Last chance for close encounter at Roswell salvage yard

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A 1957 Ford awaits restoration at A1 Auto Salvage in New Mexico | A1 Auto Salvage
A 1957 Ford awaits restoration at A1 Auto Salvage in New Mexico | A1 Auto Salvage
A 1957 Ford awaits restoration at A1 Auto Salvage in New Mexico | A1 Auto Salvage

While most folks identify Roswell, New Mexico, with UFOs and alien encounters, many car guys know it as the location of a massive auto-salvage yard brimming with dry-climate-preserved old vehicles awaiting rescue or to serve as parts sources.

While it has no flying saucers, A1 Auto Salvage and Recycling does have 350-400 cars and trucks from the 1930s through the 1970s parked on about 20 desert acres.

The final chance to pick through A1’s collection comes September 20, when the entire contents of the salvage yard are to be sold at auction as owner Bob Jenkins closes the operation for good. The all no-reserve auction is being conducted by Bill Johnston Auctioneers at the Roswell site, which was founded in 1941.

An early 1950s Studebaker truck in the weeds| A1 Auto Salvage
An early 1950s Studebaker truck parked in the weeds| A1 Auto Salvage

“There are whole cars that need a good home,” says the A1 website. “Or come in and get all the parts you need to finish your projects.”

The restoration candidates are overwhelmingly domestic cars and trucks – Fords, Chevys, Cadillacs, Dodges, Chryslers, Studebakers, and what have you – with the main attraction being minimal-to-no rust due to their New Mexico storage. There’s also a strong contingent of Volkswagens in the yard. Those vehicles not sold will be sent to the crusher, Jenkins said.

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As well as the vehicle sales, thousands of parts will be sold on pallets, including engines and other mechanical bits, and body panels and trim.

For more information about the auction and a photo gallery of what’s out there in Roswell, click on A1 Auto Salvage.

Some of the inventory at the 20-acre salvage yard | A1 Auto Salvage
Some of the inventory at the 20-acre salvage yard | A1 Auto Salvage

 

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

1 COMMENT

  1. I think it’s so interesting that you can salvage parts from yards like this. It makes sense that you would want to, especially since some car parts aren’t sold anymore. Even the ones that are sold are pretty expensive!