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I've bought a couple cars
from junkyards over the years, but it seems they are less likely to sell whole cars nowadays.
True. Yards make a good return on their investments for the most part as parting out vehicles is good business if you have the room to house them especially when they buy them in volume buys from insurance companies. Catalytic convertors alone can cover the cost of what the yard paid for the car especially if it's a newer diesel. Whatever else that gets picked off the car is just more gravy for their bottom line. I would think you could probably get a yard to sell you a clean escort wagon body that hasn't been put out on the pick line but has had the cat removed for around $500 or less. Since Escorts are seen as low end grocery getters and they were sold in large numbers I can see them even selling for as low as a couple hundred dollars. It really depends on the demand for parts as to what they'd sell the whole car for.

Of course whoever buys one is going to have to contend with why they are even there in the first place so, depending on what may be missing or damaged, it may make more financial sense to buy a running vehicle as the probability of most of the systems being intact and in good working order is higher than in a junked car.

John
 

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Years ago I wanted to buy a car or two from junkyards in PA and MD. In both cases the states have 'junkyard regulation" laws making it difficult. Once a car was older than about nine years, the state taxed it for its supposed value as a 'motor vehicle' instead of being taxed at a lower rate as 'business inventory'. The laws were enacted presumably at the urging/lobbying of the scrap metal industry (who probably helped to draft the legislation language) or at the urging of the large community of folks who didnt want a junkyard in their neighborhood - (Remember Keep America Clean?). ...versus the tiny community of hobbyists (like me) who enjoyed harvesting 'high value resources' from a junkyard. Similar issues in VA and TX if you live within an incorporated town.

In Fairfax County VA (and in many adjoining jurisdictions) the zoning regulations prohibit keeping a'junk car' on your residential property, unless it is in a building or enclosure and invisible from adjoining land. Their definition of 'junk car' includes not having current registration (which requires insurance coverage or they suspend your drivers license), along with current emissions and safety inspections. This is only enforced if someone complains, but you never get to learn who the complainer was; though it could be any passer-by. Hence I encouraged bushes and trees to grown on the boundaries of my 1/2 acre.

VA DMV used to enforce the insurance requirement by sending out a letter that you had to forward to your insurance company to verify your insurance coverage - as of the date of their letter; but now with so much data being available on line, I think the check-up is done between the DMV and the insurance data bases; at internet speeds. My daughter bought renewal tags for her car, not realizing the insurance on it had run out the week before. To get that suspension lifted involved her putting insurance on the car of course - and a $600 payment to the DMV.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
True. Yards make a good return on their investments for the most part as parting out vehicles is good business if you have the room to house them especially when they buy them in volume buys from insurance companies. Catalytic convertors alone can cover the cost of what the yard paid for the car especially if it's a newer diesel. Whatever else that gets picked off the car is just more gravy for their bottom line. I would think you could probably get a yard to sell you a clean escort wagon body that hasn't been put out on the pick line but has had the cat removed for around $500 or less. Since Escorts are seen as low end grocery getters and they were sold in large numbers I can see them even selling for as low as a couple hundred dollars. It really depends on the demand for parts as to what they'd sell the whole car for.

Of course whoever buys one is going to have to contend with why they are even there in the first place so, depending on what may be missing or damaged, it may make more financial sense to buy a running vehicle as the probability of most of the systems being intact and in good working order is higher than in a junked car.

John
The junkyard around here was more akin to a grave yard, with obvious winners like catalytic converters, doors, wheels, and engines ripped from the carcasses of the cars.

I think the hassle of finding a shell and getting it up to Syracuse probably outweighs the effort of just flying to DFW where I'm from and buying a car and driving it up (my driveway also isn't big enough for a carcass and an intact rig). It's 100 bucks to fly there and 150 bucks to drive back (and I have a free place to stay and car to borrow when I'm in town). Seems like it will be worth the hassle to have a car that has zero rust, and then I can baby it up here; plus if I ever want to get rid of it, it will be the cleanest thing around up here and should fetch a premium...
 

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In my municipality (and probably typical of most cities in my province) I am allowed to have one "dead" as in uninsured car on a residential property. It has to be in the side yard or backyard though.

Where I live we also have anonymous informing, a very useful tool for any authority. However the two old bats who used to patrol our neighbourhood equipped with copies of the bylaws have bit the dust, so the pressure has been much reduced.

It seems odd to me that in the US the identity of the accuser is hidden from the accused. I suppose the way that the authorities get around this is by insisting that the complainer is just the informant, and the town is the accuser.
 

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The junkyard around here was more akin to a grave yard, with obvious winners like catalytic converters, doors, wheels, and engines ripped from the carcasses of the cars.

I think the hassle of finding a shell and getting it up to Syracuse probably outweighs the effort of just flying to DFW where I'm from and buying a car and driving it up (my driveway also isn't big enough for a carcass and an intact rig). It's 100 bucks to fly there and 150 bucks to drive back (and I have a free place to stay and car to borrow when I'm in town). Seems like it will be worth the hassle to have a car that has zero rust, and then I can baby it up here; plus if I ever want to get rid of it, it will be the cleanest thing around up here and should fetch a premium...
I would have to agree with you reading the logic stream you posted. Granted, some might like the idea of starting from a shell, me included, to have the luxury of replacing every system in the car with a solution that inspires more confidence than the OEM solution.

In my municipality (and probably typical of most cities in my province) I am allowed to have one "dead" as in uninsured car on a residential property. It has to be in the side yard or backyard though.

