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Saturday, October 23, 2021

1970 Pontiac Grand Prix Model J



“If This is Real, Should I buy It?”

There is no vaccination for the Grand Prix virus. Once you get bitten, you begin to notice them. Then you admire their unique place in automotive history. If you are lucky, like Junkyard Life brother David Owsley, a Grand Prix will practically show up in your driveway. Owsley has always been a Pontiac man. He has an extensive history with Pontiacs and a few of them still reside in his garage. We are long time friends of Owsley, so we were privy to watch his Grand Prix affliction unfold in real time. A 1970 Grand Prix J! And by “show up”, we mean Owsley found this car four miles from his house! None of us ever knew it was in his neighborhood.



“Come into my Parlor,” said the Spider to the Fly
When you ask a self admitted Grand Prix nerd if you should buy a 1970 Granada Gold Grand Prix J Model with a 400 and plenty of options like power windows and deluxe lighting... You know what we told him. There is not enough “Yes” in our response to properly reflect the yes-ness of our answer. As far as we are concerned John DeLorean is still our commander in chief. We smile when we say words like “Castilian Bronze” and “Cross Fire Mahogany.” Grand Prix nerds indeed.


Third owner
Owsley scores a gold 1970 Grand Prix. Not only is the car fully documented via a build sheet and the treasured Protect-O-Plate, but how often do you become only the third owner of an important piece of Pontiac history from the height of the famous Detroit horsepower and styling wars?




Details
A large hood covers the 400-V8 engine. The mammoth hood was a bragging point for the new to market personal luxury genre. Under the hoods was even more fun. Gone from the menu was the exotic 428 from last year. Buyers had two engine choices of 400-cubed variety and for those who dared… A new for 1970 behemoth motor… the 455. It was capable of 370 horsepower. Who knows what numbers it really churned out. Pontiac was notorious for underrating their power plants. Transmission choices were limited to a Hydra-Matic and a couple of manual gearboxes. Though we have never seen a manual three-speed, Pontiac listed it as an option. However, out of 65,750 Grand Prixs produced in 1970, only 329 got a 4-speed. The affluent buyer of the Grand Prix probably didn’t want to shift their own gears. Pontiac did admit that Owsley's 400 with a Quadrajet was throwing down 350 horsepower in stock form. That engine had been around since 1967 and had quite a good run through 1979 and remains to be a solid favorite of Pontiac fans.




Eye candy
Dave’s 70 GP was adorned in Granada Gold (code 58) and slides you into a gorgeous Sandalwood bucket seats. The designers wanted an aero inspired cockpit feel behind the wheel. When you sit in Owsley’s Grand Prix, you begin to relate and connect to their original intentions. Thank you again, John DeLorean.

High praise to the previous owner who really went above and beyond when he had the vinyl top redone. Top notch work on a Sandalwood roof that includes the classy halo top trim. A pricey option available on most of the GM line that made the car appearing to wear its vinyl top as a halo.

Inside the headliner is in superb shape. The 14-inch Rally II wheels (
or hub caps if Ron has his way) are going to be an easy restoration. Owsley already has his radar on for a deck lid (his experienced a strange accident) and other Grand Prix swag that he could use.

We welcome 
Owsley to the Grand Prix family. The personal luxury experience awaits. We at Junkyard Life are quite sure Owsley made the right choice!


Ron Kidd
– Junkyard Life




Dave O’s Grand Prix Fun Facts:

  • Owsley’s Grand Prix was built in Fremont California and delivered to Inland Pontiac Olds in Corona, California.
  • Owsley’s Grand Prix has the odd 2:93 axle ratio.
  • The “J” and “SJ” designation was borrowed from Duesenburg.
  • Owsley has been our eyes on Pontiac matters for years. I (Ron) have actually called him for factoids for past stories
  • Owsley was actually looking for a station wagon when he stumbled upon this Granada Gold ’70.
  • Owsley’s GP experienced a freak accident when the previous owner somehow let it roll down a hill backwards. Lucky for him, there was a tree to catch his fall. Gravity stinks sometimes.
  • Despite never being rebuilt, Owsley’s transmission seems to be in excellent shape.
  • All of the air conditioning parts are intact, just not functioning at the moment. I anticipate Owsley will be cool very soon in more ways than one.
  • Owsley’s Grand Prize still has the original AM radio! This leaves him wide open for one of those old/modern stereos with the retro feel. We can wait to see what stealthy tune maker he comes up with.
  • Owsley’s Grand Prix has travelled the country despite only showing 66K. It began life in California and then up and over to Indiana before winding south into north Alabama when it began the wait for Owsley to come along.


