Since 2006, we’ve been a faithful member of a forum called DodgeCharger.com. In that time frame, we’ve spent hours looking at every thread on the forum, learning about numerous Mopar junkyards in the Canadian province of Alberta. These junkyards were virtual gold mines. We’re talking line-ups of Chargers, Challengers and ‘Cudas stacked two high for numerous acres. In British Columbia, these junkyards simply don’t exist. If there is the odd classic Mopar or two sitting in a junkyard around here, it’s a base model four-door Valiant or something like that.
Around 2007 when we first learned of these Alberta junkyards, there were four or five huge ones. We made it a personal goal to drive out to Alberta and check them out. Around two years ago, the news that Tim Lynch, owner of Heavy Metal Auto Wrecking, had passed away. Tim was a die-hard Mopar guy and from what we’ve heard; truly one of the nicest guys you’d meet. He had hundreds of classic Mopars in his yard and his prices were more than fair.
For years, Heavy Metal was one of, if not the biggest Mopar yard in Alberta right up until Tim’s death. It was the number one priority yard to go to on our list. After Tim’s passing, his family auctioned and sold off most everything. The website is gone and their Facebook page hasn’t been updated since July 2015. It was quite disappointing that we never had the chance to go out there, check out the yard and meet Tim in person. Last summer, we drove out to Alberta to pick up a 1971 Dodge Charger R/T that we had purchased. It was our first time driving out to Alberta so we decided to go check out at least one of the junkyards.
Earlier this month, we drove out to Alberta to pick up a 1971 Plymouth Road Runner we bought so we made it a priority to go to at least one of the junkyards this time. We purposely took five days off to do the trip, giving us plenty of time. When we started digging into which yards were still around and operating, I learned that besides Heavy Metal, a few others had closed down too. The list was getting smaller and smaller. One of the bigger yards on the list was still open and full of Mopars but was nowhere near where we were going to be, so we had to check that one off the list too. Two, however, were right around where we were going.
Doing our research, we found contact information for one of the harder-to-find yards; we couldn’t even find a proper address for it! The other junkyard in the area was a lot easier to find information for. This one in particular was in the Top 3 for biggest Mopar yards in Alberta. Quite a few of the pictures we had seen in the previous years were from this yard. We decided to reach out and see if 1) they still had old Mopars there and 2) if we could come look at them. We received a reply right away from one of the head guys at the yard; “Hi. The business has changed a lot over the years. 99.9% of our sales come from modern salvage vehicles. Insurance regulations have prevented us from offering any U-pull it sales or allowing anyone that isn’t staff into the yard.”
Ten years ago, you could walk these yards for hours and look at the cars and pull your own parts. However, people started getting hurt, mostly from stupidity. Another problem was people generally pulling their own parts only care about the part they want. We’ve lost count of how many times we’ve seen people wrecking perfectly good parts (worth quite a bit of money) just to get one ten dollar part. Not to mention people leaving doors, hoods and trunks open and even standing on cars. This, combined with the injuries, have led to most of the yards in Alberta banning the public from entering their yards.
We figured checking out that yard would be a no-go and an end to our dream of walking one of these Mopar yards. However, we got very excited when he told me, “That being said, you are welcome to visit us and walk the yard after business hours. We have retained the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s cars as a living museum. The shrubs are growing through the cars and they continue to rust away. They are lined up by brand in the far corners of the yard. The only traffic to them is strictly to photographers like you.” He finished by saying, “Bring boots and lots of bug spray.”
We arranged a time to meet and anxiously waited to get there. When we arrived at the yard, we suited up with long pants, boots and cans of bug spray. The guy was very friendly and told us where all the old Mopars were sitting – so off we went. There were A-, B- and C-bodies galore; with one E-body Barracuda in the mix. We spent about two hours checking everything out. Most of these cars have been there for 15 plus years and show it. While many parts including all of the fender tags are gone, they still retain all of their VIN tags and quite a few good parts. However, due to their previously mentioned insurance regulations, he told me they don’t sell any of the parts anymore. While many of the local Albertan Mopar people will know which yard this is, we were asked to keep the name of the junkyard private to avoid having the general public showing up banging on their door wanting to see the cars. They made it very clear that we are probably going to be the only people allowed in there for quite a while.