Exploring America's Largest Volkswagen Graveyard

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A barn find expert takes us through the largest VW junkyard in the U.S., revealing rare finds and affordable classic parts.

In an era where vintage cars are celebrated for their unique charm and history, a recent expedition into the heart of the United States' largest Volkswagen junkyard has unveiled a veritable gold mine for enthusiasts of the iconic German automaker. Nestled in a sprawling lot, this junkyard hosts a myriad of Volkswagens ranging from the early 1990s back to the nostalgic 1950s. The treasure trove was explored by Parker of the Backyard Barn Finds YouTube channel, guided by Larry, a veteran of the junkyard with decades of experience under his belt.

This automotive necropolis came into being thanks to a collector who, since 1974, amassed these vehicles for nominal sums, ranging from $50 to $100. The acquisition of cars continued until 2021, marking an end to an era with the collector's passing. Larry, who has been part of the junkyard's story since he was thirteen, shared that everything on the lot, from the neon green Beetles to the decommissioned buses turned storage units, is up for sale, with the unsold destined for the crusher.


The junkyard is more than just a final resting place for these vehicles; it's a reservoir of rare parts that are a boon for restoration enthusiasts. From body panels and glass to hard-to-find rims with unique pitch circle diameters, the junkyard is a haven for those looking to breathe new life into their classic VWs. Some buses serve as dry storage, housing rims and later-model wheels for the Mk1 Golf and Mk2 Jetta, affordably priced due to their abundance.

Among the verdant expanse of oxidizing metal, one can find rare models like the neon green Volkswagen Beetle, of which only 15,000 were made. Volkswagen buses, available in multiple specifications, also dot the landscape. Regardless of condition, each Beetle carries a price tag of $500, offering a glimmer of hope for those beyond restoration to those who see potential for revival.

Larry shared insights on identifying the year models of these vehicles through various indicators such as rims, headlights, taillights, and turn signals. He highlighted the transition from straight to curved windshields in Beetles post-1971 and discussed the desirable, yet expensive, pop-out safari windows.

This exploration into the largest Volkswagen junkyard in the U.S. not only sheds light on the vast repository of automotive history but also underscores the enduring legacy of Volkswagen. It's a reminder of the brand's impact on car culture and the passionate community that keeps it alive, one restoration at a time.

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