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Junkyard Joyride

Junkyard Joyride

At one time back in the early ‘80s, we were sitting around the office of a collector car magazine wondering how long junkyards would last in the future. The “green” movement was already in progress and junkyards, as we knew them as young car enthusiasts, were changing and “cleaning up their acts.”
We started dreaming about how the day would come when there were no junkyards, and we joked that someone would start an amusement park with a junkyard theme. Car lovers would pay admission and get to walk around a park loaded with derelict cars. There would be a barking junkyard dog and a “junkman” buy the gate that you’d have to make believe you were negotiating with to buy a part. If you negotiated well, a bulb would light and you’d win a prize—maybe a hubcap or something.
We even sketched a drawing of the place. It was filled with rusty old cars that most people never heard of like La Salles, Oaklands and Hupmobiles (even my spell checker burped at that last one)! There would be a fence decorated with dozens of “No Trespassing” signs and maybe even a crusher that you put a quarter in and scrunched a fender or a hood. The more ideas we thought up, the more we laughed about our junkyard amusement park idea. We figured it would give future generations a taste of the “joys of junkyarding.” We even coined a name for it -- “Junkyard Joyride.”
Believe it or not, a version of our fantasy has now come to life at the Motorama Auto Museum Ltd. in Aniwa, Wis. ( or The museum has lots of nice cars and motorcycles on indoor display, including a rare Alfa Romeo Disco Volante dream machine. The junkyard or “Boneyard” section is outdoors, near a recreation of a Chevrolet Corvair dealership.
The Boneyard is loaded with all kinds of cars nestled into a wooded area with a clearly marked path winding through it. There are models such as an AMC Marlin, a Rambler Cross-Country station wagon and a Nash Metropolitan. International travelers that became permanent residents include a German-made Goliath and a Fiat van. There’s also Buicks from the ‘30s and ‘40s, a Plymouth Valiant from the early ‘60s and a Nash Metropolitan.
The nice thing about this junkyard is that you can walk around as long as you like or at least until you get hungry, thirsty or tired. At any of those points, you can stop at the Alfa Heaven MotorSports Bar for snacks, food or liquid refreshments.