Junkyarding in rural Utah, where land is as cheap as the local newspaper, is a fantastic time because the cars never go away. With few exceptions, yards in rural areas are able to hang on to cars for decades on end because they’re not under pressure from land developers, and because they don’t have to deal with space constraints. In urban areas, cars usually get crushed after spending a few weeks on the lot to make room for new arrivals.
When I lived in Utah, I made it a point to visit rural yards on a regular basis. The pictures below were taken with a low-rent digital camera in a massive yard in central Utah in 2010, when Ran When Parked was still a relatively young website, and most of them have never been published here before. The place was vaguely split up into foreign and domestic car sections but that’s it. Wrecked Honda Civics were lumped together with gray-market Mercedes w126s, old Beetles, 80s Subaru wagons, Acura Legends, Volvo 240s, the occasional late-model Hyundai, and so forth. It was so big that you had to drive to get from one end of the yard to the other.
The yard was in an area where foreign cars — especially old, European ones — were a pretty uncommon sight. I usually trekked down there in my 300D and it felt like I had “I’M NOT FROM HERE” written in 100-point font on both sides of the car. I mention this because I was intrigued by the number of classic European cars ending their lives there. I wondered if they were once owned by local folks, or if they ended up there because they broke down in the general vicinity of the yard and the owner decided that paying for towing, parts, and labor simply wasn’t worth it.