Author Topic: Cadillac King - Junkyard 411 for the novice  (Read 652 times)

Offline Crow331

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  • Name: Dstorm
Cadillac King - Junkyard 411 for the novice
« on: February 08, 2018, 09:38:30 PM »
I've never been to a junkyard!  There's a Cadillac Junkyard in Los Angeles called the Cadillac King and I'm thinking about hitting it up over the weekend! Can you fill in this novice on how it all works?  Am I just wondering the junkyard looking for 74 Eldorados, climbing over cars and bringing my own tools to remove parts? Or do you tell them what you are looking for and they take you to a stock pile of them?  Or do you wander the yard, find the part you're looking for and then they take it off for you?  What about the prices?  I'm sure there's not a tag hanging from a door panel, so everything is negotiable?

I'm looking for a new front and rear dash (maybe some door panels), but since I am covering them with leopard print (to match the movie) I'm thinking I could make minor rip repairs to any color leather and then cover them with leopard and save myself some $$$ rather buying anything that is vintage new for big moola.

Anyone with experience that could share their knowledge?  Anyone have experience with the Cadillac King out of Pacoima specifically?

Thanks all!
The Noob


Offline Bob Hoffmann CLC#96

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Re: Cadillac King - Junkyard 411 for the novice
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2018, 10:24:34 PM »
Whatever happens... bring LOTS of money!!!
1941 62 coupe custom maroon
1970 DeVille conv. triple black
1968 Eldorado slick top ,white/red interior
2015 Holden Ute HSV Maloo red/black interior.
             
Too much fun is more than you can have.

Offline TJ Hopland

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Re: Cadillac King - Junkyard 411 for the novice
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2018, 08:47:47 AM »
I will be curious to hear from someone that has been to this place. 

I suspect there are very few or even no places left where especially for 'classic' parts they just turn you loose and you can negotiate.   20-30 or so years ago was when many of those disappeared was also when the 'u pull' or 'pick n pull' places started popping up.  Those were a different deal than the originals.   Those you usually sign a waiver and pay a couple bucks to get in the yard which is somewhat organized.   Parts are pre priced, your only chance of negotiation is if you have a part that doesn't clearly fit into a price group or what is or isn't an assembly.   IF you find a window crank in the yard its $3,  it doesn't matter if its off a Dusenberg or a Yugo.    I think a lot of people made / make a living off selling parts from places like those on Ebay.   Things like carburetors never lasted more than a day or 2 in the yards.   I think they were like $15 and not that hard to pull so guys would come every day and look for new arrivals.  If there was something good they would grab it.   Not many carbs that won't sell online for say $50 so I bet it was a good living while you could get it.       

There is or was one in my area that had been around forever and when I was first going there it was a fun all day adventure.  You wandered the yard and asked other customers if they had seen the car(s) you were looking for.   THey would maybe say Ya we saw one of those,  go left at the school bus with the tree growing in it and then right at the Pinto leaning on the Mercedes.   You then brought your haul into the office and started the negotiation.   Anything you decided not to take ended up on the shelves in official inventory.  THey got free labor out of you to pull the part and tell them what it came off of.   Win for them if you did or didn't buy it.   

Last time I was there which was a long time ago now you first talked to someone in the office about what you were looking for and what you were going to pay if they thought there may be one.   IF you passed that stage you got turned loose maybe with some direction where you find that car or maybe not.  If you found what you were looking for and it was in the condition you agreed to pay then you could pull it and walk back to talk to the same person again.  If you found something else you wanted you were supposed to go back to the office and talk about it before you pulled it.  I found it to be a lot of walking and a lot of time for not really good prices especially considering the effort you had to put in.   This place was not 'in town' so you had a drive from home to get there.   It was a big area and wasn't well organized so even if you had been there before it could still take hours to find a couple cars.  Also by this time things like Ebay were getting going so for the same price you didn't have to drive or spend a day walking around getting frustrated.

I had hopped it was just the ones in my area that went away or took all the fun out of but when I traveled I used to seek them out and I was seeing the same thing everywhere I was looking.   
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
75 Eldo rusty but trusty
80 Eldo Diesel
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline TMoore - NTCLC

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Re: Cadillac King - Junkyard 411 for the novice
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2018, 09:17:08 AM »
Yes, there are a number of different ways these places operate.  Some will let you in to find your part, some ask what you are looking for and send a guy out to pull it for you, some are a mixture of both scenarios.  We had several in the Dallas area where you paid a dollar to get inside with your tool box, which was inspected for car parts on entry and exit (some would even make you pass thru a metal detector on exit to make sure you didn't pocket a hood crest).  Back in the 70's - 90's, some of the yards were very well organized - Cadillacs in rows 3-12 or whatever, so you didn't have to walk the full 50 acre yard to start your search (unless you just wanted to).  Back then, I would make it a point to plan a couple of hours on a Saturday at least once a month to make a run to the yard - it was not at all uncommon to find a 60's Cad or sometimes something older among all the retired 4100 era cars.

