Open Air Collection
A Restorer Who May Sell A Few
Leroy Drittler - July 12, 2012 10:00 AM
This 1971 Malibu convertible is truly a lady driven vehicle. It was bought new by a banker in a nearby town for his wife to drive, and then their daughter drove it for a while. It has a 350 engine, power brakes, air conditioning and black interior.
This 1968 Shelby Cobra Mustang convertible is one vehicle that Bandy always keeps under lock and key. At one time, it had some rough treatment resulting in damage to the front fascia and grille surround. According to the Shelby VIN, it is a 500KR GT with 335hp 428ci Cobra Jet engine. Bandy did some research and found there were only 318 built, and it’s doubtful that he would sell it.
Bandy has four of these 1962 Oldsmobile Starfires, with this one probably being the best of the bunch. There are other treasures on the premises including a steel wheel tractor. A storage container nearby is full of old motorcycles.
At one time, Bandy used this 1954 Ford Crestline as his daily driver. It is an automatic and has the decorative Coronado kit on the trunk.
Bandy parked this 1959 Ford Galaxie convertible in a hay field several years ago and hasn’t moved it since. The hay field is wooded with a young stand of sycamore trees.
You don’t see ’58 Chevy Impala convertibles in salvage yards anymore. This one is rusty but may be restorable.
What a nice surprise walking down the lane to find this 1955 Chevrolet Cameo pickup. It is rough, but where can you find another one?
A seldom seen 1956 Chevrolet Sedan Delivery is in rough condition. It is being used to store some almost new looking 4.75-5.00-19 four-ply tires and other things.
This 1951 Ford coupe has a back seat and was advertised as being able to haul six passengers. The back seat legroom might leave something to be desired.
A gas tank supports the back of this 1964 Chevelle Super Sport convertible, keeping it up andoff the ground.
Bandy says this 1957 Ford Thunderbird was hit in the rear by a drunk driver and has had the rear clip replaced. There is accident damage on the right front that hasn’t been repaired.
Apparently someone didn’t like the factory pink and white color combination on this 1955 Ford Sunliner and painted it black over white. The pink was officially called Tropical Rose.
It’s hard to get close to a first-year ’57 Ford retractable because of the briars and vines surrounding it. The best time to look at most of the vehicles is during winter leaf-off season. Be sure to wear thick heavy-duty briar pants and bring a brush axe.
The only year that Pontiac made a Grand Prix convertible was in 1967 and Bandy has one of the 5,856 made. The factory selling price was $3,813.
The last year Pontiac built the Chieftain Sedan Delivery in the U.S. was 1953. There were 1,324 produced. This one has an eight-cylinder flathead engine under the hood, but some engine parts have been removed.
The paint, chrome bumpers and grille haven’t held up very well through the years on this 1954 Olds 88, but the wheel covers look brand new.
Bandy says this 1959 Thunderbird was once owned by country music legend Loretta Lynn. He had tried to buy it for many years with no luck, but finally acquired it from a friend who had received it in trade for some backhoe work. Lynn’s ranch is located about 15 miles away.
Some collectors from Sweden visit the yard yearly and have expressed a strong interest in taking back this 1963½ Ford Galaxie 500 XL. It is equipped with a four-speed transmission, air conditioner and 390ci engine.
This red and black Studebaker M16-28 truck is parked near a highway and is sure to catch the eye of any passing auto enthusiast.
There were 19,762 Pontiac Star Chief convertibles built in 1955. The engine and transmission are gone, but this one has a clutch pedal remaining that indicates it is a rare standard shift. The body tag shows it was originally Bolero Red with black and ivory imitation leather upholstery.
A vintage weight scale is almost as tall as the Crosley wagon behind it. Crosleys were built from 1939 to 1942 and from 1946 until 1952, when they were discontinued.
Just over 75,000 Pontiac Tempest LeMans were equipped with the GTO option in 1965. This one is nice and has new redline tires.
The first thing Nelson Bandy will tell you is that he does not have a salvage yard business, even though at first glance it may appear to be one.
Bandy says he has been collecting cars since he was 16 years old. After looking at part of his collection of 1,000 vehicles, it’s easy to agree that it is not a commercial salvage yard. If it were, most of the vehicles would have been removed long ago as he has what restorers, collectors and enthusiasts are searching for.
The vehicles range from rough parts cars to project cars to very nice original vehicles. There are a lot of convertibles and rare vehicles. Bandy says he worked several jobs and has done without things many times just to save the money to purchase a wanted vehicle. Bandy is partial to tri-five Chevys, and has a lot of them ranging in condition from a frame-off restored ’57 hardtop to parts cars.
Bandy clearly loves cars and acquired the vehicles with a purpose of restoring some of the better ones and using others as donor cars. He would buy a car and plan on starting work on it in the next week or two. Before he knew it, 10 to 20 years had gone by. He has the remains of a rare Kissel truck and a Stutz Bearcat. There is a complete one-owner ’68 Silver Shadow Rolls with 30,000 miles, a 1946 Australian Ford Ute and the shining star of the collection, a 1968 Shelby Cobra Mustang convertible.
Bandy says he has come to the realization that he will never get some of the projects even started, much less finished, so he is ready to sell a few of them. Most of the vehicles are GM and Ford products, with a few other makes scattered around. The vehicles are at two locations about 20 miles apart.
About the Yard
The yard is private and browsing is not allowed. One of the locations is near I-40 at Exit 143 in Tennessee. Bandy says serious callers can call him at (931) 622-2824 to make an appointment. His mailing address is 17600 Hwy 13, Hurricane Mills, TN 37078. Like all collectors, some of the cars are his personal favorites and are really not for sale.