Junk Yard Tours
John Brown's Auto Parts, Whitehall, Md
BW noticed a classic car junk yard a few weeks ago while cruising the countryside on his Triumph motorcycle, so we went out for a junk yard tour this past Saturday (June 26th, 2010), not knowing the name of the junk yard we were headed to.
Finding John Brown's Auto Parts...
From Baltimore we took I-83 north to exit 36 East. We turned left off the exit ramp and found them roughly 4 miles from I-83. The address is 19529 Old York Road in White Hall, MD 21161-9165 and their phone number is (410) 357-4040.
We first met Jay, the owner, when driving up. We said we were looking for some 60's GM stuff and he said they don't have much left. He pointed out a 64 Impala that recently came in and said they don't let people roam the yard unless with an escort so he asked Andrew to give us the tour.
I did it Myself!
With Tools and Instruction
Andrew gave us the history of the yard. He said it started sometime back in the 30's and was run by his grandfather until he died. Jay's been running it ever since. The classic cars have almost disappeared over the years except for the 40 or so they have left. The pictures here are just the highlights.
A Junk Yard Liquidation sale.
Most everyone that works at John Browns Auto Parts is a classic car or truck enthusiast. Some of the best choices in classic cars or truck aren't for sale though. They're reserved for someone that works there. Some of them aren't just sitting there, they're getting restored. Or they were until last year when the shop burnt down and took two project cars with it. They had a 55 Chevy and what looks like a 69 Dodge Dart. I didn't see the remains of the 55 Chevy but they've got the Dart perched on top of a sea container for safe keeping.
It really hurts when you hear a story like that. Andrew said the shop caught fire sometime during the day on a weekend. Someone driving by noticed it and called 911. The fire dept said the compressor started the fire.
There are still a few parts I'm looking for so I asked Jay if he had any 327's. I could use the block to put my 283 crank in and make a screamer for my 64 Impala. He said the only one he has that might be a 327 is in a 63 Impala sitting further back in the yard. Andrew lead the way. The hood hinges were pretty rusty and one of them was bent making it nearly impossible to open. Jay managed to get it open using an old broom handle. We scraped the block deck and found the suffix code "D" so it was a 283. Oh well, it'll make a nice year correct motor for anyone wanting an original 63 Impala 283. It looked like it was all there.
Some of the trim pieces on this one are still pretty nice. The aluminum trim at the back of the car around the taillights was in really good shape and the trim on the front of the car wasn't bad either. All of the dash was still there including the AM radio. The side molding was damaged though. Someone put screws thru the trim to keep it on the car.
A junk yard in a snow storm!
Andrew certainly had some memorable moments here in the junk yard. He told us the story of how he had to trudge thru 3 feet of snow this past winter to remove the door from one of the vehicles in the yard. You can bet he wasn't trying to forget any tools. If he realized he was missing something, he was in for a major walk back to the shop to get it. Check out the hood on this 67 Impala front end. It collapsed under the weight of the snow.
There's even something here for the VW fan. There are a few VW beetles around the yard. I saw some chassis' without a body. You can imagine making a dune buggy with this one. For the VW muscle car fan there's a dual port VW beetle. I'm not a VW guy so I can;t tell you if it's a super beetle. You'd have to call John Brown's Auto Parts to find out.
July 7th 2010