As TJ mentioned, there were guys who would make it point to get out to the yards as soon as the car dropped in order to get the high-value pieces off - probably for re-sale.  Most of these yards are now owned by the national companies like LKQ - their inventory is now on-line, so even though the cars are no longer organized, you can check before you go, and find out if they have the model you are looking for, and if so, it will provide the row and space number, so when you get there, you can go straight to the cars and check them out.  I have noticed that they do not let the cars stay on the lot for nearly as long as in years past - sometimes you see the same car on the lot for several months, now the turnover is much quicker.

Most of these corporate places have fixed prices, as TJ mentioned, and there is seldom a difference for brand or model - engines are sold by the cylinder (4 cyl =100.00, 8 cyl 250.00 etc).  Also, the online inventory is nice because they use the Master Parts Book and provide interchange - so, if you say you are looking for engine parts for a 1995 Fleetwood, it will also let you know that they have 6 Chevy Caprices and 3 Buick Roadmasters that share the same parts - that has come in handy a few times.

I do not visit the corporate places as much as I used to - turnover is really quick, and the chances of finding an older model are much slimmer than before, but our club will sometimes tour out to one of the older-style, privately owned yards which are fun, and we can still sometimes find something we need, but the prices there tend to be determined by whatever the owner wants that day, so, yes, take your wallet and be prepared - know what the going rate is for something that someone has already pulled, and cleaned up and is ready to ship to you so that you know what the market value is.

Most of all - have fun!

Online David Greenburg

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Re: Cadillac King - Junkyard 411 for the novice
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2018, 09:52:06 AM »
I doubt Cad. King is the he kind of place that would just turn you loose in the yard.  They seem to specialize in hard to find parts at hard to believe prices. But if you’re looking for something made of unobtanium and you’re willing to pay the piper, they are worth checking with.
David Greenburg
'60 Eldorado Seville
'61 Fleetwood Sixty Special

Offline "Cadillac Kid" Greg Surfas 15364

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Re: Cadillac King - Junkyard 411 for the novice
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2018, 10:53:48 AM »
You might google map their yard.  It is quite an impressive display out in the middle of the Mojave Desert. I too doubt they will let you just wander around there.  If nothing else the high density of their cars would prohibit safe "venturing".
Greg Surfas
Cadillac Kid-Greg Surfas
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Offline Crow331

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  • Name: Dstorm
Re: Cadillac King - Junkyard 411 for the novice
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2018, 12:16:04 PM »
From their website it looks like they have a 74 and 75 Eldorado and both have blue interior, which is what I want. Hopefully the dashes are still there. I'll let you know what I discover about the place. I'm going to go check it out tomorrow!

Offline Chas

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Re: Cadillac King - Junkyard 411 for the novice
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2018, 02:10:27 PM »
Funny that you mention Cadillac King!! Here I am in New Jersey, and I just received parts from them this week. As you can imagine, I am in no position to comment whether or not they let you walk around the yard. What I CAN comment on is their prices and the condition of the parts I bought. Being the cheapskate as I am, I did try to dicker with the owner when I had him on the phone. NO DICE! He immediately quoted me a price and stuck to it. My opinion was it was a bit high.....not astronomically so, but up there. On the other hand, if you desperately need the part, what are you going to do? As far as the quality of the parts received, they were fantastic!.....probably the best condition boneyard parts I have ever bought sight unseen. I've been suckered before from used part venders, whether local or on the other side of the country. I would not hesitate to give Cadillac King another order if my last experience was any indication.   
1967 Coupe DeVille
1970 Coupe DeVille
1976 Coupe DeVille
1983 Coupe DeVille
1977 Harley Cafe Racer
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Offline TJ Hopland

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Re: Cadillac King - Junkyard 411 for the novice
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2018, 05:42:58 PM »
Looking forward to getting the full report. 
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
75 Eldo rusty but trusty
80 Eldo Diesel
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline Barry M Wheeler #2189

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Re: Cadillac King - Junkyard 411 for the novice
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2018, 06:32:13 PM »
Back in the late fifties when I got my first '41, it was a lot of fun to go junking. Mondays took on a new meaning. (The major dept. store I worked for was closed on Mondays.) Back then, when you asked if they had any '41 Cadillacs, they usually said, "Yeah, they're out back," and sent you "back there." You pulled your own stuff and generally, the staff regarded anything sold off those old clunkers as "found" money, so they usually were just a few dollars for this and that. My tools were few and some of those rusted on parts just wouldn't come off easily.

