Mike Garret from Speedhunters went to an American junkyard filled with rare imports, only to find too many great classic roadsters and coupes left to rot forever.
I know a guy who drove all the way from Hungary to the Netherlands to buy a Lancia Beta Spyder because he couldn’t find a nice one any closer. That big bumper Beta Coupe above might be a less desirable variant, but once all these cars are gone, I think you’ll miss them dearly.
You might say that most of these cars were pretty terrible to live with in America back when they were new, and parts availability certainly didn’t get any better since their manufacturers left the country. It’s also true that a Fiat 850 Coupé must have looked very out of place parked next to a Lincoln Continental in 1967, but that’s part of their appeal.
Both the Italians, the British and the Japanese created small sporty cars mainly with the U.S. market in mind. Whether it was an Alfa Romeo Spider, a Triumph TR6 or a Datsun 240Z, these imports soldiered on between all those heavy V8s and trucks the size of Texas as long as somebody knew how to keep them running.
All these years later, a whole fleet of them could be waiting for a savior at your local junkyard. Bringing old cars back to life is no walk in the park, sure, but you can jam a Chevy small block in them or a Subaru boxer if an LS won’t fit, and who knows where they can take you from there?