The premise behind the junkyard series is to spur your imagination and highlight the hot-rodding potential of many low-buck, salvage-yard items. Sometimes we zero in on a specific part or assembly that can be adapted for better performance. Other times we merely expose forgotten treasure troves--and let you decide what's useful. This month we chart the latter course with another bouquet of eye candy and imagination ammunition. Let's take a gander at the incredible stash of vintage relics we found at Bernardston Auto Wrecking (BAW) in Bernardston, Massachusetts. Unlike some of the salvage-yard treasures we've highlighted in the past, all of what you see here is safe from the crusher--and available for purchase. See something you can't live without? Just give yard boss Bud Hastings a call at 413/648-9300 and work out a deal. Special thanks to "Hemi Head Fred" Leigh for turning us on to Bernardston Auto Wrecking. Groovy Factoids *Bernardston, Massachusetts, was first settled in 1738 and is named after Governor Francis Bernard, who was royal governor at the time of incorporation. *The Mercury division often fought to maintain a unique identity. But more often than not, Mercury cars were perceived as either glorified Fords or dressed-down Lincolns. Such are the perils of attempting to saturate every nook and cranny of the vast domestic automotive marketplace. Book him, Dano! Looking like a Hawaii Five-O refugee, this ’67 Mercury Monterey four-door sedan wears VIN 7Z44Y571360 and what appears to be its original lime-green paint. The fifth digit is the engine code, and in this case Y tells us this one was born with a big-block 390 two-barrel making 270 hp. Interestingly, while many same-year Ford fullsize models could be ordered with 240-cube straight-six and 289 small-block V8 power, Mercury’s full-size engine selection was limited to FE big-block in 1967. In addition to the base 390 two-barrel, Mercury also offered the 330hp 410 four-barrel (engine code M; $62.15) and 345hp 428 four-barrel (engine code Q; cost $143.90).Book him, Dano! Looking like a Hawaii Five-O refugee, this ’67 Mercury Monterey four-door Inside, we’re shocked to discover a three-on-the-tree manual transmission in place of the more predictable automatic. Its original equipment status is backed up by transmission code 1 on the body-number plate. Using this gearbox saved the original owner $226.79, the cost of the optional Merc-O-Matic (aka Ford C6) automatic transmission. The rear axle code reads 1, signaling an open Ford 9-inch diff with 3.00:1 gears.Inside, we’re shocked to discover a three-on-the-tree manual transmission in place of the Nearby, we stumbled onto the torch-severed front clip that still packs the 390/three-speed motive unit. The all-synchro, cast-iron, Ford-sourced unit was also offered by GM as the base transmission offering in midsize muscle cars such as the Pontiac GTO, Olds 4-4-2 and Buick GS. Mercury built a total of 72,535 Montereys in 1967, of which 15,177 were four-door sedans.Nearby, we stumbled onto the torch-severed front clip that still packs the 390/three-speed We spotted this rare Pontiac eight-lug aluminum wheel on the rear axle of a ’65 Grand Prix. Though Pontiac’s print ads depicted a ’66 GTO wearing these gorgeous wheels, they were only available on fullsize models between 1960 and 1968. Manufactured for Pontiac by Kelsey-Hayes, each finned-aluminum drum has an integrally cast iron brake liner that contacts the brake shoes when applied. Given the average cost of around $140, we’re surprised more buyers of fullsize Pontiacs didn’t opt for these beautiful rollers.We spotted this rare Pontiac eight-lug aluminum wheel on the rear axle of a ’65 Grand Prix Speaking of unusual Pontiac brake options, here’s a lone example of a rare GTO 9.5x2.5-inch aluminum front drum brake assembly. Since the GTO’s standard cast-iron 9.5x2.5 front/9.5x2.0 rear drum brakes were shared with six-cylinder Tempests, enhanced stopping power was welcomed. Available from 1965 to 1966 under option code 442, the aluminum front drum-brake option didn’t increase the meager 269.8 square inches of swept area, but the finned-aluminum construction (with bonded steel liners) shed a few pounds and was more effective at rapidly dissipating heat to ward off brake-pedal fade. In 1967, Pontiac introduced optional Delco-Moraine front disc brakes that boosted the swept area to 350.9 square inches. The aluminum front drum-brake option was quietly discontinued. When new, these aluminum drum brakes received a coat of red paint to enhance visibility and street status.Speaking of unusual Pontiac brake options, here’s a lone example of a rare GTO 9.5x2.5-inc Finding a Chevy 427 big-block in the boneyard ought to be cause for celebration, right? Not when it’s a truck engine. These things are much more common than passenger car 427s. This one’s in a ’73 Chevy C60 5-ton tow truck. The hassle is that the truck 427 (and its 366-inch sibling) uses a block with a raised deck height (10.2-inch versus 9.8-inch for passenger-car blocks). The extra height wasn’t there for added displacement but rather to accommodate taller pistons with three compression rings instead of two. The extra ring and skirt length were intended to enhance cylinder sealing and add stability to the piston for reduced bore wear. While Pro Stock racers in the early ’70s sought these blocks for their ability to yield maximum displacement, they were never a big hit with the street and strip crowd. You can generally get better results with a garden-variety 454 buildup.Finding a Chevy 427 big-block in the boneyard ought to be cause for celebration, right? No Above: The custom-extruded aluminum grille insert and vintage fenderwell header displayed with this ’55 Chevy 150 sedan tells us it was once somebody’s hot rod. Still loaded with a small-block of undetermined might, this rusty critter is unlikely to see salvation anytime soon. Still, BAW honcho Bud Hastings remains staunch that none of his cars will meet the crusher. This One-Fifty two-door sedan is one of 66,833 built. Elsewhere in the yard we also spotted a ’55 Handyman 210 series two-door station wagon, an austere, one-of-29, 419-built alter ego to the posh Nomad.Above: The custom-extruded aluminum grille insert and vintage fenderwell header displayed Below: As a new car, the Firebird Formula 350 was the best big-engine-in-small-car themed performance model of the decade. The 5.0L Mustang LX may have been quicker, but it wasn’t nearly as intimidating. Enjoying a six-year production run from 1987 through 1992, the Formula 350 was essentially a stripped down Firebird with a Corvette 350. The only hassle was that these 5.7L wailers were an automatic-only proposition; the five-speed stick was only available in lesser 205hp LB9 305-powered Firebird Formulas. Verifying an actual 5.7-powered Formula 350 is as simple as checking the eighth symbol of the VIN for the number 8. For example, this ’89 wears the CC1 T-top roof, a $920 option that was shunned by the more hard-core street racers for its added heft and flex-inducing attributes.Below: As a new car, the Firebird Formula 350 was the best big-engine-in-small-car themed The mighty L98 Tuned Port Injection (TPI) 5.7L small-block was unveiled as a Corvette- only powerplant in 1985 and delivered a heady 230 hp, and, more important, 330 lb-ft of torque. As Ford’s Mustang GT and LX grew more potent with each passing year, rumors swirled that Camaro and Firebird would soon offer the L98 to keep pace. In 1987, GM delivered, and torque monster L98-powered F-bodies began making Ford drivers sweat a little more. Of the various 350-powered Firebird models available (Trans Am, GTA and Formula), the Formula 350 offered the best bang for the buck. Consider this: an L98-powered Firebird GTA cost $20,339 versus $13,949 for the Formula 350. Sadly, this sleek black Formula’s Mustang taunting days are over.The mighty L98 Tuned Port Injection (TPI) 5.7L small-block was unveiled as a Corvette- onl The inverted corpse lying atop the Chevy pickup truck is all that remains of a ’69 four-speed Road Runner hardtop. The victim of a fierce garage blaze, the car’s VIN and fender tag were vaporized, so we don’t know if it was born with a 383, 440 Six Barrel, or 426 Street Hemi. But we can add other clues to get the answer.The inverted corpse lying atop the Chevy pickup truck is all that remains of a ’69 four-sp The 11x3-inch front drum brakes and sway bar are standard issue on every Road Runner (unless it’s ordered with optional front disc brakes). The lack of a rectangular skidplate welded to the bottom of the K-frame greatly reduces the likelihood it’s a Hemi car. Sure, the K-frame is a bolt-on item that could have been changed. But . . .The 11x3-inch front drum brakes and sway bar are standard issue on every Road Runner (unle The forward leaf spring–mounting bulkheads do not feature the welded-on stiffening caps or “torque boxes” found on Hemi Road Runners. So we can pretty much rule out Hemi status. But is it a rare A12 440 Six Barrel car, or a more common 383 offering?The forward leaf spring–mounting bulkheads do not feature the welded-on stiffening caps or The presence of conventional hood hinges (lacking on A12 Six Barrel cars, which featured pin-on fiberglass hoods) and the close proximity of this equally charred 383 pretty much confirm this Runner to be a “basic” 383 car. The heat melted the rare dual-point, tach drive distributor, finned-aluminum valve covers, and Carter AFB choke housing, but the Edelbrock Torker II single-plane intake manifold was spared. The iron, four-speed bellhousing looks salvageable but should be checked for heat-induced warping and cracks.The presence of conventional hood hinges (lacking on A12 Six Barrel cars, which featured p By Steve Magnante Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!