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.




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The primer on the driver's side of the Grand Prix will get some attention in the future



14-inch Pontiac Rally wheel with trim rings.






Only 66k miles on the odometer of the 1970 Pontiac Grand Prix.



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






Thursday, September 30, 2021

How to get scammed buying car parts on Facebook Marketplace, Buy and Sell Groups

 Facebook Marketplace is home to used auto parts for sale. Beware not all sellers are honest.

Selling or stealing? Buyers beware! Buying used automotive parts online has been made easier and supposedly safer than ever before for the do-it-yourself junkyard parts shopper. But the scammers are getting smarter and the ability to scam has gotten easier. Scroll around on any number of social media apps and you will find new avenues to buy and sell and fall victim to a scam. Entire business models have sprung up from people's basement because they can sell in the global marketplace using Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and more. Beware! A new profile is just a click away for scammers who happen to get caught or have too many "bad" seller reviews. A scammer can setup a new alias in the same amount of time it takes you to think up a new password for your email account. It's best to know the seller before you hit send on that payment.

I bought an oil cooler for a Mitsubishi Evolution. It looked like crap  right out of the box, plus it was missing parts that were shown and listed in Facebook ad.
I bought a used oil cooler for a Mitsubishi Evolution for $200 shipped. It looked like garbage right out of the box, plus it was missing parts that were shown and listed in Facebook ad.


How it started
Finding parts for your latest project heap in the basement in getting harder. You've always tried to buy parts that you can see and hold in your hand but the local junkyards have dried up on the old stuff, or rare parts, and the swap meets are few and far between. Taking a stroll on the web to look at cars and parts is a daily occurrence. Making purchases can be scary but easier than ever before with transactions done in seconds and the immediate gratification of expedited shipping. Facebook Marketplace is the hot spot for reasonable deals without the extra fees that beat you up, such as Ebay. Another option, Craigslist, which used to be my "go-to" place to find deals before the car dealers ruined it. Sellers jumped off Craigslist when they were forced to start charging a listing fee for vehicle ads to temper the massive flow from car dealers.


What went wrong?
I'm a recent Facebook Marketplace shopper that was burned on a $200 purchase from a seller in California. I made a deal to buy a used oil cooler, two oil cooler lines, and a plastic shield for a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. The cross country seller, also a member of two Mitsubishi Evolution parts/car classifieds groups on Facebook, sent only one of the four parts listed and photographed in the description. It appeared that this seller 
was highly-rated and maintained frequent postings. I assumed built-in safeguards would protect me as a buyer but my claim with PayPal was denied because the seller produced a shipping receipt that shows he sent something (but not everything) to me. When questioned, prior to my filing a dispute with PayPal, the seller said he sold the other parts (that were pictured and listed in description) to someone else. The seller even boasted that he sold the oiler cooler lines for $150.

Not cool.

Missing items shown - no Evo oil cooler lines or plastic shield.
Two oil cooler lines and a plastic shield were the missing items.


A little digging
After a few minutes of searching Facebook, I located some heated exchanges between this seller and other unhappy customers in the Evo parts groups. The rogue seller in question even launched a pre-emptive strike on one unsatisfied customer by posting a "SELLERS BEWARE" listing warning other sellers to watch out for the buyer he scammed. He included a photo of the buyer and their text exchange. Others in the group, who are also sellers, seemed quick to side with their seller friend and come to his aid. They belittled the buyer by bashing him in the comments.
  I've learned that it can become an ugly scene in the groups. There must be others who keep quiet and take getting burned by bad sellers as a lesson. 
I sent a message to that buyer and learned that he is still waiting on a resolution. The "SELLER BEWARE" post that featured him is now 31 weeks old and has 673 comments. That feud continues. 


Face to face
I'm sure this bait and switch tactic (or misrepresent items), is a proven and common practice for those, like the seller who don't mind scamming buyers 2,000 miles away. Get caught? Ha! The game continues. Without the threat of an unhappy buyer showing up at their door, these scammers continue to operate without a conscience
. You will find many of these egregious sellers are eager to post and sell but slow to ship or respond to issues. Their excuses for bad business practices are lame as well. Too bad I don't live in California. I'd like to discuss my issue with the seller in person.


