I grew up near a lot of junk yards. Some of the owners would let us wander the yard after school, at least on the days they were in a good mood. Some of the junk yards did in fact have dogs (hence the cliche’). Even if the snarling dogs were chained or confined behind a fence, their presence put us on edge-but maybe it was that edge that made it more authentically fun.

We roamed the junkyard looking for something – maybe a replacement for a broken side mirror, or GTO ornamentation to transform my Le Mans into a way cooler car. Or maybe we were just looking because we thought rusting, busted up cars were like works of art.

Sometimes, we were looking for a body part to replace a dented door or rusted out fender. If we were successful, it might only take a couple of hours to now have a like ‘new’ car. If you had at least two different color body parts on your car, you were industrious. Three different colors? An official Clown Car (least that’s what we called them).


Pointing out a “clown car” wasn’t really slamming it (after all, it already likely had been slammed). Instead, driving a clown car was like wearing badge of honor. You knew your way around a junk yard, you knew how to save a buck and turn a wrench. And you had a car that worked.

So, here’s to the spirit of re-invention, collaboration, and re-purposing that promotes creative re-use of ideas, media . . . and different color truck parts.
– Jim O’Hare