For us, a trip to the junk yard evokes feelings of both sorrow and joy. It's not like we lose sleep over the sight of a '79 Ford Granada rusting in the boneyard on its way to the crusher, but here in California, several yards also house the last earthly remains of many once-great automobiles, such as early-generation Camaros and Firebirds, Chevelles, Mopars of every variety, and too many fine old trucks to count. Which brings us to the joyful part of the experience and the subject of this article: resurrection.
Even though junkyards are primarily places of automotive death, they can also be the scene of tremendous rebirth, especially for engines. Most wrecking yards are filled with hundreds of potential candidates for either a stock rebuild or a transformation into a street or strip terror. In this article, we'll give you some tips on finding, inspecting, and tearing down a junkyard or swap-meet motor. We focused our own search on a small-block Chevy 350 V-8, and, over the course of the next several issues, we're going to transform our junkyard gem into a bad-ass torque-monster 383 stroker suitable for a hot street truck.