The Search for El Dorado
Finding Treasure at Rusty Acres
Leroy Drittler - March 07, 2013 10:00 AM
1 When this 1968 Impala was parked in the yard, it was running and the air conditioner was blowing cold.
2 A 1950 Plymouth Deluxe has lots of good parts inside and out. It appears a radio was never installed as it has a really nice factory dash plate.
3 You can still find ’55 Chevy Bel Air two-door hardtops in salvage yards, but this one is very rusty.
4 A few parts remain on a 1951 Ford six-passenger coupe.
5 The oldest car we found in the yard is this 1942 Ford two-door sedan. Robison says it will run.
6 This 1965 Chrysler 300 four-door hardtop is a huge car and loaded with great parts.
7 Robison pointed out that two of the four headlights on this 1970 Buick LeSabre Custom four-door sedan are the original T-3 variety.
8 The 283 engine is gone and the interior has been removed from this 1965 Chevrolet Impala Super Sport.
9 The only Studebaker we spotted in the yard is this 1960 Lark VIII four-door sedan.
10 The first car that Robison purchased for the salvage yard is this 1967 Pontiac Executive four-door sedan. It has paid for itself several times over.
11 This 1975 Matador Brougham still has its 304 V-8 engine under the hood.
12 The engine is gone, but a lot of good parts remain on a black 1965 Plymouth Fury two-door post with factory air.
13 The engine is still in place, but the transmission is gone from a 1972 Chevy Nova.
14 A Caspian Blue 1965 Falcon Futura four-door still has its six-cylinder engine.
15 On the far end of one of the rows is a complete 1961 Ford four-door sedan.
16 This 1971 Dodge Charger came from the factory with an automatic transmission and factory air conditioning.
17 Robison knows the history of a lot of the older cars in the yard. He related that a friend bought this 1970 Malibu new. The 350 engine is still under the hood.
18 Robison says this 1964 Lincoln Continental was driven into the yard.
19 The right rear door has been removed from a 1969 Chevrolet Impala, but there are a lot of other parts available, including fender skirts.
20 There were only 5,910 Mercury Monterey Custom two-door hardtops produced in 1972.
21 Evidently this 1972 Nova V-8 was repainted as the body plate shows the Super Sport came from the factory with Covert Tan paint.
22 This 1976 AMC Gremlin is equipped with the sporty “X” package, which included the hockey stick design rally stripe.
23 The 1970 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale came from the factory with a host of standard equipment including a 455 V-8, vinyl top, fender louvers, pinstriping, and electric clock. Inside, this one still has its bucket seats, center console and floor shifter.
El Dorado is defined in the dictionary as “a legendary city that is supposed to be full of gold and treasure.”
El Dorado, Arkansas, may not be full of gold, but it does have treasure for old car restorers. Rusty Acres Auto Salvage is there and has over 10,000 vehicles with some 1,000 or so from the ’70s or older.
In the early ’80s, in the midst of a successful career in the chemical industry, David Robison began collecting salvage vehicles. In 1984, Robison opened Rusty Acres Auto Salvage and the company has grown since. One big warehouse on the property holds late model engines, transmissions, axles and differentials that are on computerized inventory.
Robison has always loved old cars. In another warehouse, there are vehicles he has collected, ranging from the ’30s, muscle cars of the ’60s, and late model collectibles such as a Prowler and the new Challenger. Parked in the middle of all those is a nice ’58 Buick, a black sedan with wide whitewall tires.
Robison restores cars for himself. Near his home, he has built a Mobil gas station replica outfitted with a lift and tools. The replica office area serves as a retreat and place to relax. Robison collects petroliana and has many vintage gas pumps, gas globes, and gas signs stored everywhere you look.
Rusty Acres does not have the older stuff on inventory, but Robison knows what he has and what parts are left on them. Right now, the vintage vehicles are scattered around the yard, but efforts have begun to group them together into a single location. None of the vehicles are for sale as a complete unit. Parts removal will be done by yard personnel only. Browsing is not allowed.
About the Yard
The yard is located at 4687 Moro Bay Hwy in El Dorado, Arkansas, which is also the mailing address with Zip Code 71730. The phone number is (870) 862-7580. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m, Monday-Saturday. Inquirers are encouraged to use e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org to check on vintage parts availability. Parts can be shipped.