All this week I’m sharing single-subject photo series I’ve made.

While I was married the first time, I broke a side-view mirror of my wife’s beloved Corolla coupe. Her aging sporty car’s bright red finish had gone chalky, so it didn’t make sense to buy a shiny new mirror. I called around to junkyards looking for a donor car, and only Wrecks, Inc., had one. When I got there, a gruff man behind a counter looked up the part in a book and grunted a price at me. When I accepted, a small, scruffy fellow appeared and led me to a beat-up little truck with no doors. “Get in,” he said, and we sped off. As the truck bounced its way through the yard, I clutched the dashboard just trying to stay inside the truck. Finally he found the car. He couldn’t figure out how to remove the mirror, but since I had just removed what was left of the one on my wife’s car I took his tools and did it myself. Then it was back to holding on for dear life as we drove back to the counter, where I paid for my prize.

Wrecks, Inc., went out of business several years ago, but its great sign still stands. It’s kind of a local landmark on old US 52 just northwest of Indianapolis. It used to light up at night in red and green neon, but today the tubes inside are broken and hanging loose.

The town of Whitestown has since annexed this land and plans to build a community campus here. I’m sure it’s a matter of time before the sign is removed. With any luck it will find its way into a private sign collection or perhaps to the American Sign Museum.

We Meet by Accident

Palm Pre

Wrecks Inc

Kodak Brownie No. 2 Model D, Kodak T-Max 400

Wrecks

Kodak EasyShare C613 Zoom

Wrecks Inc

Pentax Spotmatic F, 35mm f/3.5 Super-Multi-Coated Takumar, Kodak Ektar 100

Wrecks

Canon A2e, 50mm f/1.8 Canon EF, Fujicolor 200

Wrecks

Canon A2e, 50mm f/1.8 Canon EF, Fujicolor 200

Drive Carefully

Pentax H3, 55mm f/2 Super Takumar, Kodak Gold 200

Wrecks

Yashica-12, Kodak Tri-X 400

Wrecks

Kodak Baby Brownie, Efke 100

Wrecks, Inc.

Miranda Sensorex II, 50mm f/1.8 Auto Miranda, Kodak Ektar 100

Wrecks, Inc. and the Lafayette Road

Canon PowerShot S95

Wrecks, Inc.

Canon Canonet QL17 G-III, Agfa Vista 200

Wrecks

Nikon F3, 35mm f/2.8 AI Nikkor, Kodak 400 High Definition (x-2007)

Wrecks

Nikon F3, 35mm f/2.8 AI Nikkor, Kodak 400 High Definition (x-2007)

Wrecks

Nikon F3, 35mm f/2.8 AI Nikkor, Kodak 400 High Definition (x-2007)

Wrecks

Kodak No. 2 Brownie, Model F, Kodak Ektar 100

Wrecks

Kodak No. 2 Brownie, Model F, Kodak Ektar 100

Wrecks

Olympus XA2, Agfa Vista 200

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Photography

Wrecks, Inc.

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15 thoughts on “Wrecks, Inc.

  1. I think I was there once, but I can’t recall when or why. Most of the time I went to a junkyard back then involved something older than they usually had. I would end up in the seedy little places on the near west side where they just left you to find stuff on your own.

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    • Those are my favorite kinds of junkyards! My friend Michael had a beater Tercel in the early 90s and he kept it running that way. I went along with him several times to junkyards like that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. P says:

    I bet this sign was truly a spectacle after dark when the neon was still working. It’s such a shame to see these sorts of places, and their signs, disappear. I hope this one does find a good home somewhere, instead of just being wiped out for good. My favorite of these shots is the one shot on Ektar with your Spotmatic F. The clouds really make the sign pop.

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  3. There was a yard up North of me that had the iconic “car on a pole” ‘signage’ which remained long after it closed, probably because no one could be bothered with the expense of getting it down just for the few dollars’ worth of scrap metal. It’s gone now, so I guess the price of scrap went high enough. Fortunately I shot a couple of angles of it back when it was there.
    Another curious tale is the roll of B&W I shot in the yard in my hometown just before it was cleared away (to stop its continual leaching into the river it was right beside). The roll went missing before being developed, and I never found it.
    Over the years I’ve shot a lot of relic autos as well as restored ones and ‘drivers’. But I should have shot more inside those junkyards that are now gone in the name of ecology.

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  4. Although I never had an occasion to “shop” at Wrecks, Inc., that sign was a distinct mile marker. It let me know we were halfway on my trips to and from home in northwest Indiana to college in the southeast part of the state. A childhood friend also worked there in the mid- to late 70’s—a girl, no less! As I drove past the “Meet by Accident” spot on I-65 recently, the iconic sign is no longer. So I’m especially grateful for your images, although I yearn for a view of the sign in all its neon-at-nite beaconness.

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  5. richardhunter001 says:

    Junk yards like that are a dying breed, I used to love rooting around them. It would be nice to think they would renovate the sign and keep it as part of the campus development, a bit of heritage.

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    • One of my friends kept an old car running through junkyards and I used to enjoy going to them with him, just to see all the old cars moldering away. Haven’t been to a junkyard in 15+ years now, though.

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  6. Pingback: How to blog every day | Down the Road

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