50 units ordered, 42 were painted Stardust Silver Metallic. The ADPS requested the hoods, decklids, and spoiler be painted Admiral Blue Metallic on the Stardust Silver Metallic Javelins. Eight Javelins were unmarked vehicles painted various colors. 

A 140 MPH speedo greets the driver of this 1972 AMC Javelin SST Alabama State Trooper car.

All highway patrol Javelins were shifted by three-speed automatic transmissions. Borg-Warner had shifting duty in 1971. A Chrysler Torque-Command A727 was used for 1972.

A total of 133 were built for the state of Alabama. The Alabama Department of Public Safety kept the 1971 and 1972 State Trooper Javelins in service from 1971 until 1974. Very few remain road worthy. Even fewer are in show quality condition.

Vince Kolb takes pride in the fact that his home state of Alabama was the first to utilize a pony car to track down speeders. He has since sold his two-tone 1972 Javelin SST State Trooper car but still drives his pristine 1972 Javelin State Trooper car in Quicksilver paint to shows around Alabama. A feature on that one-of-12 solid silver SSTs is upcoming. Stay tuned!

Final thought
I'm hoping more AMC Javelin State Trooper cars can be resurrected and find new highways to roam. Be warned, you may want to do a double take in your mirror if you find a AMC Javelin State Trooper sneak up behind you on the interstate. 

Jody Potter — Junkyard Life

When the State Trooper had to detain a suspect in a Javelin a backup unit was needed to transport them. On at least one occasion it was reported that a State Trooper placed their suspect in the AMC Javelin's trunk. 

The 401-V8 Javelin performed better than expected in high speed pursuit.

Alabama State Trooper decals are period correct on the 1972 Javelin SST.
Alabama State Trooper decals are period correct on the 1972 Javelin SST.

1972 Javelin SST sail panel emblem on State Trooper car.

Admiral Blue Metallic paint covers trunk, rear spoiler and hood of the 1972 Javelin SST. 

The Kolb's Alabama State Trooper Javelin info display draws crowds wherever they show their car.

All marked Alabama State Trooper Javelins had bright blue vinyl interiors.

SST trim provided bright trim over wheels and along rocker panels on 1972 Alabama State Trooper Javelins.

Know a junkyard that we need to visit?
Got an unusual car or truck story?
Send emails to Jody Potter at junkyardbull@gmail.com