road trip to the end of the road

I’ve lived here for 17 years.  And just last week discovered a sort of nirvana if you’re one who loves old cars. Less than an hour from my home, practically in my backyard, is Old Car City USA. What is it? Not any old junk car lot, that’s for sure!

Billed as a photographer’s paradise (it is), Old Car City is a collection of 4,500 cars from the 1970s and before in all states of disrepair spread out over 6 miles of trails.  Dean, the owner, took over the land from his parents who ran a general store and car lot that opened in 1931.  Dean has been adding to this quirky collection for about 40 years.  It looks to me like he uses a very artistic eye to place these hulks ever so carefully to evoke maximum glee from visitors!


There are Fords, GMs, Volkswagens, Chryslers and more.  You can see pick up trucks, utility vans, police cars, station wagons, anything you can imagine.  Most are colorfully rusted with rotting upholstery, their bodies a resting place for pine needles and moss.  Many of the cars have trees growing out of the engine compartment!  One Mustang I saw was home to a tangle of vines growing through the dashboard.

A photographer’s paradise indeed!  I couldn’t help imagining some kind of apocalyptic scenario as I walked past autos that looked as if they’d been driven into one another by terrified drivers who then fled the scene never to return.  I wouldn’t have been surprised if a zombie had showed up!

car_city-3136I’ve already loaded up 16 GB of images and plan on going back in a couple of week for a nighttime visit sponsored by a local photography school here. We’ll be using flashlights and anything else we can come up with to light these other worldly heaps.  I can’t wait!

If you’re interested in visiting Old Car City, check out their website Dean told me that people visit from all over the world.  And here it was right in my backyard! If you’d like to see more of my pictures, please click on the gallery page up above.



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