Author: Murilee Martin

YORK, England — Honda began selling the Fit-based second-generation HR-V in the USA as a 2016 model, but we never saw its first-generation predecessor here. That boxier, shorter machine debuted in Japan as a 1998 model and went on sale in Europe for the 2000 model 12 months. During my recent trip to the junkyards scrapyards of northern England (that is what they call them here) I discovered this first-year example at the U-Pull-It in York. U-Pull-It UK is owned by Dallas-based Copart and its two British locations (the opposite is in Edinburgh, Scotland) operate very like their counterparts in…

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YORK, England — What the world needs is more Pininfarina-styled two-seat convertibles, right? On the opposite side of the Atlantic, Ford believed this to be the case and created a really small yet very cool Pininfarina-designed convertible based on the Ford Ka, itself based on the Ford Fiesta Mk3. During my recent trip to the scrapyards of Northern England, I discovered this 2006 StreetKa in a Yorkshire self-service knacker’s yard. The StreetKa was available from the 2003 through 2006 model years, with just over 37,000 produced during that point. Australian pop star Kylie Minogue was hired to pitch the StreetKa,…

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BARNSLEY, England — Top-of-the-line things about traveling to the automotive graveyards of a distant land is that you just get to see discarded examples of vehicles that never got here close to being sold in the USA. I visited the breaker’s yards of northern England recently and photographed loads of machines that never had a probability of coming to our continent, including a 2007 Mitsubishi Colt, a 2008 Mitsubishi i, a 2005 Smart ForFour, a 2005 Vauxhall Tigra, a 2009 Alfa Romeo Brera S and a 2010 Peugeot Bipper. Today’s Junkyard Scrapyard Gem is a really useful South Korean MPV that…

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Mazda began selling its B-Series pickups in the US in 1971, badged because the B1600 (it was often called the Proceed in its homeland). We got here to know this small pickup a lot better when Ford began selling it with Courier badges in the next yr, and the Courier remained available here all the best way through 1982 (after which it was replaced by the Ranger). All that point, Mazda was selling the B-Series with its own badges in the US, and this sturdy little pickup was available here through 1994. Here’s certainly one of the last of the…

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For the 1984 model 12 months, Honda began selling a two-seat version of the third-generation Civic referred to as the Civic CRX. Perhaps this was in emulation of Ford’s two-seaterization of the Escort, referred to as the EXP and LN7, which first hit American showrooms as a 1982 model, however the copycat ended up being far more successful than the unique here. The CRX was fun to drive while getting shockingly good fuel economy, and its final model 12 months was 1991. Its successor first appeared here as a 1993 model: the Civic del Sol. Here’s an example of a first-year…

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If you’re walking the rows of your local automobile graveyard, during which vehicles are you probably to search out odometers showing intergalactically high final odometer readings? I’ve got numerous experience on the topic, and I can say that the most effective bets are likely to be diesel-powered Mercedes-Benzes and Honda Accords of the late Eighties through early Nineteen Nineties. For today’s Junkyard Gem, we have one other one among those high-mile Accords, now residing in a Denver-area self-service boneyard. 409,780.7 miles over 32 years signifies that this unassuming base-grade Accord coupe averaged just over 12,805 for each 12 months of…

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  EDITOR’S NOTE: Murilee Martin wrote his first post for Autoblog in 2015, takes on automotive history that quickly took the shape of the Junkyard Gems of today. This rare Ramcharger is his 1,000th post. For the occasion, he’s also providing post No. 1,001, listing his five all-time favorite Junkyard Gems, so check that out too. Like he says, perhaps they make sense, perhaps they do not!   Because vehicles from Canada and Mexico could also be operated in the USA for one yr after crossing the border, loads of cars and trucks not originally sold here will be spotted…

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Through the Nineteen Eighties, when you wanted an enormous, powerful luxury sedan with otherworldly construct quality and all the newest technological marvels, there was just one rational selection when you had the cash: the Mercedes-Benz W126 S-Class. I see quite a number of W126s during my junkyard adventures, including a pair with higher than 500,000 miles showing on the odometer, but today’s 420 SEL— present in a Denver self-service boneyard recently — is an unusually clean example with heartbreakingly low miles. For a W126, even a gasoline-burner, 161K miles is just getting broken in! The inside looks prefer it’s 10…

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Audi moved steadily higher on the prestige pyramid throughout the Nineteen Eighties, with the mighty Audi V8 inching ever closer to its BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class rivals within the performance, snob-appeal and price tag departments. When it got here time to design the V8’s successor, the A8, Audi went with a radical all-aluminum unibody structure and added a giant helping of horsepower and electronic gadgetry. The A8 first went on sale in america as a 1997 model; the second-generation version made its debut as a 2003 model. Here’s certainly one of those second-generation A8s, present in a Denver…

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What was the most affordable latest four-wheel-drive automobile available in the USA throughout the early Nineteen Nineties? No, it wasn’t the Subaru Loyale sedan, nor was it the Ford Tempo/Mercury Topaz AWD. It was the Subaru Justy 4WD, a tiny three-cylinder machine available here for the 1988 through 1994 model years. Today’s Junkyard Gem is certainly one of those now-rare cars, present in a Northern California boneyard a couple of months back. The MSRP for the Justy 4WD GL two-door hatchback for 1993 was $9,478, or about $21,073 in 2023 dollars. This automobile is the four-door hatchback, so its list price…

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