On Saturday, I took a stroll through a junkyard just for fun. In just 30 minutes I spotted some interesting hardware: A strangely beautiful GM part that few people will ever see, an awesome air intake system that cools a car’s computer, and one of the wackiest suspension designs of all time. Check it out in the first installation of my new series called “Junkyard Finds.” (Since I basically live in junkyards anyway, I may as well take you all with me.)
I am in the process of piecing together used parts for a dirt-cheap overlanding build that I plan to someday take on an expedition of epic proportions. With coil springs, front lower control arms, and shocks sourced for a total of $50, I still needed rear control arms. A friend of mine had lifted his Jeep Wrangler JK recently, and had a set of arms sitting around, so I visited him down near Dearborn.
After handing my buddy $20 for the parts, he and I decided to head to a local junkyard, Fox Auto Parts in Belleville, Michigan, to hang out a bit more in a socially distanced fashion. Once there, I was keen to show off my knowledge of random cars, so I kicked an early-2000s Saturn Ion’s extremely rusty rear brake drum. “What are you doing?” he asked. “Oh, I gotta show you something,” I responded. I kicked the car again. The thing wouldn’t budge, probably because southeast Michigan’s road salt was so upset that it couldn’t eat the car’s plastic exterior panels and it took it all out on that drum.