New rules for buying
This may shutdown many of my internet sales possibilities but I believe meeting the seller is the safest way to do business. My new rules for buying 
used parts online from individuals:

  • Meet the seller.
  • Inspect the part.
  • Discuss any issues.
  • Agree on a price.
  • Complete the transaction.
Other options, such as brick and mortar junkyards or online salvage parts resellers have some recourse if a part is damaged or incomplete when shipped. I purchased another part for this same Mitsubishi Evo project from an online parts dismantler without issue. 


Tough luck
You think you are covered? Think again. FaceBook Purchase Protections are enabled when you use their checkout or shipping features. If you were "smart" enough to use alternative payment options such as, PayPal, Payment in Messenger, or Venmo you are out of luck. Facebook Purchase Protections will not help you. Your purchases may be secured with other buyer protections provided by PayPal and others. Just follow their rules. PayPal's Resolution Center turned down my repeated efforts at making my case. Scammer know the loopholes and these loopholes are easy to overlook when you want a part in a hurry. Do your homework and check the seller's ratings and their longevity as a seller.

$200 paid for a junk Mitsubishi Evolution oil cooler.
$200 paid for a junk Mitsubishi Evolution oil cooler. Everyone is not your friend.


Another lesson
I learned more about turbo cars and shady salesman in one purchase than I anticipated. Never, never buy a used oil cooler. After unpacking the oil cooler from the soaked, dripping cardboard box, I decided my first step was to flush the cooler with gasoline. I found metal shavings everywhere on the black t-shirt I used to filter the contents of the flush. The engine this oil cooler was removed from had internal damage. This cooler was unusable. I wouldn't want to install it on my Evo with metal shavings embedded in the cooler. I would never be able to flush it completely. A closer look at the fins on the cooler showed evidence of previous welding repairs and damage from burns or a wreck impact. Total loss.



At least the oil cooler lines and plastic shield were on the way. Haha!



Jody Potter
– Junkyard Life




Garbage for sale: $200



Do you have a parts purchase horror story?
Send us details and we’ll try be supportive, maybe even share your story.
Send emails to Jody Potter at junkyardbull@gmail.com 




Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Hidden Jewel: 1969 Kingswood Estate Wagon

 1969 Chevy Kingswood wagon parked in front of Dairy Freeze stand.

Long gone! Do you know what Granite Falls, Washington was known for? People there just leave their 1969 Kingswood Estate Wagons under carports to taunt unsuspecting travelers such as Chris Dear from Byram, Mississippi. They “were” known for antics such as that because Chris bought the last one!

This Kingswood wagon had to be the last one. Its option list is so long that it probably had two window stickers because all the goodies would not fit on just one! Junkyard Life Pal and wagon enthusiast Chris knew this was special…and he was right.

Top of the line, highest trim, top shelf, high priced, Grey Poupon, house in the Hamptons buyers with impeccable taste were the demographic for this wagon. If family man or soccer mom needed a station wagon, they could have had one much cheaper than this. This buyer knew what he or she was doing. 

Chris brings the Butternut Yellow wagon back to Mississippi and the fun began. Junkyard Life loves research and codes. Chris had them all for us. This wagon is full of things any wagon would love to have. Comfort and trim aplenty with power windows, power locks, cruise control, air conditioning, luggage rack, and to rock its easy trip down the highway, an AM/FM 8-track found its way into the comfortable cabin. Wagon-only goodies such as a rear air deflector and the awesome tailgate that had an identity crisis. Do we install a tailgate or a swinging door? Tailgate or swinging door? Tailgate or…Can’t decide? How about BOTH! A dual-action tailgate that lays down like a tailgate or swings open like a door! Which ever you need it to do. So cool.


This tailgate folds down or swings out. Multifunction tailgates are not a new thing. 


This vehicle was made to move on down to the next adventure. Traveling must have been on the mind of the buyer who ordered this Butternut Boogiemobile to be powered by a 300HP 350-V8. Plenty of power and torque to move this trip down the road. Want to go extra fast? Someone did, seeing as this wagon has a 2.59:1 geared 12-bolt rear end. Cross country at speed all day and not even trying hard.

