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Start a classic olds junkyard?

Old August 19th, 2010, 01:24 AM
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Start a classic olds junkyard?

I'm currently in Afghanistan working for the Army making descent cash. No wife or kids 36 years old (37 next month). Trying to figure out what I want to do after this. I'm kinda behind the ball on wrenching considering I've only done it professionally for 4 years and even then at a luxury dealership where we didn't do trans or engine teardowns. Mostly diag, service and r&r work. I began looking through the classifieds on here and realized the demand for olds' parts. I have family in Kingman AZ where land is cheaper and the climate is right. Also those family members would be more inclined to assist since my family in Sacramento are just not in the position to do this kind of thing.

The focus would be 1973 and down. Would have to haul cars from all over, but putting them in a central location and do mostly web sales/mail order, I think could be lucrative. Would need to teach the cousin how to take things apart. He's not good at "fixing" cars, but I think he could handle this. My uncle is older but could I think could handle driving a flatbed around and picking up cars.

I realize for most of you the idea is "yeah sure thats sounds awesome", but in reality, could I make a living at it? I'm not one of those guys that knows Olds' inside and out, but if I have someone looking for a part, how hard could that be if they emailed me pictures. Anyone on here ever work in a junkyard situation? Is there enough demand? I looked on 'want it now' on ebay and didn't find a whole lot.

Does anyone know if there's already an Olds' junkyard? Would love to hear your opinions. Thanks
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Old August 19th, 2010, 01:55 AM
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Get w/ John (2BLU442). He's got a virtual junkyard in Oregon, just N. of the CA border!

Ralph
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Old August 19th, 2010, 03:32 AM
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i would create a niche

instead of just getting a bunch of cars,then having to deal with tearing them apart,then having to deal with the hassle of shipping big parts,just deal only in specific things

like stainless and chrome trim.

Arizona cars have some really nice trim,and people are always looking for it.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 04:04 AM
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My advice would be to not limit yourself to just Oldsmobile. Stock at least one other high-demand make like Chev or Pontiac and maybe set it up as an all-GM salvage operation. Buick and Cadillac guys are looking for nice dry parts too.

Desert chrome and sheetmetal are always in demand; truth be known I often prefer it to NOS esp for a good original car that might need a trinket or two, and my experience is that rust-free OE sheetmetal usually fits better than any repop made.

Just remember there are other guys in AZ doing the same thing. Desert Valley Auto Parts comes to mind. You would have to undercut their pricing to compete with an established and well-known yard like that, and you can bet they're out scouring the countryside for suitable parts cars.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 04:54 AM
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Thanks for your service (I was in Khowst).

x2 on Not limiting yourself to Olds, It would be nice saving some old cars from the crusher.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by rocketraider View Post
My advice would be to not limit yourself to just Oldsmobile. Stock at least one other high-demand make like Chev or Pontiac and maybe set it up as an all-GM salvage operation. Buick and Cadillac guys are looking for nice dry parts too.

Desert chrome and sheetmetal are always in demand; truth be known I often prefer it to NOS esp for a good original car that might need a trinket or two, and my experience is that rust-free OE sheetmetal usually fits better than any repop made.

Just remember there are other guys in AZ doing the same thing. Desert Valley Auto Parts comes to mind. You would have to undercut their pricing to compete with an established and well-known yard like that, and you can bet they're out scouring the countryside for suitable parts cars.
I could be keen on havin a contact in The states and having common gm stuff shifted here in the container load(shipped by a contact I have ex LA)
to onsell --just a thought
MIKE
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Old August 19th, 2010, 06:59 AM
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Don't limit yourself to 73 and older. G body cars are popular also. Stock the full range of Oldsmobiles to the end of production. Olds of the 80's/90's and 2000's are common and cheap right now. You will also learn to buy other GM companion cars that share common parts with Olds.

When you get ready to start I'll sell you 100 Oldsmobiles ('51-'75's) I have in Texas. You can haul them or just strip the parts you want to inventory.

