Junk Yard Tours
Hi-Way Automotive, Franklinton, NC.
There was something especially fun about this junk yard. I think it was how I ran across it. I saw an ad on Craigslist for a guy selling 64 Impala parts. I talked to him and arranged to meet him in a couple of weeks while I was in Morrisville where my brother in law lives. A few minutes after hanging up I realized I should have asked him if he knew where there were any junk yards with classic cars in them. He mentioned a guy called Stacy in Fayetteville that I should talk to and he gave me Stacy's number.
Stacy was a storehouse of information on classic car junk yards in North Carolina. He said he met a guy named Chris Jackson that was selling cars out of a junk yard in Franklinton, NC. He said as far as he knew the junk yard was closed to the public and you could only get in with Chris Jackson. He also had a lot to say about how the classic car hype and cheap new parts were wiping out the junk yard profits for some types of cars.
Finding Hi-Way Automotive...
Chris has an agreement with the owner to sell the cars before the owner closes the junk yard for good, so you'll need to meet Chris and he'll take you into the junk yard. Chris is doing business as Jackson's Junkyard Gems and he can be reached at 919 764-9995 or on his cell phone at 919 475-6386. I met him at the corner of Conyers rd and NC route 56.
You can have some fun with the google maps. If you click on view larger map then zoom in a bit and choose Street View, you can see the corner store where we met from all angles using the arrow keys on your keyboard.
I followed him to the junk yard just off of NC route 1. The junk yard is on the owner's private property behind his business. It's a mix of classic car junk yard and small farm with goats and herding dogs roaming around everywhere.
Since the junk yard is destined to close, a lot of the classic cars have been taken to the crusher already. There were a couple hundred recently crushed including all the Chevy Novas. The evidence is in big piles. These old tires will get sent out to be shredded for road paving fill.
A Junk Yard Liquidation sale.
Chris tells me what you see here is all that's left. Their not much interested in selling parts, they just want to clear all these classic cars out of here. They still have a fair amount of classic Chevy inventory though. They started about a year ago with over 600 old cars and they're down to about 200 now. It won't be long before this junk yard is history.
Talking about history, Hi-Way Automotive was started by the now owner's father. His father died about 15 years ago and left it to him. He kept the parts business going but became less and less interested in the junk yard. Now they want to clear the old cars off the land, sell it, and move to the beach.
The classic car inventory
Surprisingly Chris has a few 64 Impala's here. The first one we ran across has seen better days and has been stripped a lot of a parts already. It's a 1747 body style, with the 230 cu. in. inline 6 cylinder engine. Just like every other junk yard out there, classic car or not, the cars were all sitting on there axles. Now this isn't so bad in the southwest but here on the east coast these cars will rot away in no time. The humid air and wet earth in the spring and fall will rust these classic cars to the point they can't be used for any body parts. With the windows left down the interior fills up with leaves that compost when rained on.
For the 64 Impala that's not the end of the world. You can almost buy enough sheet metal to reassemble your own 64 Impala. It's enough work though to discourage any classic car restorer without a lot of experience in replacing body panels from taking on the challenge. The cars that are wasted are the ones that you can't get too many sheet metal parts for. I prefer my 64's but I don't like to see other classics rot away like this. Either does Chris. He quit his job to sell these cars full time.
Hood scoop on a 64 Impala!
Here's a 64 Impala that someone did some hood modification on. I'm not so sure a hood scoop on a 64 Impala looks like it belongs. This one still has the interior except for door panels. You see some funny things on old cars like this. Check out the kitchen drawer pull on the glove box. The picture of the trunk isn't very good but you can see how the trunk is not really rusty as you would expect for an east coast 64 Impala. The usual rust holes aren't there. This is the kind of thing that makes a car restorable. I didn't see the underside so can't comment on the condition of the floor pans. The ground was still wet from rain a few hours earlier and I still had to drive another 6 hours to Savannah GA so I wasn't inclined to lay in the wet leaves and mud to find out. Check out the wheels. These 64 Impala's look surprisingly good with 5 spoke wheels on them. They're kind of dated, but then so is a 64 Impala.
Buick and Ford classic cars too.
There are plenty of non Chevrolet classic cars here. Like this 4 door hard top Buick. This was a classic car that doubled as a family car with 4 doors, and offered a sporty look to keep the man of the family happy. It surprises me the younger generation hasn't caught onto these classic cars. They seem to like 4 doors classics, so a car like this just make's sense. I'll bet this car would look hot with some 20 inch wheels, a classy two tone paint job, an LS1 or LS2 with fuel injection under the hood and a bangin sound system.
Now here's a hot classic Ford. A 64 Ford Galaxie 500 with a 390 V8. This was a powerful machine in 64. A guy in my welding class in high school had the same classic car, and he drove it to school every day. In 1979, a 64 Galaxie 500 wasn't all that old but old enough that it sold for a song. I'm sure he got it for a price that would make most of us laugh now-a-days. Check out the rocker panels. I would expect the lower part of this car to be full of holes, but it looks pretty clean.
Hey, here's a 66 chevy convertible!
Back to the old Chevy's. Check out the 66 chevy convertible. This one looks from the outside like it's got some rust. I didn't have time to look inside so I can't tell you if the floor pans are intact. Being a convertible, I'll bet there are a few rust holes. That's not the end of the world. You can find floor pans for the 66 Chevy series. It looks like the convertible top hardware is all there though.
There are plenty of Impala cars in this yard to be had. The 64 missing the drivers door is about to be missing a front bumper soon too. I'm headed down there on Memorial day weekend to fetch it.
If you want to get any of these before they're gone, you need to call Chris. He says he's selling around 5 a week so don't expect it to be there too much longer.
May 9th 2008