The Most Popular Cars in Junkyards

The Most Popular Cars in Junkyards

Reviewing history is fascinating. By writing this post - which will take a bit longer - we hope to get a general idea of which models are most popular in junkyards.

Pontiac Grand AM (1998-2003).


The Pontiac Grand Am is a mid-size car and later a compact car that was produced by Pontiac. The Grand Am ran for three years from 1973 to 1975 and from 1978 to 1980 in the 1970s. It was based on the GM A platform. The Grand Am was discontinued in 1980 when the Pontiac 6000 replaced it. When it replaced the Pontiac Phoenix, the Grand Am was reintroduced in 1985. After becoming Pontiac's most successful car, it was later replaced by the Pontiac G6, so named because it was intended to be the 6th generation of the Grand Am.

Pontiac Grand AM (1998-2003).-Cyrus Auto Parts
Pontiac Grand AM


Vehicle overview

Pontiac has recently redesigned both the exterior and interior of the Grand Am. Therefore, it's understandable that the car hasn't been changed for this year. Grand Ams are some of the hottest sellers among GM stable, despite their seven years old design. We doubt the dearth of updates will cause sales to nosedive in 1998, though news of an all-new 1999 model that mimics the look of the hot Grand Prix might make buyers take pause.

In the 1998 Grand Am, a twin-cam 2.4-liter engine is standard. A 3.1-liter V6 is optional, but requires an automatic shifter. Traction control is included with the automatic transmission, and antilock brakes are standard equipment. A daytime running light system was added to the Grand Am two years ago, and it remains for 1998. You can defeat them by pulling up the hand brake handle one notch, though when we did this during a road test of a Saturn SL2, the brake engaged ever so slightly. Be sure you aren't damaging your parking brake using this DRL-disabling method. PASSlock theft deterrent is standard on all Grand Ams. Variable effort steering is available on both trim levels.

Recently, we drove a Grand AM SE and weren't impressed. Nose-heavy handling, uncomfortable seats, and a generally displeasing interior were to blame for our malaise. Despite being boomy at higher revs, the twin-cam engine was fun to rev, even with an automatic transmission. After our test drive, we were left unimpressed, not understanding why this car is so popular, despite its low price.

In its seventh year on the market, the Grand Am is sure to remain Pontiac's best-selling model. It offers stylish good looks and reasonable performance, yet remains a decent value. These attributes combined can be the only explanation for the Grand Am's continued popularity. The SE model is our pick, because it can be equipped to GT specs without the false performance pretensions and higher price of that premium trim level. Budget minded shoppers may want to investigate the twin-cam Sunfire, which offers more equipment and better performance for less money.

1998 Highlights

Second-generation airbags are newly standard, and option groups are simplified.


Dodge and Chrysler Mini-Vans (1997-2002).

The Minivan Formula

The "magic wagon" was a project for a small team of Chrysler designers and engineers, started in 1977. After the program was officially approved in 1980, the "minivan," as it would come to be known, was as comfortable as any traditional American station wagon, but more spacious, versatile, and economical, and would fit into most garages.

A front-engine, front-wheel-drive design allowed the first minivan to have an interior with a flat floor. Easy access and loading were also important, so a sliding side door, one-piece tailgate, and fold-down/removable seats were included. Ultimately, the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager debuted in 1983 as vehicles that friends and family conveniently stepped into, like a car, rather than climbing up and into a full-size van.

Narrate an experience (Overview)

Due to maturing sales after a decade of growth, the minivan market has plateaued, meaning that everyone who needs one has either bought one or is not in a hurry to buy one.

While sales have slowed — at around 1 million minivans a year — the marketplace hasn’t been stagnant. Within the past year, General Motors has redone its vans and they’re much improved. Sales of Pontiac’s TransSport Montana have been particularly strong. And this fall, Toyota replaces it’s too-expensive Previa with a Camry-based van called the Sienna.

But Chrysler continues to dominate the market.

The Caravan and Grand Caravan models were the best-selling vans in 1996, outselling Ford’s Windstar by 100,000. Through June, Chrysler had sold 273,430 of its three vans (Caravan, Voyager, Town & Country) vs. 64,581 for GM’s three vans (Trans Sport, Oldsmobile Silhouette, Chevrolet Venture.).

We took our first long road trip with our new baby last week in a 1997 Dodge Caravan SE Sport minivan. Unlike other recent tests of Chrysler minivans, where we were exposed to all manner of fanciness like four captain’s chairs or rear air conditioning or leather seats, this model was more mainstream.

The Minivan Formula-Cyrus Auto Parts
The Minivan Formula
The Minivan Most Popular Cars-Cyrus Auto Parts
Most Popular Cars Junkyards


The regular-wheelbase Caravan was fine when it came to accommodating two adults, a toddler and a baby, but woefully short when it came to cargo space. Well, short might be too strong of a condemnation. We traveled heavy and got everything in. But it was diapers under the seats and bags and boxes piled high on the seats and on the floor. A long-wheelbase model would have better met the needs of me and my family.

