AROnline Memories : a scrapyard in England, 1991

General Chat with an emphasis on BMC Minis & Other iconic cars of the 1960's. Includes information on MK1 Action days.
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mab01uk
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AROnline Memories : a scrapyard in England, 1991

Post by mab01uk »

Image

"Is this peak scrapyard? It can’t be far off, with a joyous selection of cars wherever you choose to look. There’s a proper crossover between what we’d call absolute classics today, such as the Austin 1800, Vauxhall Viva HC and Hillman Imp – but I can’t help but admit my eyes are drawn to the Renault 18 in the immediate foreground, Opel Kadett City in green piled on top of the Imp and the Volkswagen Golf Mk1.
Other highlights include the trio of Austin Metros, the pair of Morris Marina/Ital vans, the Ambassador and the Acclaim. I love the Volvo 240 with its bonnet up in the foreground, too, but the more the look, the more you find. The Fiat 127 alongside its kissing cousin the Yugo 45 is a delight, as is the E12-generation BMW 5-Series with its back end to the camera."

"You’d not gain access until you asked the oily keeper of the keys if he had a certain type of car, and if he did, you’d go and rummage and find your part. Retrieved, you’d go back to the hut, walk in, wonder at how every surface, including all the paperwork, had a light sheen of used engine oil, then look the bloke in the face before bartering for a good price...."
Memories : a scrapyard in England, 1991:-
https://www.aronline.co.uk/memories/scrapyards/
Polarsilver
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Re: AROnline Memories : a scrapyard in England, 1991

Post by Polarsilver »

Sunday Morning Visit to the Scrap Yard must get there early so as not to miss the weeks latest arrival of scrap cars ..then buy one part & get one free .. it became a game with the Scrappy .. Happy Days.
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mab01uk
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Re: AROnline Memories : a scrapyard in England, 1991

Post by mab01uk »

My own scrapyard memories (1970/80's) for a Saturday or Sunday morning at the breakers were join the queue at the entrance hut with toolbox/socket sets at the ready, then a grumpy old guy with a large Alsation dog on the gate asks what parts you are after and then your off to start exploring the yard for any new arrivals since last weekend, stacked up 3 or 4 high amongst the puddles of oil and not yet picked clean of any prized 'upgrade' parts or a replacement for the latest part that had failed or worn out on your 850 Mini. The best items always seemed to be visible on the top car of an unstable stack and involved a scary clamber up to the top for those brave enough to risk serious injury to claim them. The sought after upgrade items for Mini owners which were soon stripped off by buyers were of course any Cooper engine and trim parts, plus anything from under the bonnet of the upmarket MG/Riley/Woleseley/Princess ADO16 models. Also Elf/Hornets had lots of goodies for transferring onto your Mini and automatic Minis had 1.5" SU carbs. Small items like chrome handbrakes, dash gauges, etc could be stashed in your toolbox on the way out while you paid cash for the more significant oily part like a starter motor at the exit hut but in later years the yards clamped down and would search your toolboxes on the way in and out!
gs.davies
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Re: AROnline Memories : a scrapyard in England, 1991

Post by gs.davies »

I remember going to Ferry Lane, Rainham which was like the Disneyland of Scrappies round our way. More cars piled up than you could possibly imagine. I found a Vermillion 1098 Clubman Estate which had a gouge in the side near the filler cap, nothing that an afternoon with P38 couldn't fix. They even let me drive it (it went like a rocket too). I ummed and ahhed over it, decided against it before having a change of heart later that afternoon when I went back to buy it. By then it was perched precariously on top of a stack of Chevettes and Escorts, glass smashed to smithereens with it's roof half chewed off and caved in by the grab arm that put it there...

Happy days. :lol:
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mk1coopers
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Re: AROnline Memories : a scrapyard in England, 1991

Post by mk1coopers »

Good days rummaging around the yards back then, twin 1.5 HS4's, leather seats from the upmarket versions, various other bolt on goodies and badges, good source of upper door trims to 'Cooperise' your MK3 (as they were the correct profile on the later Hornets and Elfs with the internal hinges).

