If you own a muscle car or are doing a restoration project, a muscle car salvage yard is your best place for used parts. These yards specialize in muscle cars and hot rods and if you have one nearby you should take advantage. In this post, I will discuss my experience with the muscle car salvage yards near me, share some tips on buying used parts, and what to do before you junk your muscle car or hot rod.

Find Muscle Car Junk Yards Near Me – Use the Salvage Yard Locator Below

Forr “Muscle Car Salvage Yards Near Me”, “Muscle Car Junk Yards Near Me” or “Hot Rod Salvage Yards Near me”, see the map below…


If the results on the map are limited, consider searching for “used Muscle Car parts near me” or looking at Antique car salvage yards near me, or specific manufacturer salvages such as Mopar yards. If all else falls you can also try your local car junk yard who will likely have a few muscle cars and hot rods on the lot.

Operations of Muscle Car Junk Yards

Any auto junkyard not matter what type of vehicle it has operates on the local level. These are not state run organizations although they do have to adhere to many government regulations. These businesses do both buying and selling of used vehicles. They will buy used automobiles and then sell them off for used parts. Typically people come to the junkyard with tools to pull the parts of the vehicles themselves.

How Muscle Cars and Hot Rods End Up in a Salvage Yard

Muscle cars and hot rods, as much as we love them, sometimes need to be junked. They primarily end up in an auto salvage in one of two ways…


One way is when an owner deems the car undriveable or has determined the cost of repair isn’t worth the value of the car. Sometimes the owner is forced to make a decision if there community guidelines don’t allow inoperable vehicles on their properties.


The second way is when an insurance company junks a vehicle. This occurs when a vehicle is in an accident and the insurance company junks the car to offset the cost of paying out a claim.

How a Vehicle gets Processed

When a vehicle arrives at the junkyard it doesn’t go straight out to the lot. In most cases some basic processing takes place first.


Typical processing includes the draining of major fluids. Gas gets siphoned and resold. Anti-freeze and wiper fluid get drained and resold. Oil gets drained and recycled. In some instances the battery will get extracted, recharged, and resold. Some yards will even extract the engine. In cases where the engines gets pulled, the salvage yard will send it away to a third party vendor to be rebuilt an resold with a warranty.

How the Cars Arranged

A well organized and managed muscle car salvage yard will have the lot laid out by manufacturer, model, and year. Not a lot of yards maintain this type of organization. Mostly you will find rows of cars loosely arranged by manufacturer. Some yards may even stack vehicles, which makes it really hard to find what you need.

Finding The Used Parts You Need

Walking around endlessly in an auto salvo is very time consuming. Because of this, some yards maintain an online database that you can search for the make and model of the car you are looking for. This means you can perform a little research upfront before you waste a trip and a day wandering around the yard.


A few places actually strip the cars down, categorize and label all the parts, and then store them in a warehouse. In these cases you can actually search by part. I recently did this at the muscle car salvage yards near me to find a rear quarter panel for a 67 Trans Am.

After the Car is Stripped

After a vehicle has been extracted of all its value, one of two things happen…


A well managed yard will set what remains of the vehicle for scrap metal. A poorly managed yard will leave the vehicle where it is and let it rust out. When the vehicles do get sent for scrap, it serves two purposes: First the yard gets a few more dollars out of the vehicle and second they make room on the lot for more cars.

French Lake Auto Parts - Muscle Car Salvage

French Lake Auto Parts – Muscle Car Salvage

Selling Your Muscle Car to Salvage Yards

If you are thinking about junking your muscle car or hot rod, think through the following points carefully.

  1. Can the vehicle be fixed? If so, for how much?
  2. How much is the value of the vehicle with repairs completed?
  3. How much is the value of the vehicle without repairs?

