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Old 03-08-2009, 05:32 PM   #1
Photog OP
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The Beech is Back - Old Iron in Eastern NC

It's not an epic. It's just a daytrip through eastern North Carolina, looking at some old iron.

It must've been 10 years ago...maybe longer...that I discovered an old Beech 18 rotting away at the Goldsboro - Wayne Municipal Airport. It was probably donated to the A&P school there, but I can't say for sure.

DirtDOG and I have been trading pics of junkyards for a while, so with some prodding from him this week, SWMBO and I set out for a ride to find some interesting stuff.

Today's Junkyard Tour would take us near the airfield where I found the old Beech 18, so it was worth a detour to see if it was still around. Did they repair it and get it flying? Was it disassembled into tiny unrecognizable pieces?

An hour and a half after throwing a leg over the bike, we
had an answer.

Pushed back a bit, and surrounded by brush, the handsome lines were still recognizable.



The radials looked as if they could be prodded to life.



The tires probably wouldn't pass a preflight, but I spent a
few moment admiring the brakes.



The Beech 18 got its start in 1937 and was built through
1969




This one might've been a corporate bird for A-B/Budweiser--there's a distributor nearby.






There can be no bigger temptation than an open door. Stepping carefully into the fuselage, I tested it to see if it would support me.

Looking aft:



Looking forward:




Hard to say if this was what's left after it was picked over at its final resting place, or if some brave ferry pilot looked at this panel to get it here.



Originally, it probably looked more like this:



But now, this is what's left.



Imagine the crackle and rumble as the radials fired up.




A copilot waving before closing the window.



The lumpy idle just before the taxi.



I was happy to see the old girl, but sad that she was in

such tired shape. I said goodbye and promised to check in on her later.




Then it was on to the next stop.

Not too far from the Beech, we found an AMC graveyard in Pikeville, NC.

The Collier family--according to the wisdom of the web--had a relationship with AMC dating back to the 50's. The dealership shut down decades later, leaving a small army of cars sitting behind a fence.



This picture shows the dealership years ago.



It's from this site:

http://www.amcrc.com/feature/march2007feature.html - which also has some comments from the owner's son.

Today, we found this:



A chain-link fence kept us at a respectful distance.



Weeds are their parking brakes, keeping the cars neatly arranged in rows.








We walked for a bit, pondering the demise of an automaker and dealership.






not all were AMC's. Perhaps these were here for repairs.






but they were all slowly being overtaken by nature...












...which has a way of creating its own beauty.



With Hwy 117 traffic rushing past us, we headed back to the bike, and headed home. Who knows how tall the weeds will be when we visit again?



Not a bad day. We'll find more relics soon.

Until then...I'm contemplating a new job....



...to pay for gas so we can keep wandering.



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Old 03-08-2009, 06:37 PM   #2
Carlo Muro
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Is that Beech like the one that Paul Mantz crashed through the billboard in the movie "Its a mad mad mad mad world"?

I think it is.

Always loved that plane
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Old 03-08-2009, 06:45 PM   #3
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Cool idea..those old grave yards are always intriguing...more pls if ya get 'em
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Old 03-08-2009, 06:53 PM   #4
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I remember my parents having bought one of these brand new when I was a kid. It was a dark green one with white strips - almost like racing strips I think on it. An AMC Gremlin ... I think it was the one with the bigger engine in it. I recall it was a manual transmission.
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Old 03-08-2009, 07:23 PM   #5
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I had a 73 purple gremlin hand me down. Fun car ,so ugly it was cool in the 1980s
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Old 03-08-2009, 07:34 PM   #6
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Good stuff--thanks for sharing.

I've worked at Beechcraft/Raytheon multiple times over the years. The 5-year fly-ins were incredible--18's, staggerwings, V-tails...

My brother had an AMC spirit. It was so ugly, it was....well, just humiliating. He later "upgraded" to a dodge omni.

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Old 03-08-2009, 07:51 PM   #7
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Pacers, Ambassadors, Matadors, Gremlins and a Beech...cool stuff.
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:01 AM   #8
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I love pictures like these..nothing like old airplanes and cars....I guess we have our fair share being in Tucson...this thread though..reminds me of Trails End in Fairbanks.....George had some AMC's in there too.....and plenty of planes up there in Alaska too.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=246031&page=4


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Old 03-09-2009, 03:16 AM   #9
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Nothin' like junk yards, ghost towns, and other things that once were...
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Old 03-09-2009, 04:01 AM   #10
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Cool junkyard visit! I'd love to see the old plane restored.... but the old AMC cars... Thanks for the report and pics
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Old 03-09-2009, 06:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Photog
We walked for a bit, pondering the demise of an automaker and dealership.

Demise?

That's what an AMC dealership looked like when they were new.
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Old 03-09-2009, 07:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VespaFitz
Demise?

That's what an AMC dealership looked like when they were new.

Hmm. You know the sign said it was open.

I shoulda just walked up and made an offer on a Javelin.
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Old 08-13-2009, 12:35 PM   #13
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cool! and sad at the same time.

the stories would be grand.
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Old 08-13-2009, 01:57 PM   #14
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Thanks for those memories-- my mom and dad had a Nash Meropolitan when they first got married (Nash being one of the companies that were incorporated into AMC), and then had a 1967 Rambler Ambassador coupe. It had a 343 v8. It had lots of motor (power), but virtually no quality control-- even as a kid I noticed that gaps between body panels were uneven. It had a real posh interior though-- came with matching pillows in the back!
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Old 08-14-2009, 07:25 AM   #15
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We had a gremlin as a kid in the early 70's
no seatbelt passenger side.
no seat in the back.
Brother and I sat in the back on top of the luggage when we went on trips. No child restraints needed!
It went from TN to Boston 3 or 4 times visiting family before we sold it I think in 77 or 78.
No AC
Green with white stripes. NY Jets car
Until last year it was the only new car my father ever bought.
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