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Rust In Peace - The Best Muscle Car Graveyard in America

Be warned, you might want to break out the tissues ahead of time for this one. We explore the greatest musclecar graveyard of all time and find all sorts of gems. From AMXs to Roadrunners, they're all here in a random state of decomposition.

Photography by Steve Magnante

There's nothing better than wandering around boneyards looking for diamonds in the rubble. Now imagine those diamonds are GTO Judges and Shaker hoods. And it's real. On a recent winter trip to the East Coast, we visited Curboy's Auto Wrecking in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, and were blown away by the astonishing assortment of rare muscle on the premises. Curboy's has been family owned for three generations and has a thriving late-model parts division. But the guys also have a soft spot for vintage tin and have been stashing it away for over four decades.

Though relentless exposure to the elements has bestowed terminal rust on most, the twist is that many of these older cars are oddly unmolested. Oh sure, the drivelines are long gone, but the trinkets, patina, and original feel endure. The trick is that the forest in which these cars dwell is only navigable during the frigid winter months. During any other season, thick underbrush, poison ivy, and a variety of unpleasant insects and rodents make visitation by fellow treasure hunters nearly impossible.

As we photographed these cars, we were hit with the idea that there should be a new class for them at car shows. Forget survivors, let's hear it for the victims. Call us nuts, but we bet we're not alone in the belief that car show spectators would dig a chance to ogle hopelessly wasted rarities. Walk with us now as we explore these mangled musclecars from beyond the grave.

THIS HUMBLER HAS BEEN HUMBLED

Yes it's a GTO Judge, but is it a '70 (3,629 built) or a super-rare '71 (357 built)? The entire front clip and VIN tags are gone so we can't tell. We do know it was a four-speed car with power disc brakes, power steering, and A/C. From the presence of the original yellow paint, flame-broiled interior, and extreme level of corrosion, we'd bet it was stolen when fairly new, taken for a joy ride, stripped, torched, totaled by the insurance company, then left to decay right where you see it. Could the sad fate of this Judge have contributed to the soaring insurance rates for supercars during the early '70s? Dean Jeffers, President of National Mutual Insurance Company in 1972 was quoted by the media as saying, "These cars are not conducive to moderate drivers." The defendant pleads guilty, your honor.

AM-EXECUTION

Many think of the '68-'70 American Motors AMX as a sawed-off version of the popular Javelin ponycar, when in fact, the AMX design came first. So the Javelin is a stretched AMX. You probably also don't know that American Motors introduced the sexy two-seater to its major dealers at parties held at regional Playboy clubs with scantily clad bunnies slinging drinks. Dubbed "Mission AMX," the nine-stop tour lasted from February 15 to March 22, 1968, and helped motivate dealers to move 19,134 units before the four-seat version arrived in 1971. The party is long over for this rare pair of AMX hulks.

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1 comments
The Don-#002
The Don-#002

i like the idea of a car show class for special cars that are beyond repair! thats cool.

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