R. J. W. Wilkinson

R. J. W.Wilkinson was a curious kind of scrapyard. It was a proper old school vehicle dismantler and repair shop, but located in an urban setting. A place where tired old cars went to be broken down into their component parts, which would be patiently labelled and cataloged, then stored away to give life to other old cars in need. Engine re-bores and rebuilds were also offered, along with numerous other engineering services. But what makes the place really special is its period of operation. It’s hard to say for sure when it started but, as about a third of the parts stock seems to have belong to the pre-war period, it must have been pretty early on. Right through until the seventies, parts were meticulously stashed away with the business ceasing full time operation the following decade. Since then not much has changed but finally, having apparently reached his 90’s, the old man passed on, and so an era came to end, which brings me to the purpose of this post.

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Graveyard Gloria

Looks like Iceland got a few old Japanese cars if this Icelandic scrapyard is anything to go by. Among the wild variety of rusting gems, there’s both 230 and 430 Cedrics to be seen but best of all… how about this fantastic S40 Prince Gloria?! This was probably sold there as a PMC B200, as it was in Scandinavian countries, although later ones wore Nissan badges following the 1966 absorption of PMC into Nissan. Apart from the damage it looks to have survived it’s years with remarkable little rust. Check out the rest of the scrapyard gallery on www.opuszczone.com

Scrapyard Heaven – Part 3

The traditional old British scrapyard, where you could wander about freely and remove parts from rusting old cars is really a thing of the past, but here and there, a handful have so far survived modern regs, which has done so much to change the vehicle dismantler’s trade. Yards that have cars much older than 10-15 years are few and far between, so it was quite a surprise to see what old machinery still remained in this Shropshire yard I visited earlier in the year. As is invariably the case, there were very few old Japanese cars of any description, but still plenty of other old cars, some available for sale complete for restoration…

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Scrapyard Heaven – Part 2

Back at the end of 2007, I posted what was to be the first part of a series of photo galleries featuring a number of awesome scrapyards which I have visited over the last few years. The pictures here were shot back in 2001 and 2002, at a fantastic scrapyard in the south of Finland near Nousiainen . This was just one of a pair that were only a few hundred metres apart (the other one was just as big). The variety of cars at this place was unbelievable, with everything from late 40s American to obscure Russian and Eastern European stuff. There was even a Canadian built Bombadier half track and a number of very early pre-war cars. Whilst many had clearly languished there for a very long time, others looked to be very savable indeed, including several fairly rare Japanese cars. Places like this have disappeared from the UK and with ever stricter environmental regulations, these kind of scrapyards will soon be a thing of the past, even in Finland. Now that I finally have the bulk of the photos from these scrapyards scanned in (I was still using a 35mm film camera back then), I will be adding several more of these galleries over the coming weeks. Check out the full gallery for this one below…

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Scrapyard Heaven – Part 1

I’ve always loved scrapyards and for many years have enjoyed clambering round them looking for lost treasures. Sadly due to European Union bureaucracy, scrapyards are slowly disappearing and the wonderful old cars that have produced much nostalgia for enthusiasts as well as vital, often unobtainable parts are all going to the crusher. In the UK, decent old style scrapyards are all but extinct, having been replaced by over-the-counter “recyclers” now but in 2001 I found heaven on a visit to Finland. There are plenty of scrapyards in Finland and most are full of old cars, some dating back to the early 1950’s. Amazingly, in some yards, it’s rare to see a car newer than about 20 years old! The yard featured here was the first of about half a dozen I visited on my first trip to Finland in 2001. It was situated in the south, not far from Turku and held a wonderful variety of old cars including more Datsuns that I had ever seen in one place before!

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Medler’s Graveyard

For decades Lenny Medler operated a vast scrapyard in the wilds of Norfolk. Lenny was something of an eccentric by all accounts. He wouldn’t spend money on proper buildings or fences and didn’t trust banks, preferring to hide away his cash himself, apparently in a home made safe. Certainly when I visited, I was amazed to see that the entire perimeter “wall” around the original yard was simply made from squashed cars stacked on top of each other. After he passed away in 1989, his wife took over running the business, but it slowly wound down, and with environmental rules beginning to put pressure on the old style scrapyard, allied to the rising price of scrap metal, the main yard was cleared at the end of the nineties.

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