It's all rather sanitised these days (if you can even get beyond the front desk for a look)
66Traveller
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Re: AROnline Memories : a scrapyard in England, 1991

Post by 66Traveller »

Happy days indeed,

I loved a visit to the local scrapyards in Manchester and Birmingham in the mid 1980s - the mixture of excitement, adventure, danger was unlike anything else for a petrol-head like me. And there was something almost romantic and poignant when you discovered a vehicle that had obviously been cherished by its (elderly) owner yet had ended up mid way in a three car stack. A kit of basic tools (and a packet of plasters for the inevitable cuts when the screwdriver slipped) was the gateway to an automotive cornucopia of parts.... At the time I was running an Austin Mk1 850 ... I even insisted on visiting scrapyards when on holiday with my then girlfriend (now wife) - the photos are of one in Portugal taken in 1990...!
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Jason
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Re: AROnline Memories : a scrapyard in England, 1991

Post by Jason »

Great times and fond memories of the ritual Saturday and Sunday morning visits to F McGuinness scrapyard in Longport in the 80s. The yard was half a mile long and cars stacked at least five high. No health and safety rules, just had to take a deep breath when climbing up to the top.
We regularly had mini’s lifted up to the top of the yard where the oxy acetylene gas torch was. The engine complete with subframe gas axed from the car and dropped straight into the trailer for £30.
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Jason
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Re: AROnline Memories : a scrapyard in England, 1991

Post by Jason »

Main entrance where your toolbox would be checked on way in and out. We always used to search for the Austin ambassadors as the digital clock was a perfect fit in place of the ashtray in the mini clubman upper dash rail.
The 90s were ever better when 1275 metro’s were plentiful. If we come home with less than 2 complete engines in the trailer, it was deemed ‘a bad day’ :shock:
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minibitz
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Re: AROnline Memories : a scrapyard in England, 1991

Post by minibitz »

66Traveller, what are you like taking your girlfriend to a scrap yard? She must be very patient.

When I was around that age my girlie would pack a major sulk if I even dared glance at a car whilst in her company. "You seem to love cars more than me" was the normal response followed by the cold shoulder treatment. Hmmm.....if you wants me attention that's not going to work! :lol: :lol:

I also have fond memories of collecting gas axed parts from the swamp of oil that was the local scrappie.

In more recent times I had a Riley Elf in the workshop which was rescued from a scrap yard. Customer was looking for some random small parts for a MK1 mini they owned and came across the Riley. I think they paid $1500 for it. Was dropped to us to check over for rust and see if the motor could be made to run. Every panel was a different colour but proved to be solid underneath. Only two 10 cent holes in the entire car. Motor turned out to be a pre A+ 1275 and burst into life after being treated to an ignition service and some fresh fuel. It even had Cooper S brakes on the front! Car got painted up Surf Blue and tarted up as a daily for the young fella that found it. Bargain!
Bodge
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Re: AROnline Memories : a scrapyard in England, 1991

Post by Bodge »

66Traveller wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 11:16 am I even insisted on visiting scrapyards when on holiday with my then girlfriend (now wife) - the photos are of one in Portugal taken in 1990...!
I remember going on holiday to the Algarve in 1991 and spotting a scrapyard on our way from Faro to our villa near Carvoeiro. I went back several days later and found a Mini Super amongst all the other cars. It still had one or two of the vertical chrome bars left on the grille but the rest of the car had been almost completely stripped apart from the solid lid ash tray. These were pretty hard to find at the time so I bought it for several escudos and still have it ... somewhere.

Back in the UK I used to frequent many of the scrapyards in Somerset on an almost weekly basis at times - the one at Mark Moor was the closest and only five minutes from me. I learnt a lot about mk1 originality from seeing so many of those scrapyard Minis over the years.

A friend of mine used to work at a scrapyard near Brighton in the mid 1970s when he was a teenager. He now shudders at the number of Coopers he saw go into the crusher, sometimes complete with all their brocade interior.

He also says that they got quite a few Mokes. These were generally crushed very quickly as the engine was a detuned 850cc and there was very little else that was useful for customers looking for spares for their Minis. I always hoped I would find one but never did. Happy Days.
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