For all you readers who dug our junkyard tour of Curboy's Auto Wreckingin the June '05 issue, here's a tour of another great salvage yard thatspecializes in vintage and classic machinery. But unlike Curboy's, whosedamp Massachusetts location contributes to astonishing levels of rust,Desert Valley Auto Parts is located in super-arid Phoenix, Arizona, soits inventory of 5,000-plus (yes, 5,000) pre-'80 cars is mostlyrock-solid. The Pontiac section had some real heartbreakers like thissuper-sanitary, original-paint '61 Tempest. But with their minusculefloor tunnels, quirky independent rear-suspension systems, andrear-mounted transaxles, these cars pose numerous obstacles to hotrodding. Still, it is a shame to see such a clean car on the choppingblock. The Pontiac section had some real heartbreakers like thissuper-sanitary, original-paint '6 Judging by the faded primer, missing glass, chrome trim, and vintagealuminum Torq-Thrust, this clean '57 Chevy looks like a body-shopproject that was abandoned around 1970. It's one of 166,426 two-doorhardtop Bel Airs built for '57. Will Desert Valley sell it intact orchop it up? Only time will tell. Judging by the faded primer, missing glass, chrome trim, and vintagealuminum Torq-Thrust, Among the dozens of first-generation Ford Falcons in the Ford sectionwere no fewer than three of these rare two-door station wagons. Thequarter-panel is straight, the special glass is good, and the passengerdoor is stashed away inside. In 1962, the two-door wagon's $2,298 baseretail price was $43 less than a four-door wagon's. Today these raritiesare worth twice as much when they have half as many doors. Among the dozens of first-generation Ford Falcons in the Ford sectionwere no fewer than th While Curboy's lush forest of antiquities is like a museum, its relicsprotected by dense vegetation eight months of the year, Desert Valley isa thriving business located on 30 acres of parched desert floor with adaily stream of UPS trucks leaving its gates. This is good and bad. Goodin that literally tons of parts ship every week to help resurrect carsfrom coast to coast. Not so good is the fact that each and every carthat enters Desert Valley's yard is seen as a business opportunity.There is no room for nostalgia or sentimentality at Desert Valley; it'sall about the Benjamins. Look closely at the interior of this '65 Impala SS and you'll spot theoriginal Muncie four-speed stick poking up from the console beneath aninch of silt. A 327 car, the trunk was smashed in 2 feet by a rear-endcollision. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how muchgingerbread you like on your musclecars, a great percentage of DesertValley's inventory features air conditioning. Look closely at the interior of this '65 Impala SS and you'll spot theoriginal Muncie four These one-year-only '77 Olds 442s are going nowhere fast. In the finalyear for Colonnade styling before the tragic events of 1978(industry-wide downsizing), the '77 Cutlass lost the bulbous pontoonlower-wheel-opening treatment for a taut, muscular look. Though therewere 11,649 '77 442s built, when was the last time you saw twooriginal-paint survivors stacked like cordwood? Does this make it an884? These one-year-only '77 Olds 442s are going nowhere fast. In the finalyear for Colonnade s This one's for you McGean, it's an original-paint '76 9C1 Nova. Theresult of Chevrolet's Engineering and Special Products departments tobuild a small police car, the 9C1 package was a COPO (central officeproduction order) option that cost $386.45. Required performance optionsincluded the 155hp LM1 350 ($85), M40 Turbo Hydramatic ($260), and N41fast-ratio "Z28 Camaro" power steering ($136). Besides the obvious shotin the kisser, this 9C1 is complete and still has one of its special14x7 steel wheels (on the back), big-car brakes, special Camaro Z28steering wheel, and 120-mph speedometer with a mere 51,484.4 milesshowing at the time of impact. This one's for you McGean, it's an original-paint '76 9C1 Nova. Theresult of Chevrolet's E Though a handful of rarities are set aside and offered for sale intact,most of the cars that enter are quickly dismembered. All usablesheetmetal is unbolted and placed in aisles for easy identification andsale. Desirable motors, transmissions, and axles are harvested andstacked. What's left of the carcass is placed in the yard until there'sa call for the floorpan, roof skin, cowl, A-pillar, or any other itemthat can generate cash. The point is, we shed a tear over plenty ofsolid, savable cars in the yard, but hey, it's a business. Tell us youwould run it any other way. We checked. It isn't. Our hearts raced when we spotted this desertmirage. Turns out some silly rabbit splashed some hasty '70 (678built)/'71 (124 built) Buick GSX visual cues on this ho-hum 350two-barrel Skylark to fake out the troops at the drive-in. We checked. It isn't. Our hearts raced when we spotted this desertmirage. Turns out some s This first- generation Camaro is one of dozens that litter the grounds.Surprisingly the vultures haven't yet made off with sections of itsmainly rust-free carcass--but they will. Its cowl tag identifies it asan eight-cylinder standard Camaro sport coupe built in February 1968 atthe Norwood, Ohio, plant. This first- generation Camaro is one of dozens that litter the grounds.Surprisingly the vu Though the pedals are missing, the transmission tunnel of this '73Camaro Z28 is a tip-off that it was a four-speed car ($200 option foreither the 2.20:1 or 2.52:1 box). The first year for hydraulic lifters,optional air conditioning, and lame cast-iron intake manifolds, 1973wasn't a pinnacle year for the Z, and most were sold with automatictransmissions--making this discovery all the more tragic. Though the pedals are missing, the transmission tunnel of this '73Camaro Z28 is a tip-off The best thing about Desert Valley is that guests are invited to visitand explore. The company's numerous national print ads read: "Pack alunch, you may be here a while"--and they aren't kidding. There's nocover charge and no tools are allowed, but you can bring your cameralike we did. Scope out this sampling of Desert Valley's bountifulharvest. And if you see something you need, call 'em. 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