Peepers closed
Now, we love love love rare options. Who doesn’t? Chris makes us green with envy. Chevrolet didn’t just give a buyer everything. They had to jump through some hoops to get this one….Hide Away Headlights! Super cool! In order to get this rare option, one had to opt for the higher trim level of the Kingswood Estate Wagon. The regular Kingswood and subsequent lower trim packages stood not a chance. The hidden lamps lended themselves a classy and powerful presence. 

So, now that Chris has this ultra cool piece of automotive history, what does he plan to do? He promises to use this new power for good instead of evil and make all the Power Tours and Cruising the Coast that he can. He is making us jealous and that is kind of evil, but what can we mere mortals do? I hope he lets us cruise with him!

Ron Kidd
— Junkyard Life


Butternut Yellow and hidden headlights make this 1969 Chevy Kingswood wagon stand out on the road. Notice the lack of woodgrain down the side?


Junkyard Life Full Size Wagon Fun Facts:

  • In 1969 “Bewitched” was sponsored by Chevrolet. In the episode where Samantha was having a baby, Darrin is rushing her to the hospital in a new 1969 Caprice with Hide Away headlights!
  • Chris’s wagon demands a sharp eye. Although it appears to be the original engine, he found the power plant to be a 72 era Small Block 400. Whomever the transplanter was did a great job. It fooled us!
  • The hidden headlamps were offered for the first time on the full size Chevy in 1968. It has been suggested that they only could be found on 427 Caprices and such equipped wagons. Not many people have seen or even know of the option on the 1969 models.
  • 1969 was the last year for the 327 engine. It could be had in wagons as the base V8, despite the 307 starting to make appearances on other vehicles in the line up.
  • Though often adorned in wood grain this example shows no signs of it. It has enjoyed a re-paint at some time in the past.
  • Chris’s wagon was born in Canada. It is pure Chevrolet seeing as Canadian Pontiac buyers often found a Chevrolet power plant under the hood.
  • New on the wagon and even at the time of Chris gaining ownership…this wagon had our favorite wheels! The finned hubcaps we speak of all the time. Chris went with a more modern rolling stock, which leaves two options. Junkyard Life suggest these should be either in the Smithsonian or in Ron’s garage.*
  • If you wonder where the build sheet (body broadcast sheet) is located in a 1969 Kingswood Estate Wagon, mystery solved…under the rear seat! (Or the middle seat in 3rd row equipped wagons such as Chris’s car.)


Editors Note:
We knew Ron could not survive this article without mentioning those cool finned caps. He is our resident hub cap nerd. 



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, August 5, 2021

Field of Dreams 1959 Corvette

1959 Corvette was dug out of a field where it was parked 34 years ago.

Where dreams are made. Dan Stachowiak of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina found his field of dreams Corvette in a field. A friend-of-a-friend told him there was an old Vette from the 1950s stashed in a field in North Carolina. 

“And it hasn’t moved since 1987?

It sounded like a wild goose chase but Stachowiak made the trip across the state line and found his dream car buried in dirt all the way up to the axles. He spent a few hours in the brutal heat digging out a piece of Corvette history. This C1 (first gen 1953-1962) has great patina and an even greater story, which makes Stachowiak's Corvette priceless. 


Rear of 1959 Corvette sitting on dirt road after it was dug out of a field.
The fiberglass body of the 1959 Corvette shows no signs of ever being wrecked.


What is it?

A 1959 Chevrolet Corvette. One-of-9,760 built. It wears the original Snowcrest White paint and Frost Blue dash. It was parked in a field by the long-time owner in 1987. That owner bought it when new or nearly new, according to the family that sold it to Stachowiak. He says he got a fair price for the as-found condition Corvette. 

Last registered in 1987. It has been sitting longer than it was actively driven. The odometer shows 15,510 miles. Stachowiak thinks it rolled over at least once. A few modifications were done during its almost 30 years on the road.


Steering wheel and gauges of 1959 Corvette field find.
The weathered Frost Blue dash reveals 15,510 on the odometer. 


Don't ask

Stachowiak has been offer stupid money as the car sits. The current condition is ripe for a full restoration to many would-be buyers but Stachowiak is ecstatic to have found his holy grail patina project. With the exterior of the car in this weathered condition, he will not be afraid to drive it anywhere once he gets it moving. 

