Ron Dauzet, a Michigan man whose township is forcing him to rapidly get rid of his enormous car collection, is selling them off as he’s required to do. But it’s just not quite enough. Now the 70-year-old is resorting to just scrapping some seriously cool cars instead of selling them, and it’s a damn shame.
Northfield Township in Michigan is still dropping by Ron’s house every month to see if he’s meeting their quota of selling 20 cars a month. And because Ron doesn’t want any trouble with them, he’s doing whatever he can to match or exceed that number.
He’s moved a bunch of his cars over to the property across the street—a property that technically belongs to the neighboring township. But now thattownship is on to Ron, so the car-love has no choice but to scrap many of his vehicles instead.
I knew Ron was scrapping a couple of cars, but he told told me today he’s really cranked it into high gear; he’s already sent 27 or 28 vehicles to the shredder, and 17 or 18 are in line to meet the same fate in the next few days if nobody buys them. While it’s fair to say that some of the cars on Ron’s property probably belong in the scrapyard, there’s no excuse for the beautiful, rust-free manual Volvo 740 GLE wagon in these photos to have been wiped from the face of the earth.
I mean, obviously it wasn’t perfect—hell, the wheels were buried halfway into the ground. But the panels looked fairly straight, there was no rust to speak of (the car was originally from Virginia), the paint looked decent, and all the glass was crack-free. It probably didn’t run, but it had when Ron parked it many years ago, so it was “all there.”
I’d have paid $400 for that all day, but alas, now the boxy manual wagon is gone forever. What a cruel, cruel world we live in.
Ron’s got another Volvo wagon destined to be torn into scraps soon; it doesn’t look pretty, since Ron took the grille and passenger-side headlight out to try to fix a small dent on the right fender. But the grille and light are in the vehicle—so a bit of elbow grease could get this thing looking acceptable. In either case, a wagon with this decent of a body, and a complete, workable powertrain deserves a second chance.
Ron’s also got fairly decent looking Volvo 760 turbo sedan that’s about to be junked as well. Aside from Volvos, Ron has also been scrapping lots of Saabs; so far, he’s ditched four to six of them, but more will soon be on their way to the racetrack in the sky.
The Dodge Dakota in the picture above is truly special. It’s one of only about 4,000 ever built, and even though this one has a rusty front bumper, some headlight trim missing, a bit of rust on the doors and a ripped top, there’s just no way this thing should go to a scrapyard. It’s a piece of American history that deserves to be preserved.
But it, along with much of Ron’s collection, will go to the shredder if nobody buys it. “I can’t sit on it forever,” Ron told me over the phone today. “People call and they don’t wanna come out, or they ask stupid questions and you know damn well they’re not that serious,” he continued.
But so far, not nearly enough titles have been transferred and not nearly enough cash has changed hands.
Ron told me he’s got tons of Mercedes-Benzes on the chopping block. The Mercedes 280SE in the photo above will soon be on its way (Ron admits that this would be best as a parts car), plus he’s got a whole bunch of really decent 450SLs he’s about to scrap, as well as some 350SLs, 380SLs, 450SLs and a 560SL.
Other vehicles on the chopping block include this Mercury Capri II:
A Ford Taurus SHO with only 69,000 miles on the odometer:
A Ford F-250 Flareside that Ron says probably just needs a starter:
This really nice looking 1998 VW Beetle, which needs a timing belt (most likely):
And also a bunch of actually really decent BMW 5 and 7 Series sedans and Pontiac Fieros.
“I’ve gotta get rid of 20 a month regardless [of the weather]…they gotta go,” Ron told me. “All those cars ran. It’s sad because the batteries are still in them. That tells me I drove it in there… I haven’t got a place to put ‘em.”
Scrapping is an unfortunate end for many of these cars. Many of us were hopeful all his cars would find a new home, and some of them indeed have. But for a huge majority of these cars, it just feels like a giant waste.