Henry

Last edited by 66400; August 19th, 2010 at 07:00 AM. Reason: lost word
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Old August 19th, 2010, 07:06 AM
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There use to be an Oldsmobile Salvage Yard in Kansas I believe. Yes Hall's Oldsmobile Salvage, Soldier, KS. But they shut down years ago.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by 442much View Post
There use to be an Oldsmobile Salvage Yard in Kansas I believe. Yes Hall's Oldsmobile Salvage, Soldier, KS. But they shut down years ago.
Yes, they closed down in the mid-1990s. The owner, Warren Hall, tried to sell the operation whole as he wanted to retire, but as I understand it he could find no buyers, so he liquidated the place car by car. It was definitely, at least in my experience, the best single source for used and NOS Oldsmobile parts in the country. I got a lot of parts from there for a '64 Jetstar 88 I had at the time. The Olds hobby needs a place like this now.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 07:51 AM
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Your biggest problem is going to be government. EPA, environmentalist ect don't want any kind of business like that to exhist. Most of the ones remaining are grandfathered in.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 08:08 AM
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I applaud your initiative, but you need to take a hard look at the business case first.

There is a significant amount of competition already - Desert Valley Auto Parts, Memory Lane, Fremans Auto, etc. All of these companies already have a significant inventory that they accumulated 20+ years ago when the cars were much more available.

Think you can compete with these guys?



The next thing to consider is the cost of acquiring inventory. Most of the rust free southwest cars are either in the hands of folks who know what they're worth, or are already in these yards. That means getting cars from other parts of the country, which adds transportation costs to the purchase price.

Now add to that insurance, operating costs, advertising costs (the established yards all have web-based ordering, for example), environmental compliance costs, and staff to remove, pack, and ship parts, and you start to understand that all this cost needs to be added to the selling price of the parts.

Finally, there's the ebay/Craigslist factor. Parts bought from individuals are nearly always less expensive than those from a commercial yard, exactly because of the costs I noted above. If the yard has a very rare, hard-to-find part, that's one thing, but for A-body parts, for example, you can nearly always find them cheaper from a private party.

Again, not to rain on your parade, but these are the business facts of life.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 08:31 AM
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I'm with joe on this. I don't want to rain on your parade. The otherthing is I see a large out lay of money and a long slow climb to profit. The big problem with new businesses is not the money to start its the money to keep going 12 to 24 months later. Also in this business climate I would be leary of starting anything right now.

But it is possible my business was started by my great grandfather and grandfather in feb of 1929. 8 months before the depression.

I wish you luck with whatever you decide and thanks for your service.
Larry

Ps maybe the east coast you could cut shipping to this coast as I don't think there is anything on the east coast.
Larry
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Old August 19th, 2010, 08:31 AM
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It sounds like he would be better off not trying to start a business from scratch but rather buy an existing operation with a reputation, inventory, permits, and staffing already in place.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 09:10 AM
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i do it as a side job. i will drag home a car and part it out and make good side money. i started with one car and now to where i most of the time have 4 or 5 cars at a time. this year has ben hard for me because my main job is killing me with overtime and started racing again. with being so small i can make good side money and keep it as a hobby. i keep under the radar from the EPA and other stuff that is involved with a full scale business.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 11:12 PM
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Yeah my other thoughts were

I already have 1.3 acres in Sacramento and while it's "out of the way" I'm not sure if having a bunch of storage connex's would be a problem since it's zoned residential. The idea would be to pick up cars here and there, dismantle them and store the parts that way. I would cut up the cars and store the parts such as roofs, rear quarters, bumpers, trim, etc. but the cataloging would be a nightmare. While I enjoy living in CA, I have to admit with taxes and cost of living it does start to get old.

And yeah also considered buying an exsisting yard and slowly converting to Olds over time. I understand I would be picking up cars from other parts of the country. I'm sure the south/west region is already being picked pretty clean.