As usual, the Caravan proved an excellent on-road choice. The drivetrain combination of the 3.3-liter V-6 engine and the four-speed automatic transmission performed smoothly and flawlessly. Caravan buyers face four engine choices (one four-cylinder and three sixes).

We spent four nights in Pismo Beach, getting the van unbelievably sandy, not surprising since we drove on the beach almost every day. But the Caravan cleans really easily with plenty of room underneath and around the seats for a vacuum to do its work. Cleaning the exterior is more of a challenge since the vehicle is so tall.


1982 Ford Escort.


Ford decided to expand the product line for 1982 making a 4-door hatchback. The other cars were primarily unchanged in appearance except for minor trim details. The choices were a base, L, GL, GLX models. This was also the first year for the higher output Escort. An "SS" package was offered. This vehicle, had graphics package, a high output version of the 2bbl 1.6L CVH. This "H.O." engine produced 80 horsepower.  Late in the model year, the SS package was dropped and was replaced with the GT package. The GT package was pretty much the same as the SS in the fact it was pretty much an appearance group. As for why the SS package was dropped, It is my belief that General Motors may have held a trademark on the SS terminology. The EXP coupe was introduced this year. The EXP was a 2-seater hatchback powered by the same 1.6L and the same 4-speed manual as the Escort. The Escort was America's "best selling car" for the 1982 model year.

What to expect

If you were looking for a small, fuel-efficient FoMoCo car and you wanted a door for each passenger, then look no further than the Escort 5-door hatchback, new in Ford’s domestic lineup for 1981. The 5-door completed Ford’s small fwd lineup in 1982, with 3-door, wagon and sporty car already on the streets. And it was a practical package, with a little more interior room than its competitors and good ingress/egress to and from its rear seat.1982-Ford-Escort5.

The entire Escort/EXP line profited from subtle refinements, a couple of which offered benefits far out weighing their cost.  As a running change in the model year, there was an optional close ratio 4-speed gearbox that was seen as the first step to a proper 5-speed.  This change of ratios improved the flexibility of the car’s 1.6-liter inline-4. Road & Track called it “Ford’s 20-bhp gearbox.

 Ford Escort1982-Cyrus Auto Parts
1982 Ford Escort


2002 Chevrolet Cavalier.

Affordably priced, new EcoTec four-cylinder engine, Z24 is a stylish and speedy low-buck sport coupe.

Cavalier is entering its eighth year of production in its current guise. Therefore, it was designed over a decade ago. If you want something modern, leave this relic to the rental fleets unless the ultra-low sale price is too good to pass up.

Vehicle overview

For two decades, the Cavalier has been a staple sales leader for Chevy dealers. Understandably so, since the Cavalier offers reasonable value and is priced low enough to compete favorably in the compact market, often undercutting smaller models from other manufacturers.
This year, the Cavalier lineup includes three new members, the LS Sport coupe, the LS Sport sedan and the Z24 sedan, for a total of eight Cavalier models. The LS Sport features the all-new, all-aluminum 2.2-liter EcoTec inline four-cylinder engine. Rated at 140 horsepower, Chevrolet claims that this powerplant not only gets great mileage (24 city/32 highway), but does so with much less noise and vibration than typical four-cylinder motors. In addition to the new engine, the LS Sport also gets a sport-tuned suspension, a full ground effects package, aluminum wheels, a rear spoiler, body-colored mirrors and door handles, and a leather-wrapped transmission lever.

To boost appeal, Chevrolet has added standard content to the volume Base and LS models. They now come standard with tilt steering, variable wipers, a tachometer, body side moldings, floormats, a cargo net, an electric remote trunk release, visor vanity mirrors, mud guards and a CD radio. A Sport appearance package that includes many of the same goodies found on the LS Sport model is also available.

GM's standard 2.2-liter 115-horsepower four-cylinder comes standard on Base and LS Cavaliers along with a five-speed manual transmission (a four-speed automatic is optional). Z24 coupes and sedans get a 2.4-liter twin-cam engine rated at a healthy 150 horsepower. Having this engine makes the Cavalier move with authority, turning this normally sedate budget car into a real street sleeper.

Standard antilock brakes provide reliable stopping power, while dual airbags protect the driver and passenger in the event of an accident. Although there are no obvious defects in terms of driving characteristics, the Cavalier's overly compliant suspension does allow for a fair amount of body roll and wallowing through corners, and the steering feedback could be improved. As far as braking is concerned, the standard ABS is a nice feature, but the system is relatively unrefined in its application.

Inside, the Cavalier is well laid-out. An ergonomically friendly instrument panel boasts clear gauges, digital

odometer and trip meter, and stereo controls located above the climate controls for easier access. Air conditioning is standard on all Cavaliers and up-level stereos include a six-speaker Premium Amplified Audio System that's now standard on Z24 coupes and sedans. Seat comfort, however, leaves plenty to be desired, especially in the rear quarters.

