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“Cover the Earth” with Junk Cars

To add to the series of salvage yard photos already posted here on the site today’s feature contains a set of artsy images by photographer Bob Fitch.

The images were taken in 1971 at a former scrap yard located in Emeryville, CA, just west of a Sherwin Williams paint factory that was located on Sherwin Avenue near the San Fransisco Bay. Emeryville is two miles north of the city of Oakland. All of the pictures contain the paint Company’s well known “Cover the Earth” logo used between the years of 1893 and 2015.

Share with us what you find of interest in the photos of the stack of vehicles courtesy of the Stanford University Library.

22 responses to ““Cover the Earth” with Junk Cars

  1. In the 2nd photograph [1st expandable picture]. upside-down in the foreground center, looks like a 1951 SYUDEBAKER 2R5 Trailblazer.

  2. Image one shows me the neutered remains of a ’62 Impala hardtop very reminiscent of a white one I proudly owned for several years. Very clever “Cover the Earth” themed pix. Sometimes it takes a practiced eye of a pro to see something in the background to give the pix extra intrest.

  3. Interesting the way these were salvaged…I see no frames or suspension on these vehicles.
    Bodies only. I would always see the entire car crushed or salvaged together. Lots of good parts in there, especially prior to being stacked.

  4. In the third photo, I believe that’s a 63-64 Gambler Classic on the far right beneath the Corvair van.
    The center bottom looks like a me Dodge.
    The car above it with the find I can’t place. Too small for a Cadillac or a early 60s Chryaler .
    To the left a 56 Chevy?

  5. Used to drive past the junkyard and sign every day on my commute. At night the neon “paint” would flow from the can over the earth, over and over. It was fascinating.
    Memories…

    • I have personal childhood memories of this site. During my childhood my family lived in Oakland. We would drive by this location on the way to my Grandmas’s house in Berkeley. It was just north of the infamous Cypress structure that collapsed during the Loma Pritea earthquake. The pile of cars was far enough away from the freeway that due to perspective, the cars seemed to be toy sized to my very young eyes. My Mom explained the phenomenon to me, but at a preschool age, but I initially found it very hard to comprehend. Seeing that sign lit up at night was a highlight of my week. I would look at it as soon as it came into view and would keep my eyes focused on it until it was out of sight. Thanks for the posting, I’d been thinking about this location since last year.

  6. My best guesses for Sherman Avenue …which lies about 700 feet from the Oakland border and across the Amtrak tracks from an IKEA. Emeryville is the western terminus for the California Zephyr from Chicago and is near the eastern end of the Bay Bridge.
    In the Lead Photo a ’62 and a ’64 Impala and the Chevy truck cab is probably a ’56.

    In Item 1 of 3, a ’63 Tempest Coupe on top with possibly a ’58 or ’59 Rambler Cross Country to its right which sits on a ’52 Chevy sedan.

    In Item 2 of 3, aimed downward on the left, a ’56 Chevy Beauville or Townsman 4-door wagon beside the front clip of a ’57 Mercury. To its right a ’60 Chrysler hardtop resting on a likely ’64 Dodge 440 sedan (no “440” emblem on the roof vs ’63). Upside down at the bottom could be a ’61 or ’62 Chevy 4-door…just a guess.
    On top, a late ‘50s International B-100 panel van just above a ’61-;64 Corvair Greenbrier resting on a ’57 Pontiac Chieftain 2-door Catalina with maybe a ’63 or ’64 Rambler Classic on the extreme right.

    In Item 3 of 3, upside down next to the Chevy cab, probably a ’60 Plymouth and down at the bottom right, a ’58 Biscayne or Delray sedan (based on the two-tone pattern above and below the mid-body trim on the rear quarter panel vs the Bel Air where the lower body color continues to the top of that panel).

  7. There was a big junkyard we used to pass on the way to my grandparents’. This was in the ’60s, so it was full of ’50s cars, many of them partly crushed and stacked on top of each other. Even at my young age, I could usually ID them by their front or rear ends.

  8. It certainly must be California, no rust. That logo always made me nervous, “Cover the Earth”,,,with pollutants, dripping like that.

      • Hi John, um, how so? I know I have a N. Wis. truck drivers sense of humor, observational humor, it’s called, that even tries Davids patience sometimes, but OM is still the best of the bunch, and thanks to David for a great site. And it’s not that I don’t like cars, it’s just I like trucks better.

        • Howard, I love your comments and your sense of humor! Always makes me smile. I specifically look for your take on whatever the subject is. ” I gotta see what Howard thinks about this!” I also like trucks, but am not as knowledgeable about them as you are. First noticed you on Hemmings.

  9. No rust evident! I grew up near Detroit where rusted out but running cars were often driven to junk yards as a way to avoid towing fees. Later, after having moved out West the flip side was evident: mechanically exhausted but bodies that weren’t corroded into scrap.

    • My father had an auto recycling yard in the 80’s. around Toronto., good engines in rusted out cars. Pull the engine and take them to the Carolinas etc. for the burnt out engine but great bodied cars. Then buy doors, fenders etc. from the muscle cars from the 60’s. The good old days!

  10. Full disclosure: I use and like Sherwin Williams paint, but you gotta wonder which one will go down in history as the greater environmental polluter, SW or the junk yard?

  11. I recall an event at the Collier collection, in the late-1980s when it opened in Naples, Florida. Music was provided by a band named “Sherwin Williams & The Drips.”

  12. Wow…Haven’t seen that in 50 years: The old auto scrapyard at the intersection of the old MacArthur Freeway and the Nimitz Freeway (now freeways 580 and 880 at Emeryville and Oakland). And the Sherwin Williams paint sign behind, pouring paint over the globe, a moving graphic visible even from SF that was especially dazzling to see at night. The cars were replaced, if memory serves, by Judson Steel’s plant. That whole corner today is all yuppyfied with cool boutique retail and hotel space.
    What a conversion!

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