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Save These Cars: Utah’s Last Classic Car Junkyard Closing

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Google’s satellite view tells the same old tale: New houses encroaching on an old junkyard. Hat tip to KSL-TV for breaking this story.

As the 1920s aviation craze gave way to the harsh realities of the Great Depression, numerous airports shut down for lack of operating capital. Grantsville, Utah’s was no exception. In the 1930s, Cord factory mechanic Aaron McBride saw an opportunity in the former Grantsville Airport, and began filling the property with derelict cars. Eventually this grew to a large classic-car parts yard, the only one remaining in Utah, according to Salt Lake City’s KSL-TV.

The population of Grantsville in 1930 was a mere 1,201, a number that has increased nearly nine-fold since. That expanded population and the accompanying sprawl has now brought the enemy of junkyards, drag strips, and airports nationwide, knocking on the door of the McBride salvage yard, now run by Arron’s son Dennis, 73. It is only the latest in an ongoing series of closings across the country that shows no sign of abating and leaves many enthusiasts wondering if any outdoor caches of parts cars will remain.

Actually, to say that Dennis runs a salvage yard isn’t entirely correct. The McBride yard, which lacks a website and doesn’t advertise, is more like a private collection of parts cars that was acquired over the years to support the collection of originals, including a Thunderbird he purchased new in 1956, that Dennis keeps in a reconstructed hangar from the original airfield. That said, Dennis has always been willing to sell parts to fellow enthusiasts in need.

Dennis says pressure from the municipality, not to mention many new regulations, mean he is now being forced to eliminate the yard. He is hoping to re-home, at prices said to be “just over scrap,” as many of his cars as possible before the June 15 deadline to crush. To see the yard as it existed two years ago (not to mention Dennis’s impressive personal collection), take a look here and here. You will note that it is mostly pre-1970 and has a remarkable number of Studebaker vehicles.

To contact Dennis McBride about the contents of the yard and purchasing arrangements, give him a call at 435-830-0069.