Where I live we also have anonymous informing, a very useful tool for any authority. However the two old bats who used to patrol our neighbourhood equipped with copies of the bylaws have bit the dust, so the pressure has been much reduced.

It seems odd to me that in the US the identity of the accuser is hidden from the accused. I suppose the way that the authorities get around this is by insisting that the complainer is just the informant, and the town is the accuser.
Isn't big government great?

In actuality I do get the intent of the law. I wouldn't want to live next to a "relentless restorer"(guy that won't sell you his carcass because someday he's going to fix it up) that has 2 or 3 cars devolving into rust piles lowering the value of my home but, a lot of times, the interpretations if those laws by city officials can be bewildering.

John
 

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Hiding the accuser is done at the state law level, and probably reflects the belief that the accusers may suffer threats from the accused.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
I would have to agree with you reading the logic stream you posted. Granted, some might like the idea of starting from a shell, me included, to have the luxury of replacing every system in the car with a solution that inspires more confidence than the OEM solution.

Isn't big government great?

In actuality I do get the intent of the law. I wouldn't want to live next to a "relentless restorer"(guy that won't sell you his carcass because someday he's going to fix it up) that has 2 or 3 cars devolving into rust piles lowering the value of my home but, a lot of times, the interpretations if those laws by city officials can be bewildering.

John
I lived in Fairbanks for a while where nothing is trash, and the "Alaska Yard" is a real thing. Usually it was some guy having 4 geo trackers so that he could have one, but the process is the same; it all starts with one...
 

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Where I live there is an ordnance that says you can't have an unregistered vehicle on your property unless you are a licensed dealer. I laughed when I first heard about it because this is a town that is mostly comprised of rural areas where if you look hard enough you can find real life examples of just about every "you might be a ******* if" joke that Jeff Foxworthy has ever come up with. There is also no police department here to patrol the area so the only way I could see it ever getting enforced is if a neighbor really hates you and complains. That said, my neighbors are pretty chill.
 

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Where I live there is an ordnance that says you can't have an unregistered vehicle on your property unless you are a licensed dealer. I laughed when I first heard about it because this is a town that is mostly comprised of rural areas where if you look hard enough you can find real life examples of just about every "you might be a ******* if" joke that Jeff Foxworthy has ever come up with. There is also no police department here to patrol the area so the only way I could see it ever getting enforced is if a neighbor really hates you and complains. That said, my neighbors are pretty chill.
I wonder how many "fields of cars" there are still in your neck of the woods. You know what I mean. Some old farmer that loves old muscle cars and has a few hundred sitting in fields and barns. I can't imagine the look on an inspectors face when he has to ticket the guy for all the "inoperable" cars he has in his property.

Here in Cali you just let DMV know that the car will not be on the street and they wave the reg fee until it's operational.

John
 

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I wonder how many "fields of cars" there are still in your neck of the woods. You know what I mean. Some old farmer that loves old muscle cars and has a few hundred sitting in fields and barns. I can't imagine the look on an inspectors face when he has to ticket the guy for all the "inoperable" cars he has in his property.

Here in Cali you just let DMV know that the car will not be on the street and they wave the reg fee until it's operational.

John
There is a place probably 20 minutes from my house that is a salvage yard that closed down probably in the 60's. While any resemblance of buildings are gone all the old cars are still sitting there and it's quite the sight to see. The owners have cameras set up and will supposedly call the cops on anyone that sets foot in the yard but absolutely refuse to sell anything or do anything with the property. I'm pretty sure that most of the stuff is too far gone to save but could you imagine how much a piece of original glass one some of these cars would go for? They are insane for doing nothing with it! I need to get the address from my friends so I can check it out again, maybe take some pictures from the road.
 
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There is a place probably 20 minutes from my house that is a salvage yard that closed down probably in the 60's. While any resemblance of buildings are gone all the old cars are still sitting there and it's quite the sight to see. The owners have cameras set up and will supposedly call the cops on anyone that sets foot in the yard but absolutely refuse to sell anything or do anything with the property. I'm pretty sure that most of the stuff is too far gone to save but could you imagine how much a piece of original glass one some of these cars would go for? They are insane for doing nothing with it! I need to get the address from my friends so I can check it out again, maybe take some pictures from the road.
There's an old guy a block away from me that has a fully optioned, one owner, numbers matching '69 Camaro I've been trying to pry out of his hands. He has it under a patio and covered with a tarp so it's well protected from the elements. Apparently he bought it for his wife and she didn't drive it much so, I would imagine, it's pretty low mileage.

He keeps telling me he's going to restore it but the guy has to be at least 80 so I don't see him wrenching on it anytime soon.

John
 

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"I need to get the address from my friends so I can check it out again, maybe take some pictures from the road."

How about finding it on Google Earth and sharing with us?
 

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Ther
"I need to get the address from my friends so I can check it out again, maybe take some pictures from the road."

How about finding it on Google Earth and sharing with us?
It's really overgrown with a lot of trees, I doubt much can be seen from overhead. It basically looks like a bunch of cars in the woods on the side of a dirt road at this point in time so finding it on Google earth would be a pain without a starting point like a road name.
 

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Discussion Starter #58
Man. I looked all over Texas for another wagon (I even considered a sable wagon; and at my low point a ford focus wagon). I do kind of want the wagon, but I just bought a forester from Texas that is likely going to eat my play budget before too long (it's got the classic seepy head gasket that will likely evolve into a failure if I don't take care of it, and if it fails the engine could be damaged so I'm tempted to take care of it before it gets worse). It's tempting. TBH though I'm pretty scared of cars from this part of the world. Companies just don't design with salt water spray in every orifice for four months a year.
 
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