Next you will use your answers to the questions above to assess your next move…

  • Fix the car and keep it
  • Fix the car and sell it independently
  • Don’t fix the car and sell it independently
  • Fix the car and sell it to a salvage yard
  • Don’t fix the car and sell it to a salvage yard

There is no right or wrong decision. Its just a matter of how much value you can get out of the car and what effort you want to put in. If you have to the decision that junking you car is the best solution, do the following steps first:


  • Remove all of your personal belongings
  • Return the license plates to your DMV
  • Cancel your registration and insurance
  • Siphon out the gasoline for your own use
  • Find your title, you will need it to sell your vehicle
  • Look up the value of your muscle car or hot rod Kelly Blue Book

Its very important to know the actual value of your car before you negotiate. Its important to remove emotion and sentiment when assessing the value. You need to negotiate in good faith and be 100% transparent about the problems and condition of the vehicle. The salvage yard may ask you to provide pictures via email if you are negotiating over the phone. I recently sold a 69 Dodge Challenger and was asked to provide pictures with a date from the newspaper to prove the pics are current.


You can also consider pulling parts and selling them on their own, before you junk the car. Here is a list of good parts to pull and sell on your own.

Negotiation Tricks and Scams by Junkyards

Not all Muscle Car salvage yards near me are honest, some are, but not all. Familiarize yourself with some of the tactics below before you negotiate the final sales price of your vehicle. Being familiar with these will save you money and headache…


Payment Delay: This is when you negotiate a price of the vehicle over the phone, they send the tow truck to get it, and don’t pay you when they arrive. What they do is tow your car back to the auto salvo, inspect the vehicle, and then renegotiate the sale price with you after they have looked at it. Never let them tow your car without money in your hand. Never sign over your title without money in your hand. Once they have your car in their possession you lose alot of your negotiating leverage.


Tow Truck Costs: This is when they negotiate with you and don’t mention they will charge you for the tow. This can happen in one of two ways. One way is they send the tow driver with payment minus the fee for towing. The second way is they send you an invoice after the tow…if you don’t pay it the report it to a collection agency. To avoid this make sure you are very clear about the terms of the sale when you negotiate. This tactic is most common when your car is undrivable and your only option is for them to send a wrecker.


Vehicle Value Zero:This is when they say your vehicle is worth absolutely nothing, but they can take it off your hands if you would like. Essentially they are trying to either get the car for free or will try and give you the absolute lowest offer possible. My best advice when this happens is to call another junkyard and negotiate.


Administration Fees: This is when you don’t do all the admin work upfront yourself. If you don’t return your license plates, cancel your registration, and cancel your insurance, they charge you for this service. After you sell your car they send you an invoice for administrative work. If you refuse to pay the bill they report you to a collection agency. To mitigate this make sure have all your administrative tasks done first and don’t leave it to the scrap yard.


For more tips on what to watch out for, click here.


1907 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Muscle Car Junkyard

1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1 – Just saved from a scrap yard by a Vintage Seller

Pros and Cons of Cheap Parts

Pros of getting Muscle Car Parts at an Auto Salvage

The biggest pro of getting used parts for your muscle car at the junk yard of course is saving money. You can get any parts super cheap and often save hundreds or even thousands of dollars compared to buying online.


The next big pro is the possibility of getting a warranty. You can’t be entirely sure of the part quality so for a few extra bucks you can purchase a warranty. I advise doing this for any part that you feel is expensive.


Lastly, you may find original factory assembled parts. This is ideal if you are doing a muscle car restoration. This helps keep your restoration true to form, avoids after market parts, avoids the auto store, and avoids fabrication of parts.


If you want to scrap like a pro, read this list of 16 tips for pulling parts.

Cons of Buying Spare from the Junkyard

Quality is always the biggest X-factor when purchasing used parts. Even a solid visual inspection or even a full test of the part doesn’t tell you how much life span is left in it. To safeguard your purchase you can ask if the junk yard offers warranties.


Another con is finding the used parts you need. If the yard is not organized into some logic, you may spend the entire day looking for the manufacturer or make of vehicle you need. To mitigate this you can call ahead and ask or check to see if the junkyard has an online database of their inventory.

Muscle Car Salvage Yards Near Me Conclusion

If you need parts for your muscle car, there is no better place than a junkyard. You will save a lot of money and find manufacturer assembled pieces which is ideal for a restoration project. If you don’t have a muscle car junk yard or hot rod junk yard near you, any car junk yard “may” have what you need.


If you are looking to sell your vehicle its best to understand the proper assessment and prep procedures prior to selling. Additionally you will want to be familiar with the underhanded negotiating tactics some salvage yards use. That’s my experience from the Muscle Car salvage yards near me.