The biggest yard in Indy was "Wrecks Inc." and their slogan was "We meet by accident." They were on US 52, the major highway to Chicago. One day I arrived and someone had inherited a 1941 Fleetwood 60S and it was driven in. I didn't know you could buy cars out of junk yards (which was probably as well), and so I took a few things from the car which had a SO interior and the warranty and various cards in the glove box. I was "broke" so I hid the nice wheel covers in the high grass up against the fence about fifty feet away, hoping they'd be there the next time I came. (They weren't.)

I needed a better wiper motor, and so I took it off and installed it. (They ended up facing "out" instead of flat against the cowl. But, they did work better.) The next time I came, one of the workers had bashed in the trunk with an engine block that was kept on the back of a truck to get things out of the way. That WAS a pretty nice car...

Then along came Gay, and I didn't do too much junking. We got married and I went overseas while she had a baby. In about six months she joined me and we increased our family by a little girl. We finally came home and it took me maybe three weeks before I found a 1941 6733 Imperial and heard about the CLC. Things went down hill from there. Now, some fifty Cadillacs later my junking adventures have augmented our income to put two kids through college and whatever.

I still enjoy tramping through the weeds looking out for Queen snakes and gully cats. And you don't really know what you're going to find. Good luck on your searches. BW
Barry M. Wheeler #2189

1979 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham
1981 Cadillac Seville
1991 Cadillac Seville
2016 Cadillac ATS

Offline TJ Hopland

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Re: Cadillac King - Junkyard 411 for the novice
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2018, 08:35:12 AM »
While we are waiting for the full review.......

Did anyone else have the issue I always seemed to have going to the junkyard where most of the time the cars you were taking parts off of were nicer than the one you were buying the parts for?   That was the depressing aspect of junking.
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
75 Eldo rusty but trusty
80 Eldo Diesel
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline harry s

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Re: Cadillac King - Junkyard 411 for the novice
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2018, 09:19:14 AM »
I remember the Albany Grand National in 1995, one of the tours was of a local savage yard. It had not been open to the public for some time and looked the part with tall grass, etc. There was a least one snake that popped out of a trunk when lifted. There were a number of 40s Cads with a lot of good stuff. It was a pick & pull with reasonable prices. I know Jay Friedman was there, anyone else?    Harry
Harry Scott 4195
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1948 6267X

Offline 59-in-pieces

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Re: Cadillac King - Junkyard 411 for the novice
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2018, 12:28:05 PM »
Crow331 - dstorm - The Noob,

Here in the L.A. area and close suburbs, So. Cal., there are tons of junk yards.
I have personal experience with the King, that dates back  many many moons.
No access, place your request, ponder ponder and yes we have that - no wondering about - a quote - they pull and voila, the part is yours at a healthy price, then or within a couple of days.
things may have changed since those moons - but I have not returned - other resources.

The junk yards around here (located in heavily industrialized areas) - where you can wonder - have become quite specialized particularly when it comes to imports.  My son and I can drive along Glenoaks Blvd. or San Fernando Rd. for a couple of miles plus, and there is no scarcity domestic yards to choose from.

I do go with my son from time to time (my tool crib is bigger & more diverse, we look like a couple of Carpet Baggers coming in from the North) as he loves the hunt and the bust your knuckles of getting just the right part - 70's and newer - for he likes off roading, raising a Bronco 4" or 5" - and hot rodding a 70 Nova with a 484 from an RV.  Where we go there is a posted price, but beware of the dreaded "oh, that is an assembly" it costs more.

But what I have observed over the years is that the yards we go to have become very organized by Make - rows of Ford, and rows of even Cadillacs.  All the cars are sitting uo off the ground on 4 8+"pipes welded to square bases - sellers want you to have acess to the unders of their cars.  Now the Cadillacs seem to be prime meat for the pickers as they strip the bones of just about every good salvageable part (first come first strip is key).  The crops of cars are rotated out and new victims put in regularly - check at the gate the frequency.  The Cads are not classic vintage, more 70' 80's +, and with the increase in popularity with the low-rider culture, it's now more cool to pimp out a Cad than a Chevy, I think, but what do I know of that.
 
Unless you have truly knocked yourself out looking on the forumS, Craig's ListS- national, and eBay, go get the unobtainium at THEIR price and consider yourself lucky - cuz, the next guy who looks will beat you out of it, unless you got the last one, first.

Have fun,
Steve B.
S. Butcher

Offline Crow331

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Re: Cadillac King - Junkyard 411 for the novice
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2018, 12:46:29 PM »
Buzz kill. Closed on weekends???!!! wtf. Certainly didn't expect that.

Offline Jeff Rose CLC #28373

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Re: Cadillac King - Junkyard 411 for the novice
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2018, 12:57:06 PM »
I sure miss yards like that from when I was younger. Nothing like that neat St. Louis. Too bad. Would have been fun to take my kids.
Oh well.
Jeff
Jeff
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Offline Crow331

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Re: Cadillac King - Junkyard 411 for the novice
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2018, 01:56:09 PM »
Well I made a trip to the Cadillac King today. It's definitely not like the good old days. You don't wander the yard at all, though he did take me out there to show me the difference in windshields on a convertible vs not.