"It will never be for sale,” says Stachowiak. “You don't see these cars driven down the road. This baby is gonna cruise the streets of Myrtle Beach just like you see it!”


Weeds as tall as roof next to 1959 Corvette.
Eagle-eyed Corvette fans are sure to spot some oddities. Such as the red hardtop. 


Plans

A complete drivetrain and chassis is waiting for pickup in Mississippi.
“I located a 1958 Vette chassis that was being replaced by a complete Art Morrison setup,” Stachowiak said. “They unbolted the body and rolled the running and driving ’58 chassis and drivetrain out from under it. I should have my ’59 on the road in a few weeks.”

He plans to store the original ’59’s solid but crusty chassis and drivetrain. If the restoration bug bites, Stachowiak will have all the numbers matching parts.


Emblems were put up and saved when the Corvette was put out to pasture.
Parts that were removed before the Corvette was put out to pasture.


Other goodies included

The previous owner drove the 1959 Corvette for many years. During which, a few appearance modifications were added along the way. A louvered hood from a 1958 model was installed and has caused a few double takes from Corvette enthusiasts. Specks of blue paint peek out from the white in places around the louvers. That is a clue that the hood came off of a blue ’58 Vette. Also, this Convertible was ordered without a hardtop but a removable hardtop from a red Corvette was added and likely saved the interior from decades of abuse from the elements. A set of vintage 1960s Torque Thrust wheels ramp up the hot rod look. 

When you stand back, it's easy to notice that this all-American Corvette is covered in shades of red, white, and blue.



Grill of 1959 Corvette has teeth all in place after 34 years of sitting in field.
A 1959 Corvette parked in a field for 34 years? Yes!



Changes

The only things Stachowiak wants to change are the black seats and door panels. They are not the blue color that he believes they should be. He plans to find some original blue seats with a similar patina that matches the overall condition of the interior.

“It would look odd to have a rough exterior and completely new interior,” said Stachowiak. “I’m heading to Carlisle to find some seats soon.”   


Vintage torque thrust 5-spoke wheel sits on seat inside 1959 Vette.
Vintage Torque Thrust wheel inside the 1959 Vette.


1959 was first year for black seats in Corvette.
Black seats will be replaced with some vintage (weathered) blue seats.


Anti-theft measures

Before he rolled the Corvette into the field the previous owner stashed away some items that were often stolen from Corvettes. He removed the hood and trunk emblems, side flags, and pulled out the original Wonderbar radio for safe keeping. Even greater precautions were taken to preserve an even bigger item. The engine was relocated into a 1967 Chevy truck on the property. The truck engine was put into the Corvette.

You might think that maybe the truck needed a power plant? That's not what Stachowiak believes. The story he was told confirmed the engine swap was done to save the Vette’s 283-V8 engine from theft. The truck and original Corvette engine were also part of the deal.


283-V8 Corvette engine
Corvette 283-V8 was installed under hood of 1967 Chevy truck.


1967 Chevy truck engine now in Corvette.
Corvette’s engine bay now has the engine from the 1967 Chevy truck.



Why did it get parked? 

The previous owner loved it and drove it nearly 30 years. He parked it in field behind his house with the intention to someday restore it back to its original glory. But, life got in the way. Many years passed. Five years ago the owner died. 

“A few more years out there and it would have been lost forever,” Stachowiak said. “I was fortunate to be able to buy it and save it.”


Keep dreaming!

The next field of dreams may have your dream car in it. Keep hunting, keep digging, and never stop dreaming!

Jody Potter
– Junkyard Life


Weathered paint on trunk of 1959 Corvette.
Patina in spades on this Corvette.




160 mph speedo in the 1959 Corvette.
Capturing time or the transition as something ages is what makes cars with patina a draw at car shows. Each blemish tells a story. This entire car wears the story of its life. Cared for, then held onto as best the owner could. Their choice may not have been what you would have liked but it preserved a 62-year-old Corvette in a way that makes the car appear more attainable to a larger audience.




Weeds all around the white 1959 Corvette in the field.
Field find gold mine in my opinion.





Rusty bumper sticks out from the weeds.
A non-restored version of this car will pull more eyeballs and have a larger crowd at the local car show than a Bloomington Gold certified version.





Louvered hood from a 1958 model installed on the 1959 Corvette.
Louvered hood from a 1958 Corvette was installed on this 1959 model.





