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A Field of (Rusted) Dreams

Traffic Jam on a Ghost Highway

Like a rusty traffic jam on a ghost highway, these cars of the past are going nowhere.

 

We spent two weeks in the summer of 2007, criss-crossing Colorado, admiring the deep Black Canyon of the Gunnison, photographing classic F7 locomotives in the Royal Gorge, visiting Mesa Verde, eating in local diners in small towns, roaming through National Parks and more. A hard drive crash that taught me never to have a picture in less than two or three places left us, ironically, with no pictures but a portfolio of dead cars in a field on US-341 north of Cortez.

 

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I may have given my wife a near heart attack with my exclamation when I spotted the hundreds of car carcasses of every age scattered across the field. Despite that, she was willing to pull over and let me drool…I mean look at cars. From the fence I could see the ones I had driven, the ones I had seen and loved and even some that were complete strangers.

 

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While I hung on the fence, leaning over to take pictures, the owners came along. I asked permission to wander inside—freely given—and asked how it had come about. The previous owner, it turns out, returned from World War II, with the idea that he would take in all the strays there were, and eventually make a fortune salvaging parts. As you can see…it didn’t work out. The new owners, only recently arrived, were planning to clear the field and return to farming and grazing…so this is probably no longer there to see.

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The cars were roughly sorted by make, Dodge with Dodge, Pontiac with Pontiac and, yes, Packards with Packards. The field was full of exotics, such as the German Borgwards and a Goliath, as well as lesser-known and long-gone American makes such as Hudson, Nash and even a Willys. For your viewing pleasure, a small selection of an embarrassingly large album, and a slideshow below. If that's not enough, feel free to browse the whole album by clicking HERE.

 

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The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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Comments (9)

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I'm a truck driver and every time I pass this field I pull over and take pictures.  I was there again on Dec. 20, 2013.  Sadly most are now gone.  Noticed some where no longer there from when I stopped in February 2013 and July 2012.  There's probably only about  a dozen that remain now.   In fact if you view it from google earth you can see the empty spaces where they once stood.  Glad I found your post.  I've always wondered what the story of this field was.  I just posted new shots on Instagram....search Scubatrucker

 

 

Last edited by scubatrucker

This has been by far TravelGumbo's most popular blog so far. Some questions we had answered from followers. Thanks! The address of the field was 13155 North Broadway, Cortez, Colorado.

According to custom rod  and restoration, the bulk of the property was sold and he just took or moved the last of the cars.

So good PHeymont took the photos in the fields heyday!

 

Last edited by PHeymont

My English son collects old English Cars.

He's rebuilt about 5 so far and enters them in shows.

But he lives in Delaware !

It's not unusual to pack a replacement Floor Pan for a Mini in my Luggage when I travel from the UK to Philadelphia!

 

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