SEPTEMBER 6, 2012: WHERE HAVE ALL THE CAR CROPS GONE? A LOOK AT A VANISHING WAY OF LIFE

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MyStarCollectorCar.com has featured a “Fallen Stars” section since Day 1 of its existence.

 

This is a pretty basic concept – look for dead or dying old cars and trucks and give them a final (in some cases) send-off into the eternity that is cyber-world.

 

In other words, that old Rambler might be in its 2nd or 3rd incarnation as a fridge door by the time somebody sees the picture of the old relic but it’s there forever.

 

Unless the old ride gets shredded before any picture is taken.

 

That’s been the fate of far too many old classics. Essentially we are destroying a piece of history every time we bale a sedan from the 1960s or a wagon from the 1950s. These used up old relics are expendable from a purely practical point of view but what happens when we turn the last 1957-8-9 Plymouth sedan into heavily iron-laden mulch?

 

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Years from now some guy will point to a picture of an old Belvedere sedan and say, ” yup, your Great-Grandfather rode in one just like this with his parents on summer vacations. It sat for years but somebody complained so they took it away”.

 

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Even if that old car never saw another day on the road there’s something very spiritual about a car with so many memories. You can point a kid at something like that and let his imagination run wild about the past and the future of this old car. It can be covered in moss and dirt and 75% rust but an 8-year-old kid has the imagination to see possibilities in a bush car.

 

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Years later, that same kid becomes an adult and he still sees possibilities in that same old bush car because car guys are born to be dreamers, not pragmatists. They leave that job to their parents when they’re 8 and their wives when they’re 38.

 

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Unfortunately, the magic of an old car crop is lost on most people. A guy who lived on a section of land filled with hundreds of cars for decades is suddenly surrounded by wound-up acreage owners…goodbye car crop.

 

Or his family didn’t have the same fondness for rusty old Pontiacs after he bequeaths the land…goodbye car crop.

 

Or a civil servant with far too much time on his hands and an innate need to stick to the letter of the law…goodbye car crop.

 

These aren’t good scenarios and they all have the same ending. A goldmine of parts, projects and history goes to the “Great Salvage Yard in the Sky” simply because people see this old iron as a nuisance, instead of a valuable asset.

 

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This same kind of thinking would have seen the Roman Coliseum or the Egyptian Pyramids blown up because they blocked a view or looked “ugly and old”. Who’s to say that old station wagon won’t represent an equally valid source of cultural history 2000 years from now?

 

 

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We’ll never know because somebody with no car soul made up brutal green laws that forced old station wagons into extinction. Or somebody bought a prime piece of land, dug a big pit and shoved every piece of old iron on the property into that last big ditch.

 

Worse yet, between the heavy-handed legislation, intense disapproval from wives and modern society’s relentless desire to make everything “recyclable”, we feel guilty every time we bring home another project car. That’s wrong-really wrong.

 

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Somebody has to fall on the grenade for these old classics because when you bale an old Packard, you bale American history.

 

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I’m not advocating for a nation of wacked-out, heavily armed hoarders tucked behind rows of old Fords but I am asking for a reasonable approach to the “Fallen Stars” issue.

 

Collecting old cars that need a little work isn’t a crime, nor is storing them forever on the back 40 acres yet guys who do face the same public censure that’s usually given to drug dealers and purveyors of kiddie porn.

 

There’s only one answer.

 

Support your local car crop guy and help preserve these Fallen Stars…send the pictures to info@mystarcollectorcar.com

 

Jerry Sutherland

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