All the new equipment makes the Cavalier a good value in the segment, but it is in dire need of a redesign. If you can live with the dated styling and mediocre interior materials, the Cavalier might be worth considering. But if it was our money, we would put it toward one of the Cavalier's numerous competitors that also offer good value, but in decidedly more modern packages.

2002 Highlights

New LS Sport trim level for coupes and sedans that features an all-new 2.2-liter EcoTec engine. A Z24 sedan joins the Z24 coupe at the top end of the lineup, while both the LS and base model Cavalier gain additional standard equipment and an optional Sport appearance package. Both Z24 models get an upgraded stereo and an optional Sport appearance package will be available later in the year. Three new colors have also been added along with an upgraded cloth interior.

Chevrolet Cavalier 2002-Cyrus Auto Parts
Chevrolet Cavalier 2002
Most Popular Cars Junkyards-Cyrus Auto Parts
Most Popular Cars Junkyards


PT Cruiser (2000-2009).

Chrysler's PT Cruiser may be an artful sham, but UK buyers are still rushing to buy one. Despite looking like a Chrysler Neon dressed in retro garb, the PT Cruiser proves that buying a mini-MPV isn’t the start of the slippery slope to pipe and slippersville. Used examples are starting to appear on the market, abandoned by those ‘early adopters’ who have moved on to a newer, fresher bandwagon. Their loss is what you gain. A used PT Cruiser makes a very attractive buy.


PT Cruiser-Cyrus Auto Parts
PT Cruiser Salvage Yard Cars



Before making its UK debut in July 2000, Chrysler's wacky slice of forties Americana retro impressed crowds at a number of motor shows. Like so many American invasions, the talk was big but the coordination was poor and chronic supply problems initially pushed the price of clean, low mileage examples through the roof. The initial fervor of customers had dissipated once bottlenecks were eliminated in the supply chain, and UK sales were more respectable than rabid. Nevertheless, it still does respectable business for Chrysler so used examples aren't too difficult to turn up in your preferred colour/condition/trim combo.

The Neon comes in three trim levels: Classic, Touring, and Limited, all powered by the same 140bhp 2.0-litre engine. Hot versions have been repeatedly mooted but have yet to materialise. Manual transmission proved to be more popular with UK buyers than automatic, with power already being at a premium. A diesel engine was offered in early 2002. The PT Cruiser CRD used a 2.2-litre Mercedes-sourced unit that generated 119bhp. In April 2003 Chrysler reacted to what many perceived to be overinflated PT Cruiser list pricing by slashing up to £2,000 across the range. For those looking to buy now, this is great, but not so good for owners whose residual values have taken a hit as a result. A Convertible model was added to the range in summer 2004 and towards the end of 2004 the 140bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine had been replaced by a 2.4-litre petrol engine with 143bhp.

A hefty facelift towards the close of 2005 saw revised headlamps and bumpers as well as tweaks to the interior. A sporty Route 66 special edition model was launched at the same time. In the middle of 2006, the first right hand drive convertible models put in an appearance.

Ford Taurus (1998-2002).

Vehicle overview and History

After 1996's dramatic makeover, Ford is playing it safe with the Taurus, trying to keep costs low as their top-selling car faces sharp criticism from the press and closed checkbooks from potential buyers who aren't enamoured by its startling new design. Softening the Taurus's front end and simplifying the option procedure are the main ways that Ford executives hope to get more customers into the showrooms.

After spending some time with both the Taurus and Mercury Sable, we were pleasantly surprised by the odd-looking sedan and wagon. If you can get past the strange curves and odd snout, the Taurus still offers a lot of car for the money. Upon settling into the Taurus's cockpit, the first thing most drivers notice is the logical placement of the controls and the great outward visibility. The new Taurus has an easy-to-use dashboard, unlike the previous model's unpleasant dashboard and bad blind spots caused by the C-pillars. The integrated control panel, which combines stereo and climate control functions, is a joy to behold when compared

to the diminutive controls of its predecessor There is plenty of room for five adults and their luggage in the Taurus' interior. Taurus features comfortable seats, an abundance of cupholders and ashtrays, nicely integrated armrests and an optional
rear air conditioner.
Not many people buy midsized sedans for their outstanding handling characteristics, and for the most part the Taurus does not address these people's concerns. Nonetheless, the Taurus is not a bad driver, offering capable acceleration and decent handling. Unfortunately, the redesigned Taurus SHO is a bit of a disappointment. Sure it has a V8, the first one ever squeezed into a Taurus, but its lack of a manual transmission and slower acceleration times are a poor substitute for the car that basically defined the American sports sedan segment in its original iteration.


Ford Taurus -Cyrus Atuo Parts
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