Basically you just go in there and tell him what you're looking for and they'll get it for you. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon. LOL. He told me to give him a week and he would find me a perfectly good dash. I was able to talk him down in price by $100 when I told him what I saw they were going for on EBAY. Basically his price was comparable or maybe a little more to EBAY when you add in the heavy EBAY shipping cost, except for the fact that I don't have to worry about it being snapped in half in shipping. I also talked him down $25 on the windshield. Pleasant guy. I think smaller stuff you could probably get cheaper on EBAY, but he does have a ton of Caddy's so if you need a hard to find part, this is probably a great source.

Overall this wasn't as fun an experience as I was hoping for :D

Offline Jay Friedman

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Re: Cadillac King - Junkyard 411 for the novice
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2018, 03:18:46 PM »
I remember the Albany Grand National in 1995, one of the tours was of a local savage yard. It had not been open to the public for some time and looked the part with tall grass, etc. There was a least one snake that popped out of a trunk when lifted. There were a number of 40s Cads with a lot of good stuff. It was a pick & pull with reasonable prices. I know Jay Friedman was there, anyone else?    Harry

Yes, I was there along with Harry.  That junkyard outing was the best single GN event I've ever attended.  We got there very early in the morning before the dog woke up.  It was an old time yard and we Cad nuts were given free rein to pull any part we wanted.  I have a '49, and one of the cars there, a '49 Coupe de Ville, had an unobtanium rear fender spear  in good shape that would fit a coupe like mine.  In addition, it was on a rusty fender so all it needed was a good yank and off it would come.  Just as I was reaching for it, an arm belonging to another guy reaches around me and pulls it off.  Was I po'ed?  No, since all is fair in love, war and scrounging through junk yards.  However, I did get some other goodies, some of which are still on my car.       

It's too bad there have been no other similar GN outings since then. 
1949 Cadillac 6107 Club Coupe
1932 Ford V8 Phaeton (restored, not a rod).  Sold
Decatur, Georgia
CLC # 3210
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Offline Barry M Wheeler #2189

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Re: Cadillac King - Junkyard 411 for the novice
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2018, 03:27:53 PM »
I'll email Beth right away and see if there are any junk yards near Louisville... I know there is one further north off I-65 in Indiana that I've never stopped at. She's had a weekend to work on the GN 2019 that I haven't touched base with her, so she might be getting close to finalizing our events for next year. She sure doesn't let any grass grow under her feet...
Barry M. Wheeler #2189

1979 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham
1981 Cadillac Seville
1991 Cadillac Seville
2016 Cadillac ATS

Offline D.Yaros

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Re: Cadillac King - Junkyard 411 for the novice
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2018, 03:23:03 PM »
Well I made a trip to the Cadillac King today. It's definitely not like the good old days. You don't wander the yard at all, though he did take me out there to show me the difference in windshields on a convertible vs not.

Basically you just go in there and tell him what you're looking for and they'll get it for you. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon. LOL. He told me to give him a week and he would find me a perfectly good dash. I was able to talk him down in price by $100 when I told him what I saw they were going for on EBAY. Basically his price was comparable or maybe a little more to EBAY when you add in the heavy EBAY shipping cost, except for the fact that I don't have to worry about it being snapped in half in shipping. I also talked him down $25 on the windshield. Pleasant guy. I think smaller stuff you could probably get cheaper on EBAY, but he does have a ton of Caddy's so if you need a hard to find part, this is probably a great source.

Overall this wasn't as fun an experience as I was hoping for :D

In that regard:  While trolling the net today for Oldsmobile related material, I stumbled on to this -  http://www.transmissionadapters.com/index.htm
__________________________________________________________________
WARNING!  Scam alert.

Don't do business with a place called "Cadillac King", "Cadillac Kingdom", or "Cadillac King Parts"

They are well known (Check the internet) for running credit cards and never even having the parts.

They WILL NOT give you a refund after months of trying.
______________________________________________
[If this post is deemed in vio of posting guidelines, pleas accept my apology and delete.]
Dave Yaros
CLC #25195
55 Coupe de Ville
92 Allante
62 Olds  

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Offline kevinanderson

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Re: Cadillac King - Junkyard 411 for the novice
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2018, 08:14:07 PM »
 I purchased an aluminum rim from this place. When I opened the box my jaw dropped. It was recycle material. I asked the salesman if he inspected the part before shipment,  answer was "nope". I had to get Hemmings and my c.c. involved. Finally got a refund. Perhaps I just had a bad experience.
Kevin

 

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