Used Cars

Sunday, April 19, 2020

The more trails you hike, the more likely you are to come across the remains of an an old vehicle quietly rusting away.  Often they are in places that you could no longer drive a car to because of new growth.  This post features several old cars that we have covered before in some of our earlier posts.  Each of those has a link to the post where there is more information.  Some of them have not been published before and so no links are available.  They are presented in no particular order.

The first ones that we’ll feature are the farthest away, in the Georgian Bay area.  We parked on 13 side road off of the 7th line a little south west of Meaford to go investigate the remains of the Georgian Bay Milling And Power.  The area we accessed as we went down the old road allowance is known as Trout Hollow. As we walked along the road allowance we started to find the remains of old cars.  It’s hard to say how many cars are here because the parts are all mixed up.  There could possibly be five of them, all from the late 1940’s or early 1950’s.  The first pile we found contained the hood of an old Ford truck, a panel with the three trademark vents of a Buick and the side panel of a Cadillac among various other parts.  The Cadillac can be dated to 1947-1952 based on the shape of the logo.


Following the yellow side trail where it goes to the right off of the road allowance brings you past one of many 1940’s era cars that have been pushed down the hillside prior to the growth of the current forest cover.  More information on this hike can be found in our post Trout Hollow.


Nearly 2 kilometres from Hockley Valley Road on the Bruce Trail are the remains of a 1939 Chevy Sedan that are being slowly disassembled and removed.  The property belonged to Dennis Nevett who owned and farmed it until 1974 when he sold it to the government for the creation of the Hockley Valley Provincial Nature Preserve.  The family used the sedan from about 1951 until 1959 when it died.  Over the next year or two it was towed to the back corner of one of the fields and left to rust away.  The story of this hike can be found at our link Hockley Valley.


Just south of Hillsburgh in the first hollow lie the remains of a collapsed house and a car from the late 1940’s or early 1950’s.  More pictures of this area can be found in our Hillsburgh post.


Two cars can be found in Streetsville as you make your way upstream toward Hyde Mill. This car is in pretty good shape although it has been stripped clean of every usable part. The trunk lid still contains an old decal showing how to use the tire jack.  From the part number on the decal we were able to identify this car as a 1977 Ford Galaxy 500.  More pictures from this hike can be found in our story Hyde Mill.


The remains of an old vehicle, likely a late 1940’s or early 1950’s, lay at the bottom of the hill as you approach Hyde Mill from the river level. This car may have been here for quite a long time as it is damaged beyond identification.  These two vehicles must have been dumped down here before the trees grew up on the embankment above.  The story can be found at the link for Hyde Mill.


North of Georgetown there is an old wreck near the Bruce Trail.  We entered on the Eight Line Side Trail and made our way to The Great Esker Side Trail.  Along the way we identified the remains of an old car in the woods.  It has clearly been there for decades as it has no motor and is surrounded by mature trees. It is in a very advanced state of decay.  The front bumpers and grill pattern were quite unique in the various car models of the 1940’s.  Having looked through hundreds of online pictures, positive identification wasn’t possible but the closest candidate was a 1946 Chevy Stylemaster.  More pictures and this story can be found in our post about The Great Esker 


Between Kerns Road and Guelph Line, along the Bruce Trial, lie the remains of a car with a tree growing out of the rear passenger seat.  Positive identification wasn’t possible because no identifying stickers or plastic parts could be found.  We did notice that the front bumper incorporated the side signals in a unique three cut-out pattern.  Identical looking side markers can be found on the 1970 Chevy Impala.  More pictures of this wreck and the rest of the hike can be found in our story starting at Kerns Road.


One of the strangest places is the Toronto side of the Etobicoke Creek, south of the 401.  This section of ravine has at least eight different cars all of which are 40 – 50 years old.  How they all came to be within a kilometre stretch along the one side of the creek is an open mystery which we hope to solve one day.  For now, here are some of the autos in this area.The most prominent one is a 1975 Chevy Vega as identified by the tail light configuration and a specific pattern in the quarter panel.  This car was featured in greater detail in our Etobicoke Creek Trail post.


This one appears to have the paint job of a 1979 Ford Bronco.


There is a small area just south of the 401 where there are three cars in one small area.  When we visited here earlier we wrote about them in a post called The Auto Graveyard.  The car pictured below was identified as a Datsun 1200 coupe by the tail light cluster.


Car number two is a Chrysler and it too has seen some better days.  There’s been a few parts removed from the engine but once you replace them you can set the firing order as per the sequence on the casting.


The third car in this location was a GM, based on the engine housing.  We can deduce that the model year was likely 1970 or earlier based on the bumper design.  The 5 MPH crash design was imposed in 1971.  This required that an impact at 5 MPH should not damage the lights and so they were removed from the bumpers and placed on the rear panel of the car.  The bumpers were extended from the frame and much of the fancy tail light/bumper design was lost forever.  This rear bumper appears in two parts likely with an extended cluster of tail lights running between them.


There are several other skeletons of cars in this area which haven’t been identified because we lacked a unique identifier like a light housing or a part number.  The one in the picture below is a Ford as stamped on the motor housing.  What kind and how old is unknown.


This car is interesting because the transmission is laid open with all the gears exposed.


This last one we throw in as a bonus.  It was taken along the Don River on September 14, 2019 but remains unidentified.


No doubt there are many more abandoned cars scattered throughout the GTA.  Some of which we’ve visited prior to starting this blog and some we have yet to discover.

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3 thoughts on “Used Cars

  1. Cody Vella (@CodyVella)

    This post inspired me to head out down the Etobicoke creek in search of some of those wrecks. I managed to find all of them except the Bronco which was kind of disappointing. I did however find two completely different decaying cars off the main path. A 1970s Toyota Pickup and a 1970s Mercury Capri with the VIN plate still legible. Where abouts on the trail was the Bronco?


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