Classic Car Salvage yards are ideal for finding parts for a restoration project. Some specialize exclusively in antique vehicles, while other auto salvages happen to have a few classic cars on the lot. I will share with you my experience with the classic car salvage yards near me and what to do before you sell your antique car to a junkyard.
Map of Classic Car Junk Yards Near Me
For “Classic Car Salvage Yards Near Me”, or “Antique Car Salvage Yards Near Me”, see the map below…
If your local results feel limited alternatively you can check for “antique car junkyards near me” or “classic car junkyards near me” . Depending on the model and year of vehicle you are looking for going to a standard auto salvo is no guarantee. You may also want to look for muscle car junk yards.
Some of the largest junkyards in the US do nothing but classics, like the Covair yard in PA, so it might just depend where you are located. I recently called a junk yard and they had a 65 Triumph spitfire on the lot, which is was exactly what I needed. Any auto junkyard will have plenty of classic antique cars, it just might not be specialized enough for your needs.
Operations of Classic Car Junk Yards
Antique car salvage yards operate on the local level and run similar to any local store. The classic car salvage yards near me buy wrecked antique vehicles and then sell them for parts. The two main sources of these vehicles are vehicle owners and insurance companies.
When a car comes from the owner its often because its inoperable or the cost of repair isn’t worth the value of the vehicle. When it comes from an insurance company, its because the vehicle was in an accident and they are offsetting the cost of paying out a claim. Either was the car ends up at the automobile salvage and is being sold for miscellaneous parts.
When an antique car or truck hits the lot, often some basic maintenance occurs first. Typically the fluids are drained to be containerized and resold. Some vehicles will have their engines pulled to be rebuilt and resold with a warranty. Other than engines everything else is left attached. You can find classic car parts like white wall wheels, mirrors, seats, exhaust pipes, clutches, dashboards, carbs, shifters, blocks, etc.
When the vehicle is on the lot for a certain time period and picked apart down to the frame, the junk yard will sell what remains for scrap metal. This allows them to clear room for more inventory and get the last bit of cash out of the vehicle. A good yard will turn over their inventory every four to six months. A poorly managed yard will let the vehicles rust on the lot.
How are Classic Car Salvage Yards Arranged?
For the most part cars will be arranged by model and year and then laid out in rows. For example you may find a Ford section and then it is loosely laid out by decade. At a standard car junkyard you may find a Mustang section, but at an antique car junk yard you typically don’t find this type of fine grain arrangement.
If the lot doesn’t have some type of organization finding what you need is difficult. Some lots maintain a searchable online inventory, which can tell you model and year and where it’s located on the lot. Its even possible they have the ability to search by part in some instances. These lots that let you search by part first remove the functioning vehicle parts and then keep them in a warehouse with a detailed labeling system. The antique car salvage yards near me do this, which makes finding what you need much more efficient.
Selling Your Classic Car or Truck to Salvage Yards
If you are considering junking your antique car, you should consider a few things. Can your vehicle be fixed? How much will it cost to fix? What’s the value of your classic car both with and without the repairs being done? These questions should help frame your mind to determine if its best to fix and keep it, fix and sell independently, fix and sell to an antique car salvage yard, or don’t fix it and sell it to an antique car junkyard.
If this leads you to decide that your best option is to junk it, then do the following first:
- Remove all your stuff from trunk, glove box, seat flaps, door panels, console, etc
- Return the license plates yourself to DMV
- Cancel your registration and insurance (junk yard will charge you for this service)
- If you have a full tank of gas siphon as much as you can out and keep it
- Find your title, you need this in order to sell the car to the auto salvo/li>
- Look up the value of your vehicle in the Kelly Blue Book
When it comes to your vehicle, its important to let emotional value and sentiment go when you assess the value and condition of it. The more honest and forthright you are about the vehicle the smoother the negotiation with the junkyard will go. Some classic car salvage yards will ask you to provide photos if you are negotiating a selling price on the phone. For help estimating the value of the car, read this.
When selling your classic car to an auto scrap yard, its important to know some of the underhanded negotiating tactics some businesses use….