Really, this is one of those business ideas I would enjoy and hope to make a profit. As for starting costs I think the family would help me for little pay to get started. I have a year contract that will be offered in Oct so I still have plenty of time to decide. Plus that will give me more cash for up front starting. Thanks for your ideas and maybe hope to make this a reality someday.
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Old August 21st, 2010, 10:03 PM
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Just looked at DVAP

Yeah wow, they would be hard to compete with. I did a search for 1964 oldsmobile, not even specifying a model, and there were a lot of cars that came up. I do like jensenracing's idea though. Maybe just start part time. Maybe just work with my model/year since there's a few things I'm looking for too.
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Old August 21st, 2010, 10:20 PM
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A buddy of mine parts out '94-'96 Impala's through forums and online. He grabs everyone within 200 miles of his house that is being sold for scrap or parts then brings them home and sells off everything he can. He's always got 1 car getting stripped and usually there's 3 or 4 going at once. He doesn't want to grow beyond that because it's not his full time job and he doesn't want it to take up any more time than it already does.

If you did that, just focusing on a single type of car like convertibles, pre-69, or A-body sedans, then you could get started affordably and make a name for yourself while still learning and growing. No need to take on the big boys too quickly. Start small and grow into what you want to become.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 01:49 AM
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Originally Posted by 442much View Post
There use to be an Oldsmobile Salvage Yard in Kansas I believe. Yes Hall's Oldsmobile Salvage, Soldier, KS. But they shut down years ago.

Purkey's Salvage in Coffeyville, KS is supposed to have all Olds. I'm heading there this month, will update on what they have.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 06:26 AM
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They get a nice review on Yahoo. I know it's only one review, but, hey, that's something.

http://local.yahoo.com/info-18001829...ge-coffeyville
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 07:42 AM
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I started out dragging home project cars that I wanted to restore. Then I discovered I could buy a parts car for $200-500, pull and keep the handful of items I needed, then sell much of the rest to other Oldsmobile enthusiasts. That way my hobby could support itself and I wouldn't need to use my day job paycheck on it. The downsides? I find myself spending too much time with the parts cars and not enough time with the keepers! And yes, if I got a new neighbor who was cranky I know that the local government could come down on me and everything would need to go away.

I have thought that if I had enough room (I dream of 20 acres with a large barn!) I could dismantle parts cars that I know have demand, inventory and box up the parts, then when I retire I could slowly sell off the parts for extra money. There is a plus staying with one make, or even model. After I dismantled 3 or 4 1970 Cutlass's I had a pretty good idea how they went together and came apart!

So I'm with jensenracing77, if you can do it as a hobby on the side you can make some pretty good money. A couple years ago when my job was slow and the economy was better I spent maybe 20 hours a week dismantling and selling parts. I probably made $1500 a month for about six months. Not enough to pay all the bills and live on, but enough to have extra money for the hobby
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by 2blu442 View Post
I started out dragging home project cars that I wanted to restore. Then I discovered I could buy a parts car for $200-500, pull and keep the handful of items I needed, then sell much of the rest to other Oldsmobile enthusiasts. That way my hobby could support itself and I wouldn't need to use my day job paycheck on it. The downsides? I find myself spending too much time with the parts cars and not enough time with the keepers! And yes, if I got a new neighbor who was cranky I know that the local government could come down on me and everything would need to go away.

I have thought that if I had enough room (I dream of 20 acres with a large barn!) I could dismantle parts cars that I know have demand, inventory and box up the parts, then when I retire I could slowly sell off the parts for extra money. There is a plus staying with one make, or even model. After I dismantled 3 or 4 1970 Cutlass's I had a pretty good idea how they went together and came apart!

So I'm with jensenracing77, if you can do it as a hobby on the side you can make some pretty good money. A couple years ago when my job was slow and the economy was better I spent maybe 20 hours a week dismantling and selling parts. I probably made $1500 a month for about six months. Not enough to pay all the bills and live on, but enough to have extra money for the hobby
See? That's what I meant, & not only that, I've personally had dealings w/ 2Blu442- honest & fair pricing! I'd recommend you get w/ him via PM (also Jensen) & pick their brains!