Side view of rescued 1959 field find Corvette.
No sweeter sight than a "just rescued" hot rod Corvette.





Yellow tow strap pulled the Vette out of field.
The new owner was worried that he would damage the Vette when he dug it out. Somehow the squared tires rolled and the brakes were not locked up.





Side view of red, white, and blue 1959 Corvette.
Only one piece of trim was missing. Bottom of the driver's side cove.




Trunk shot shows curvy bumper of 1959 Corvette.
So many curves. A work of art from any angle.





1987 registration sticker in window.
January 1987 sticker in window from last time the 1959 Vette was on the road.





Rear shot of 1959 Corvette on dirt road.
The road is long. With many a winding turn.
Here's to new life for this old Vette!




More Corvette stories on Junkyard Life:


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.



Saturday, June 26, 2021

LRP custom Shag Wagon put out at the junkyard - 1976 Dodge Tradesman 200 van

 1976 Dodge Tradesman 200 LRP custom van


Rolling with the purple shag.
This throwback from the 1970s shag wagons glory days, a 1976 Dodge Tradesman 200, landed at the local pull-your-own parts yard in Birmingham, Alabama this week. The "LRP" lettering under the door is a hint that this was no ordinary home-built heavyweight. This van was originally built by Leisure & Recreational Products, a professional conversion van company in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Back in the day they churned out Ford, Chevy/GMC, and Dodge rigs with bubble windows, hand-airbrushed art, and miles of pin striping. Let's take a look inside a ’70s "survivor" of sorts.


Mirrored ceiling and purple shag carpet throughout.

Inside, purple shag carpet is found throughout. Swivel seats are stationed up front and a mirrored ceiling lined with fur once reflected all the activities in the rear of the heavily customized van.

For some reason, Sinatra singing "If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere" come to mind. This was luxury and a place to relax 45 years ago.


Swivel purple front seats.

This swivel driver's seat shows its mileage. This bad boy still has plenty of originality and signs of wear. This van must have been driven long after the 1970s were only a memory. 


Deep purple shag carpet hangs inside van's rear doors.


Why is it in the junkyard?
The road to ruin may have been mechanical difficulty. A clue is the 
disassembled 318-cu. inch V8 engine under the hood. The engine cover can be seen, covered in purple shag carpet, laying askew behind the passenger seat. For those unfamiliar with the short nose vans, working on your van's mechanicals could get messy. Once you ruin the interior, the whole value thing slides downhill fast.
  But maybe it was as simple as A/C problems? Try keeping your hottie or significant other cool in Alabama with high heat and ridiculous humidity in a slab-sided sweat box. 


Each LRP custom van was hand-painted by airbrush.


Bad things happen to good vans
Worse things can happen to a vehicle but becoming a punchline can spell doom for once-desired vehicles. What is once deemed "cool" is soon to be outdated for the next "cool" thing. When all the embarrassed van drivers dumped their now "uncool" rides, they trickled down to the young, poor, or desperate in need of cheap transportation. A lucky few held onto their custom vans, maintaining and leaving period correct. What you see here will soon be recycled at the pick-a-part.
  Something tells me this van was loved for a long time. But, I doubt many parts get pulled and re-used. Who needs some purple shag? The number of 1970s van-era survivors is shrinking daily.


Bubble windows are a signature of the 1970s custom van craze.

Graphics on the ’76 Dodge van were airbrushed at the LRP shop during customization. Note the 1977-1979 Ford Thunderbird wheels all around.




Bubble windows were a signature of 1970s custom van craze. Tinted and still cool.



Purple shag carpet everywhere inside Dodge van.

Flip side of bubble window: open up and you see the glorious purple shag.



Vintage slot mag hangs on rear door.

A slotted mag is hanging on the rear of the van. 



LRP letters are under both front doors of this custom Leisure & Recreation Products van.

Under the door you can find the "LRP" decal. The company who customized this van was operated by Lee Bender in Wisconsin. The LRP name still holds some weight in the dedicated Vannin' community because of the quality and craftsmanship LRP put into each van they built. The fact that Leisure & Recreational Products fully customized ’76 Dodge refugee from the 1970s made it this far in almost complete condition is a testament to their work.

Farewell funky van!


Jody Potter
– Junkyard Life 


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.



ANOTHER JUNKYARD LIFE VAN STORY