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Reacquainted at the Junkyard - Has this ever happened to you?

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  • Reacquainted at the Junkyard - Has this ever happened to you?

    I went to the junkyard this last weekend twice, and normally I just go check out the Festivas they have, but I had extra time so I decided to check out the import side of the yard. Couple pretty cool rare models over there (I saw a couple 3000gt, a 944, 280zx, etc.) but lots of common junk, especially jettas, loads of jettas. But what I stumbled upon shortly after I ventured over to that side surprised me. I found my old car!

    Let me give you some background on my old car. It is a 1989 Mazda 929 3.0L Automatic. Heated leather seats, Cruise Control, oscillating air vents (my favorite part), A/C, power everything, RWD, spoiler, aftermarket alloys (15's) Sun Roof, armrest in the middle of the back seat that folded down, and of course, the ECO/PWR button that I don't think worked anymore. This thing was old, but it was classy! I paid $1900 for it at the time, and the man claimed it had a new engine/tranny from a 55k mile donor car, but no proof. The body had around 190k or so if I remember correctly, and was relatively clean. (Its been at least 4 years since I bought it) I was young, naive and fixed on buying this car, so I didn't care about the engine/tranny swap either way.

    I ended up selling it to some younger Latino girl in my home town of Momence for $1200, so I still saw it every once in a while, but I hadn't seen it for a year or more so I was beginning to wonder where it went. Unfortunately, it ended up here, in a junkyard. I then went on to buy my 03 SVT Focus .


    I owned this car for over a year, and had several issues with it. Starter went out at Target so I had to leave it there and let the manager know I'd be back for it in the morning. Thankfully they were cool with it. Timing belt broke, leaving me stranded at a stoplight. Luckily some guys helped me push it into a side street. That was well over $500 to fix. Then I had a suspected blown head gasket. But apparently it was nothing, surprisingly. I had been quoted for $800 plus labor or something ridiculous. That car loved to overheat though, let me tell ya. I saw a ridiculous amount of steam wafting from within the engine bay one day when I was driving, so I pulled over, not knowing what to expect, and popped the hood with my $3 vice grips, since the hood struts were trashed. Get this, I kid you not, the overflow tank was boiling. Like if I had a packet of Ramen Noodles with me, I could have had lunch in 3 minutes, boiling.

    Very fun car, classy as the 80's could get, and it served me well, despite the problems I had with it.
    1990 L Plus Stock B3 automatic -scrapped- My First Festiva - RIP
    1991 GL - B6d, g-series trans, aspire brakes, Advanced Suspension coilovers, Miata 7 spoke rims, '98 Prelude seats, more to come!
    2005 Focus ZX4 SES - purchased from original owner, my grandmother. Currently my wife's daily. 210k

    You can follow me on instagram @twfodor

  • #2
    Cool find!

    Red 1988 Festiva L - CUJO

    Black 1992 Festiva GL Sport - BLACK MAGIC

    I'm just...a little slow... sometimes

    Blue 1972 Chevelle SS-468 C.I.D. B'nM TH400-4:56 posi-Black racing stripes-Black vinyl top-Black int.
    Black on black 1976 Camaro LT-350 4 bolt main .060 over
    Silver 1988 Festiva L

    My Music!


    • #3
      No, but back in the '80's I had this old FIAT 980 convertible spider- rear engine car with a little 980cc motor in the rear-

      A taillight was stolen from it, and so I went to Pick Your Part a few times looking for a match- there weren't many to be found, but I noticed that several I did were junked because of a rear motor area fire.

      So one day I'd driven it over the pass and was at the Arco station near Universal City. I went in and got a huge big Gulp soda on a hot hot day, and when I got back to the car I noticed the paint was bubbling on the top of the rear cowl. When I opened it up, a six inch flame was springing out the top of the carburetor I'd left the air cleaner off of because of some sputtering problems.

      The solution was simple and in hand though. Sploooosh! The huge soda went down into the carb and put out the fire. A few minutes later, after cranking it a bit, I even drove the car back home. I repainted the cowl and finally sold the car. So if you come across a Fiat 980- there's also a very small sedan- watch out for fires- a lessn I learned at the junkyard and the hard way otherwise.


      • #4
        I found my '90 Galant in a junkyard a couple months after I sold it to a scrapper... only car I've ever owned that I bought with the intention of fixing and never did.
        No festiva for me ATM...


        • #5
          I saw a couple of Festiva parts cars for sale. Since they were asking too much, I checked the nearest auto wreckers to them a couple of weeks later. Guess what was there!