Ralph
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by 64starfire View Post
I'm currently in Afghanistan working for the Army making descent cash. No wife or kids 36 years old (37 next month). Trying to figure out what I want to do after this. I'm kinda behind the ball on wrenching considering I've only done it professionally for 4 years and even then at a luxury dealership where we didn't do trans or engine teardowns. Mostly diag, service and r&r work. I began looking through the classifieds on here and realized the demand for olds' parts. I have family in Kingman AZ where land is cheaper and the climate is right. Also those family members would be more inclined to assist since my family in Sacramento are just not in the position to do this kind of thing.

The focus would be 1973 and down. Would have to haul cars from all over, but putting them in a central location and do mostly web sales/mail order, I think could be lucrative. Would need to teach the cousin how to take things apart. He's not good at "fixing" cars, but I think he could handle this. My uncle is older but could I think could handle driving a flatbed around and picking up cars.

I realize for most of you the idea is "yeah sure thats sounds awesome", but in reality, could I make a living at it? I'm not one of those guys that knows Olds' inside and out, but if I have someone looking for a part, how hard could that be if they emailed me pictures. Anyone on here ever work in a junkyard situation? Is there enough demand? I looked on 'want it now' on ebay and didn't find a whole lot.

Does anyone know if there's already an Olds' junkyard? Would love to hear your opinions. Thanks
Olds junkyard, Skip Watkins, from Casco, Maine.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 12:08 PM
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Going with all GM cars would provide flexibility, but I still like the niche idea. Find something you can become an expert on and provide a good service.

Also, less chance of wasting your time with something that has little demand. A few years ago I found a 1970 Cutlass Supreme and a 1972 Pontiac Grand Prix at the crusher. Neither had engines or transmission, but both had bucket seats and what I considered good parts. I drug them both home and could have sold the Supreme trim several times over, but couldn't give away the Pontiac console and shifter... or any of the rust free sheet metal! There wasn't as many parts as I thought that would interchange with the A-body cars and there doesn't seem to be much demand for this vintage GP parts. One thing I've guessed is that all GP's of this year came with buckets and a console. So there's nobody with a bench seat car wanting to swap them out. The bucket seats and seat belts may have been the only items of real demand I got off that car.

I do know of a 1965 Starfire that's almost complete but been parked for several years. Last I heard he wanted $1,000 for it but he might take less now. It's located outside of Medford Oregon so still a road trip from Sacto, but it may be a car with parts you already know a lot about. John
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by 2blu442 View Post
There wasn't as many parts as I thought that would interchange with the A-body cars and there doesn't seem to be much demand for this vintage GP parts. One thing I've guessed is that all GP's of this year came with buckets and a console. So there's nobody with a bench seat car wanting to swap them out. The bucket seats and seat belts may have been the only items of real demand I got off that car.

Some of the GP's did come with a bench seat in that year, mainly the Model J. People swapped out the bench seats for buckets year ago. You see one every now and then for sale with a bench.

A GP console in good shape can bring decent money. I've seen them at swap meets for around 300-350.

A Pontiac guy is the only person that would have wanted. Back a couple of years ago that would have been me.

Last edited by 70 cutlass s; August 22nd, 2010 at 02:58 PM.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by 70 cutlass s View Post
A GP console in good shape can bring decent money. I've seen them at swap meets for around 300-350.
Of course, the fact that you SAW it at a swap meet says that it DIDN'T sell for that price...

As with ebay, don't confuse asking price with selling price.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 03:40 PM
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Sorry guys, the point I was trying to make on the GP parts is that sometimes its safer to stay with what you know. I spent several Saturdays dismantling that car and wound up sending most of the parts I pulled to the scrap yard (metal) or dump (door panels, dash, etc.) So I wasted my time. For me, the lesson learned is that I will only focus on Oldsmobiles from the years that I'm familiar with. I only have so many weekends in the year and don't want to waste them!
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