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The Phoenix Auto Boneyard Bonaza

This vintage and classic car boneyard in Phoenix is better than Disneyland and everything is for sale.

Photography by Steve Magnante

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.

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.

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.

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. Everything is forsale.

SOURCES
Desert Valley Auto Parts
Phoenix
AZ
8-00/-905-8024
dvautoparts.com
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