Tom Cotter has a multitude of methods for finding cars, but the one that nets him the most interesting finds is simply asking anyone he talks to if they know of any old cars in the area. As he was roaming the northern Michigan countryside, Tom got a tip to go talk to Jeremy in Lake City. A short drive later–in his woody wagon, of course–and he was in a yard full of cars that beckoned exploration.
It’s a field full of ’60s muscle, and each car has its own weird tale. The first car Tom spots is a Chevy Nova sporting a standard small-block and orange paint, but its the factory sunroof that really sets it apart. It’s a 1973 model, one of just 3259 that were built with the sky roof option. Jeremy is using a fabric tonneau cover to keep rain and moisture out, and he says that even when they were new these Novas weren’t that water tight.
Another cool car on the property is a 1964 Chevrolet Impala SS. The ’64 is one of the most popular Impalas, and this one lacks its powertrain, but it would still be a great start if you’re looking for a project. Tom even thinks it might have a factory air conditioning, based on ducts he noticed under the the dashboard.
Of all the makes and models that Tom has found traversing the highways, AMC is the brand he tends to see the least. This particular trip, he lucks out and finds two in one place. The young owner was in the hunt for something to take off-roading with his friends and came across an AMC Eagle. The straight-six four-wheel drive is now on the receiving end of a front axle swap that will affix a Dana 30 for extra off-road capability.
With just a little time driving around rural Michigan, Tom was able to find some noteworthy vintage iron and hear the stories direct from the owners. Whether you’re looking for something to buy or just want to learn the history of that car you saw in the yard, now might be the time to strike up some conversation with the next car person you meet. You never know what you might find.