Weekend Edition: Hooniverse Goes for a German Junkyard Run

Just a few days ago, I was in Hamburg, Germany. We had a few hours to kill in the area, so naturally it was suggested that we go see a sizeable junkyard just a couple minutes’ drive from my friend’s place. “It’s one of the biggest yards in Northern Germany. And there are a lot of Golfs there.”
I’ve always been a big fan of Murilee Martin’s junkyard postings over at Jalopnik, Autoweek and TTAC, and I’m not sure if there has been a German Edition in his works. You’re free to consider this as a homage of sorts, then.

The Kiesow yard in Norderstedt isn’t only a junk paradise for anyone looking to keep their Audi wagons on the road, but they also sell used cars. They actually had some new-ish cars for sale, but this is what I chose to photograph instead. A VR6 Vento!
A few mismatched silver panels on it and of course it was an automatic, but it only had 80 000 and change on the clock, with the TOTAL reading still present.
A little further, this Volvo 244 for just 1500 euros. The add-on chrome can probably be peeled on the spot.
And then, the goods. Lines and lines of Fiestas perched on each other, Mondeos, Golfs, Polos, all the bread and butter German cars you could imagine, on clean concrete slabs, partially disassembled or almost untouched. Fodder for the beaternomics machine.
The sole Polo Harlekin immediately caught my eye, because obviously a Polo Harlekin catches your eye. I love these things, and it’s one of the wackiest ’90s youngtimer cars that I can conjure.
Older Polos were also present, and I made sure to grab a pair of decent condition door seals for mine. It was tricky to find a pair that hadn’t been damaged by a forklift, as the cars were lifted from their windows, but I managed to scour the selection for ones both unperished and unripped.
15 eur for the pair, by the way.
“Is it about my cube?”
Here, we see a gaggle of Smarts assemble around a cool shade.
Throwaway Japanese coupes.
All the way from Normal, to Norderstedt.
There was nothing here to take. Or maybe the flames.
If I still had my 323F, I would’ve probably been interested in a few bits and pieces.
Not a Kadett or a Le Mans, but a Daewoo Nexia.
The Swedish section.
Could it work? Could this be a thing?
Dutch-built Volvos and GM900 Saabs were numerous.
“You’re now entering the American sector.”
No Cavalier for the prom.
“I’m a poor, lonesome cowboy/ A long long way from home”
And then, we made it to the “Interesting Sh*t” section. Trabants!
Racing stripes? Zebra crossing? I got nothing.
No clock to grab from this Biturbo. The armrest was less green than the seats.
Goodies for a Jaguar restorer.
Not a Passat or a Dasher, but a Renault.
Rekord breakers.
Can this be a Thing?
Two generations of diesel Audis of the same size.
Disassembled MGF:s, probably after HGF.
This StreetKa had been off the streets for a while.
And as we headed away, the ghost of times gone by seemed to follow us home…
[Images: Copyright 2015 Hooniverse/Antti Kautonen]


  1. Dumb question from a liberal arts major: I see tiny forklifts pick up heavy items all the time. How do the forklifts not tip over?

      1. Engine’s usually in front of the rear (steer) wheels, right under the operator; counterweight’s always in the rear.

      2. It also depends on weight distribution, e.g., the horizontal distance between the center of mass of the load and the center of the front axle.
        I used to work someplace that used lots of 4 x 8 and 5 x 10 sheets of particleboard. The same bundle that could be lifted from the side without a problem could be very unstable if lifted from the end, using the same forklift.

    1. Tiny footprint, maybe. Even a 3500 lb capacity lift truck is going to weigh ~8K lbs.
      It’s a lot easier to tip one over sideways on an incline than over forwards, unless you’re being insanely careless.

  2. What exactly is that Kubelwagen lookin’… er, thing? I’m crap when it comes to military vehicles, especially non-US ones.

    1. That’s a DKW (or Auto Union) Munga, nice small 4×4 made for the German army I think. We had one in our inventory once in the 80’s, funny toy.

      1. From the time when Audi didn’t exist anymore till Mercedes re-invented them as a budget brand. Those rings only meant Auto Union/DKW

  3. never been to a european-style yard with the cars stacked on top of each other. i’d be scared to climb into the top layer. isn’t it scary?

      1. Nitpicking again, but acording to Wikipedia (and we all know Wiki is always right) it seems that it also was designed in the Netherlands.

  4. Great variety! It’s a shame that some cars just don’t get any love – the Dutch Volvos are among them. Often driven by old folks who religiously follow maintenance plans, these are good four wheeled deals. Still not an exciting drive and awful to look at.

  5. More than anything, I’m fascinated by the concrete slab. I’m so used to crawling around stacks of cars that may or may not be balanced on top of a ’96 Caravan buried in about six feet of mud.

  6. That’s a cool place, but I always hate it when places stack cars.
    Are there many Trabants still running around? Do they still use the original two-strokes? I would think that two-strokes would be banned because of emissions.

    1. Trabants are light and underpowered. Even though they burn oil, they are pretty fuel efficient. Think roughly 40mpg – engine swaps are not that common in Europe in general. The last version of the Trabantcame with VW Polo engines though.

    1. Certainly an excellent reference for what German kids grow up with of American culture. Nobody’s driving such a wagon by coincidence in Europe.

  7. The Nexia really looks like whoever was on “hatch styling” was out sick that day. It’s just blank.

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