Volume III, Issue 5, Page 3

Look for Part Two, coming soon!

In recent adventures to the bone yard, we toured the pine forest surrounding the now-defunct Curboy’s Auto Wrecking in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. In operation for nearly a half century, Curboy’s was like a time capsule. But while most of the cars on display hadn’t been moved for decades, the intense amount of rust assured they’d crumble apart when disturbed. Sure enough, when the yard closed its doors and sold out to a scrap dealer two years ago, a bucket loader was needed as each car broke apart during removal. It was a sad end to a special hoard, but time marches on. Go to the MoparMax Archives and scout the January 2008 issue to see that story, its called Rusty Relics.

This time around, let’s skip a couple thousand miles to the west for a visit to Desert Valley Auto Parts. Located in Phoenix, Arizona, DVAP is well known for its friendly open door policy where you can tour the yard to your heart’s content. If you find something you want – from a door handle to a complete car – just tell the guys at the counter and they’ll get it for you. No, you can’t bring tools or do the wrenching yourself but that’s a small price to pay in this increasing world of zero-access salvage yards.

While DVAP features a wide inventory of Dodge, DeSoto, Chrysler and Imperial models, this month, let’s explore the many Plymouths on hand. We’ll get to their stash of other great Mopars next month.

1973 Plymouth Road Runner 340

With traces of its factory applied tape stripe, cartoon bird and Autumn Bronze Metallic paint fading in the Arizona sun, this ’73 Road Runner 340 might still be salvageable. With prices of “prime time” 1968-’71 Road Runners rising each day, the smog era ’72-up cars are a great substitute. Just hide a stroker crank in the block and you’ll never eat coyote dust.

Judging by the loose parts strewn about the interior, we can see this ‘Runner had factory AC, power steering and manual roll-up windows – that’s one of the regulators sitting amid the rubble. A 727 Torqueflite automatic car, the 340 heads - equipped with smaller 1.84 intake valves after the 1971 model year, but still with the big ports – are ripe for picking.