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Rusty Monday: Old Desert Dogs

Many people when they think of rusty old cars think of those old desert dogs that you used to see traveling to Las Vegas or jumping dunes on your ATV. A lot of those old hulks have been dragged off to help clean up the desert environment. But, there still are those examples of bullet holed, rusty sedans scattered throughout the desert floor. Most have languished in the desert for decades and barring a concerted cleanup of desert eyesores they’ll remain for decades more. 

1949 Ford

In many ways, this is your quintessential desert heap. This slab-side 1949 Ford two-door sedan was once gas chamber green. Without a shot of the engine compartment, we can’t tell you if it is flathead V8 or straight-six powered. Target practice or as landscape are its functions today. This has been here for a long time.

1949-50 Hudson sedan

Similar in many ways to the 1949 Ford sedan is this 1949-50 Hudson two-door sedan. It is pretty rare to see anything more than Hudson four-doors these days so this is a fairly unique find. This is the same model that depicted “Doc” in the Disney movie Cars. And true to the movie, these were the stars of early stock car racing. Known to feature “step-down” bodies these were some of the first unibody cars made. With the floor stepped down between the frame rails rather than on top it made for a shorter, sleeker vehicle. Looking at this old hulk it is hard to believe this was once a killer car.

Oakland touring

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This is a late-teens Oakland touring car. You can tell by the radiator logo, the radiator shell, fenders, and how the cowl ties into the doors. Though too far gone to be restored, it is rather complete for having sat here for maybe 60-70 years. It has been here so long that the dead tree growing through it looks like petrified wood. The expanded metal windshield indicates it was used for roaming the range. It works as a defacto windshield when rocks need to be deflected. Oaklands were made by GM in Pontiac, Michigan until it was dropped in favor of Pontiac cars in 1931. It was slotted within the GM empire between Chevy and Oldsmobile, just as Pontiac was for another 80 years before it was dropped in 2009.

1947 Buick Sedanette

Another gas chamber green sedan, this is a 1947 Buick fastback or “aero back.” This body style was called a “sedanette.” This old Buick serves the same purpose, background, and wonder as our other rusty desert heaps. These Buicks were nice cars, just below the Cadillac within GM’s hierarchy. And that slope back body was quite stylish. It’s too bad it ended up like this but you can’t save them all. Though retaining much of its stainless trim much of it is useless as target practice has deemed it too rough to save. More Rusty Monday fodder is on the way next Monday.