Tricks and Scams By Classic Car Junkyards
Not all junkyards do fair and upfront negotiating. Below are some of the common tactics they use to take advantage of you during the transaction process.
Payment Delay: This common technique is when you negotiate a price for the vehicle over the phone, then the wrecker shows up and says they arn’t paying you yet. The haul the vehicle back to the junk yard, inspect it, and then renegotiate the selling price with you. Once the car is on their property it’s much easier for them to low ball you. To avoid delayed payment, get your price and payment while the vehicle is still in your possession.
Tow Fee: This occurs when the auto salvo doesn’t tell you up front they will deduct the cost of sending a wrecker from the negotiated price. Lets say you were junking your car for $1000. In this scenario the tow truck driver shows up and gives you $800. When you say thats not the price I agreed to, they will say it was $1000 -$200 for the tow. To avoid this do not let the driver hook your car up until you have your negotiated price. This tactic is most common when your classic car is inoperable.
Your Antique Car Has 0 Value: In this scenario the salvage yard takes a hard stance and says your classic car is worth nothing. What they are trying to do is act like it has no value so you will sign over the title for nothing or at least bottom dollar. They will try and act like they are doing you a favor, like “hey, you vehicle has no value, but we can’t take it off your property if you want”. Remember to a junkyard all vehicles have value…they are gonna be sold for parts and scrap metal. If a junkyard says your car is worthless, call another ard.
Admin Fees: If you leave your plates on the car and leave it registered in your name, the auto salvo will send you a bill for administrative fees. If you decide not to pay the bill, then they will report you to a credit collection agency. To mitigate this always handle your own administration. Turn in your plates, cancel your registration, and cancel your insurance.
For more info on junking your car at classic car salvage yards visit this page here.
Buying Used Parts for Your Classic Car
Pros of Used Parts in Scrap Yards
You can find almost any type of used vehicle part at a junkyard. I have picked and pulled hundreds of parts including chrome bumpers, small blocks, turbos, super chargers, exhaust pipes, carbs, leather dashboards, and chassis. The advantage of course is that you can save a lot of money over using other sources. Additionally if you are doing a restoration you may find original parts that you can’t get any where else.
Another perk at some yards is the ability to purchase a warranty on the parts. At the classic car salvage yards near me, you can get a warranty for $10 to $15 per part. The return period is 30 days and it gets you exchange or junkyard credit if you make a return.
If you are interested in the tools I recommend for pulling parts, click here.
Disadvantages of Buying Spare Parts from the Junkyard
The danger of buying parts at an antique car salvage yard is the potential of poor quality. After all these vehicles are already aged and you can’t be sure how much lifespan is left in the part you are pulling. Even a thorough visual inspection or a full test of the part can’t guarantee the life of the part. This is why its a good idea to get a warranty on any expensive parts if the junk yard offers one.
The other possible issue with getting used classic car parts at a junkyard is the lot itself. If there isn’t a logical structure to how the yard is laid out, you could spend all day searching for a model of car and never find it. Even worse, they may have what you need on the lot, its just tucked away somewhere you arn’t looking. The best way to mitigate this is to call ahead and/or to check if they have a database on their website.
Popular Salvage Yards that have Antique Cars
While you can find classic car salvage yards around, its also beneficial to look for manufacturer salvage yards near you. For example if you are restoring an old Dodge Challenger, you can check for a Dodge junk yard. Here are some popular junk yards you might have interest in:
You can also find additional links and resources here.
Classic Car Salvage Yards Near Me Conclusion
If you have a classic car in need of restoration or you want inexpensive used parts, the auto salvage yard is your best opportunity. It’s best to call around and look for junkyards with online databases to save yourself some upfront effort finding what you need. While junkyards are great for saving money, they are also great for wasting your time if you don’t have a plan and the lot isn’t organized.
When selling a vehicle to a junkyard its important to be aware of their price negotiating tactics. Most yards wlll negotiate in good faith when junking your vehicle, but not all. This is my experience when dealing with the classic car salvage yards near me.