"Cars in Barns", Field cars and other "Treasure" some can only dream of through Steve's narration.
A Junkyard Most Have Only Dreamed Of, And Only A Few Have Seen
Unfortunately no photos have been taken due to the fact I would have been thrown out of this magical junkyard wonderland, but here is my true story of one afternoon in the fall of 06’.
I owned a 1971 AMC Matador SST, my pride and joy for 3-1/2 years, and you would find that trying to do even a minor restoration on a car like this would require you to search far and wide to find even the most scattered remains of these AMC relics, but it wasn’t 'til the fall of '06 that an AMC Collector/friend of mine pointed me in the direction of a Car Junkyard that supposedly had AMC amongst other makes, and was basically a stone's throw away in my home state of Rhode Island. Now I had only heard rumors from people that a Giant junkyard existed somewhere in southern Rhode Island, but no one up 'til that point knew the name or exact location of this junkyard, so when my friend Herb gave me a name "Highway Auto Parts", I jumped at the chance to research more into this legendary junkyard, and it didn’t take long for me to come up with a phone number and address - right out of the yellow pages. I called and an older woman answered, I set up a time, and met her at the location around midday.
As I entered this long driveway, to either side of me were antique cars that had been sitting for years, some were mid '50's to early '60's Fords and Dodges, I thought I was on my way to the junkyard, but to my dismay I found myself at a home residence and upon meeting the woman I had spoken to, I found that the junkyard was not located on that property, but at another unmarked location some mile and a half from the house. She hopped in her vehicle and I followed her to the supposed junkyard. She led me down a dirt trail to a man who was sitting on the hood of a rusty car drinking beer with his buddies, and told me this was the man I needed to talk to and then left me there.
Although I was confused as to who was really running this operation, I introduced myself and this man named "Junior" stepped up, shook my hand, and asked me what exactly I was looking for. I told him I was interested in looking for parts for my AMC, he replied with - "we don’t sell parts, only whole vehicles" almost as soon as I was greeted came hostility, and I almost lost my chance to check out this mysterious place. After a few minutes of spooling together some lies, and explaining to "Junior" that if I found a whole car that was worth saving I might be interested in buying the whole vehicle, his whole attitude changed and he was willing to let me into the junkyard. He directed me to a trail and told me to follow it 'til I reached the top of the hill then walk about a quarter mile in and I would find what I wanted to the right. I then set out on my adventure.
After what seemed to be more than a mile, 35 minutes into my uphill hike, after passing rusted out Fords, Dodges, Plymouths from the '60’s, I finally reached the top of the hill and to my surprise a sea of cars stood before me under a canopy of trees, cars as far as the eyes could penetrate the woods to the left and right, taking a walk off into the woods I found cars from all eras, Mustang Fastbacks, Roadrunners, GTOs, Bel-Airs, Chevelles, Model As, and so many makes I could go on for paragraphs more to list, a collector's dream, all in decent restorable shape. I walked for what seemed a millennia into this sea of cars, wondering how so many classics ended up in a place like this, and came to the conclusion that this is where all the classics in Rhode Island had come to rest, harbored by the thick Rhode Island backwood. So, after walking for about 2 1/2 hours, wading through the maze of vehicles, I finally found what I was looking for - The AMC section. After spending a good part of an hour searching the AMC's for a '71-73 Matador 2-door, I came to the conclusion that there wasn’t one to be found, and I gave up my search for the day.
Besides the fact that I didn’t find what I was looking for, I still couldn’t help myself from sampling what other vehicles this place had to offer. After searching through sections and sections I also found that most of the Army vehicles that had once made their home at Quonset Point had also found their way to these woods, and would you believe it - even World War 2 Patton Tanks, alongside Huey Helicopters from the Vietnam war. Tired from my journey I found my way winding back down the trails, found "Junior", told him I didn’t find anything along the lines of what I was interested in, and he welcomed me to return some time soon. I would have to say that this place would definitely be worth checking out, and I would estimate - and believe me I'm not making this up - that from my own personal experience and knowing that I had only explored an 1/8th of this place, that the junkyard exceeded 20,000 classic autos - that’s right 20,000 - almost all pre-1980. But don’t believe me, see for yourself - The name's "Highway Auto Parts", it's located in West Greenwich, Rhode Island. Good Luck Auto Searchers, and I hope you will come out of this with either a car or a memorable experience like mine. Thanks - Steve
Thanks Steve for sending us this story on your find.