One of my favorite things are abandoned cars. Every year I get the Hemming calendar of abandoned vehicles and look forward to various car publications that have a section where they highlight these photos.
One of my fondest memories growing up was playing across the road from where we lived with an old Plymouth, 1950’s vintage that was left in the field. I remember my dad saying after I asked him if it would run, that it needed a carburetor. My brother and I tried to fashion one out of can and some metal fins from an old ice tray. This was back in the late 60’s, we were pretty young.
Out here in the southwest you use to be able to see them all the time. The desert really knew how to tear down a car. As late as the mid 90’s you could still find them along the side of the road of major highways and if you dared to head out in to the mountains of southern Arizona, trek up the nearly impassable mining roads you’d find them. There would be anything from the 1930 to late 1950. Some would be sitting right beside the road or a mine and many could be down the mountain a ways, not a road in sight. When they died the owners left ’em where they fell. But often, since the road was so narrow, they would push them off the side and down the mountain.
During the mid 1980’s and early 1990’s I spend some time in the mountain, looking for ghost mining towns and generally in join the trips with relatives. You would find abandoned car dotting the dirt roads that wound up and down the canyons. Somewhere in the mid 1990’s the Forestry Department started fencing off the old abandoned mines and as part of a plan to allow the areas to return to their natural state, blocking off the mountain roads to make impassible to all but the most daring 4 wheelers. eeeerrrkkkkk….I’ve been places in a 1970 Monte Carlo that some folks with 4 wheel drive won’t go. Part of that initiative was to haul out the old wrecks that had been there for decades. So a lot of them are gone.
I recently began look for abandoned cars as a hobby and photograph them. So I thought maybe some of my readers might what to join in and catalog the wrecks and their locations and well as photographs.
Then I thought, maybe a contest would be fun. So I’m looking for the readership to email me photos of abandoned car that you run across. Of course there are some rules.
What qualifies as an abandoned car? I’m going to be pretty liberal here and we’ll extend the criteria to include neglected backyard finds as well. It has to appear to be pretty much untouched and neglected.
Two more rules:
You have to provide a general location and it has to be an original photo, not snagged from the internet.
Here is one example.
The house in the photo had been empty for some time according to the locals in Tombstone, Az. These three cars were in the back yard covered with weeds, trees and debris.
Next in the same yard was this:
And this Ford coupe:
I’ve one more good one..but I’ll save that for later.
For the first two individuals writing in with a good photo of an abandoned or neglected car, I have a DVD from the Hot Rod Magazine Library “Dream-Build-Drive” collection.
You can email it to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or post to my Facebook page (look me up: Tim Sweet).
Thanks for reading.