The later iterations went pretty much south in terms of style, and the Spyder is atrocious. But if you can find a W10 model MR2 in a scrapyard near you, get it—right away. Easily the most under-appreciated Subarus of all time, the Justy is a junkyard dream come true. This all-wheel-drive ripper never sold well in the North American market, mostly due to the CVT transmission that came in the first generation. We like gears over here.
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Subaru listened to the masses, and all later models came with standard automatic or manual options. The CVT farce ruined the little four-doors reputation, meaning they can be found for very cheap in plenty of scrapyards. The quirky three-cylinder motor is a puny 1. Cheap, AWD, and high-revving, this sparky little sedan is a junkyard gem. With an almost identical drivetrain and body lines, the E30 is the bargain basement cousin of the iconic Datsun Thanks to having the Toyota name, the E30 is oft looked past as a Datsun lookalike, meaning it can be found populating junkyards across North America.
The car didn't initially fare well in the North American markets, developing a reputation for being heavy and expensive. Whether these gripes are true or not, this car is definitely a great junkyard find. The E30 was produced in the good old days of rear-wheel-drive commuter cars, making it infinitely more fun than any Honda ever. The stock four-cylinder motors made very pedestrian power, but the aftermarket for these engines is very comprehensive.
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Go for it. Grandparents everywhere eventually got sick of their boxy Volvo wagon and cast it away to the junkyard. If anything, they age like fine wine. There are stories of the standard four-cylinder motor doing over a million miles. A million. Any Wagon you can find in a junkyard is a find, but if you happen across a GLT turbo, buy a lottery ticket.
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This was the first time Volvo had ever used a Turbo, and they decided to put it in a wagon. The suspension was also beefed up, with technology borrowed from their touring car-racing program of the time. Next time you walk by a rusty fridge at the scrap yard, stop and take a look. This one's a no-brainer. This is the drift car. Go to any drift meet on any side of the Pacific, and the SX will be one of the most popular cars. The only problem was, unless you wanted to do a lot of work, they were a little slow. With Camaro and Mustang competition, the SX was often sent to the scrapyard before it had been run into the ground.
So if you want to do a fair bit of work, go grab a SX from the scrapyard because they can be so fast and so fun. If you want to stay traditional, drop some fire-breathing turbo six-cylinder in the front.
Want some grunt? These babies take V8 drivetrains with little to no complaints. As soon as you look outside of the big three American automakers, you find some quirky creations. This is one of them. The name alone raises eyebrows, and then you see the trunk line on this subcompact creation. Although these were marketed as subcompacts, if you take a look at the front end, there are some seriously muscle-car-esque proportions. Yeah, right—subcompact. They're wrong. Very wrong. Other than horses and steam, the internal combustion is pretty much the only other technology to have propelled people.
That is, until Mazda bought the patent for the Wankel rotary and spent decades perfecting the technology. Rather than heavy camshafts and clunky cylinders, a rotary is one cylinder with a spinning triangle rotor, with the gaps between the rotor and the cylinder serving as the spark, combustion, and exhaust chambers. This means that the engine's footprint is far smaller, and in the case of the RX7, the entire unit is placed behind the centerline of the front axle.
Weight distribution, anyone? Through a potent combo of ignorance and arrogance, the RX7 never developed the cult following it deserved. Now is your chance.
This is a junkyard dream for the name alone. Overseas, this Mazda was marketed as the Familia. For the very lucky ones among us, you may stumble across the South African built s.
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These were rally-prepped from the factory, coming with beefed-up suspension and an extra powerful turbo. Fear not—the standard GLC came with its own little turbo, so you get waste gates and turbo lag and all that fun stuff. These were also all-wheel drive, making them ideal winter beaters.
If you've ever wanted a road-legal freight train, look no further than the W This car is a junkyard dream because you'll most likely find it in the same condition that it left the lot. The body? Close the door and listen to the clunk; then, ask about body rot. The suspension? There are countless stories of this car reaching almost a million miles, on all-original springs and tie rods.
The drivetrain? You like 3. It's a high-torque, low-revving, durable diesel power in a bomb-proof body shell. Thanks, Merc. They showed up with the Quattro in the late '80s and dominated the American Trans-Am series. Bear in mind, this is a unibody sedan messing around with tube-frame Corvettes and Mustangs. The Quattro Trans-Am program lasted one year, and then, they were told to go home and never come back.
A lot of die-hard muscle-car heads detest the Quattro for what it did to their beloved American muscle. As well, the technology from the race program carried over to the road-going versions, making these seriously quick sedans. In its early years, the B-Series was the world's only rotary-powered pickup truck. In later years, the B-Series was rebadged as a Ford Courier, with Ford contracting Mazda to produce a sub-sized pickup to compete with Toyota and Datsun.
Thankfully, the Mazda-badged numbers have largely fallen by the wayside, most often found at the end of rural driveways with a "for sale" sign. A half-rotted, mid-'50s Chevy pickup is the unofficial mascot of junkyards across America. They can be found in herds, slowly becoming one with the field they were left in. Grouped together by color, these steel-bodied behemoths pay no attention to the elements, refusing to crumble completely. When fully restored, this pillar piece of American vernacular sells for substantial sums.
These trucks were designed in a golden age of durability, meaning they remain easy to work on after decades of disrepair. Not all dreams are easy, but this one is worth working on. This is probably because the general public knows their cars are better when cars are left alone. Mental stuff. The Camaros with the IROC designation appear largely the same from the outside, but underneath are different beasts. If you've ever driven on a road anywhere, you've definitely seen a Civic.
The Type-R isn't as populous as the common Civic, but it still exists in vast numbers. It also takes most standard Honda bits with no complaints, so you get to shop from one of the largest aftermarkets for any car.
The Type-R came with extra welds in the body, meaning it holds up better to the elements. The body styling is mostly alike to the standard Civic, so you have to be hawk-eyed to spot the Type-R gem amongst mountains of Swiss-cheese Civics. The AE86, or Trueno, is probably the perfect sports car. Exceptions can be made for 4WD. Out of the air and into the sea. I guess people really liked animals in the '70s. Or the model names are all part of an umbrella Pony-car pun.
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Who knows? What's known is Barracudas look sick. Just say the word. You feel fast and a little scared. That's what a muscle car should do to you. If you can find one intact, the greenhouse tacked onto the back of the first-generation Barracudas is an astounding piece of styling and glass-blowing. Later years took on the more standard aggressive cardboard-box styling of '70s muscle cars and upfront followed the trends with a big-block HEMI V8.
Also, the grille kind of looks like shark gills, which is probably the coolest styling cue ever on a car. Who would buy a Honda Integra anyway? The thing with Integras is that they're not all made the same.