Pacific Motors salvage yard buys damaged rare autos for parts

Dan Smith

The Rivian R1T pickup, parked inside a former steel mill now known for its specialty salvage on the east side of Detroit, looked almost out of place at first glance.

The US-brand electric pickup, which may not yet be a household name, appeared mostly intact, and staff noted it was last reported at under 200 miles on the odometer.

But upon closer inspection, from a broken roof, white scuff marks near the bottom of the front end on the passenger side, and a lot of dirt and gravel coating on the inside, this 2022 launch truck slowly spun. I later found out I didn't just park. Rivian, whose windshield reads "State Farm" and "Move with Teslas," was a victim of Hurricane Ian, which devastated parts of Florida this fall. Included is his 2022 'Barefoot Beach' parking lot or admission ticket, a testament to his formerly sunbathing lifestyle.

The R1T was special to the 20 employees of Pacific Motors, mostly because it was the first Rivian to bring to the East MacNichols building and grounds not far from Coleman A. Young International Airport.That person was also interesting people to follow Pacific Motors social media postsreceived about 150 inquiries less than a week after the discovery was shared. more:Hundreds of Chryslers rescued from 1920s shipwreck in UP, Michigan Vehicles like the Rivian aren't taken to this specialized junkyard so they can be restored. They are often bought at insurance auctions, stripped, and resold in parts or packaged so that they can be dropped into other vehicles or used entirely for other purposes.

For example, Tesla's battery modules are popular for home solar projects and for converting other gas-powered vehicles into electric vehicles. In one case, a customer used several of his Tesla batteries to build an electric yacht.

"Some (of the vehicles) were in an accident, some were flooded. If you get into a car accident, the insurance company buys your car and we buy it from the insurance company," said the sales manager. says Anthony Garrison of Many come from places like Florida and Texas.

Pacific Motors deals in cars that are more appropriately called rare, exotic, luxury, or wrecked. That's what this 1/3 acre business with an old Detroit factory vibe is all about. Porsches, Mercedes, BMWs, Aston Martins, McLarens, Lamborghinis, Rolls-Royces - cars with names that sound like they never end up in a junkyard have all made their way here, but it's not always clear which brand the wreck is. is not. . The logo was still evident on the hood of a gray 2021 Porsche Taycan that sat outside a large brick building on a cloudy Friday in December, but the car's front end was damaged and the windshield cracked. , the driver's side door was missing, indicating that the car had gone nowhere. Especially considering it required concrete blocks for support.

more:Michigan Advisory Group, automakers want to boost EV, public transit efforts

Despite its appearance, the wreckage of this German EV is unlikely to go to waste. With a starting price of over $86,000, the new Taycan is expensive to repair, especially with new parts. So do many other luxury cars. Pacific Motors Assistant General Manager Tom Turner says finding replacement parts for rare vehicles can be difficult.

Dealers looking for rare parts may even source from Pacific Motors because it takes longer to get replacements and replacements from manufacturers are preferred over aftermarket parts, staff said.

Maintaining ties to the original brand during repairs is also important, says Garrison, referencing the old saying, "I want to keep Chevrolets Chevrolets."

The wreckage may not look like much to the average person, but to those who have spent years scrutinizing auctions and tearing down all kinds of vehicles, the same wreckage holds promise and potential. It may be full. "Often you see these cars all battered and messed up, but there are thousands of parts in the car and often something looks really bad." Pacific Motors owner, Darko Stojanowski, said with a laugh.

“We all love cars. Working with high-end stuff, cars that everyone likes, cars that create a lot of emotions is more fun and enjoyable and at the same time turns it into a profitable business. We are doing our best to turn it into a

more:Ram Trucks CEO: Our electric pickup 'pushes' the competition "It's a lot more fun to take apart a BMW I8 than a Ford Fusion or something like that." Stojanowski and company said they are working with American brands. Garrison pointed out a Chevrolet SSR, a kind of retro-looking car from the 2000s, parked next to the box he truck. An old Ford truck was parked next to the Taycan the day the Free Press toured the business. Stoyanovski named high-end race cars as the most exotic cars Pacific Motors has. Stojanowski said he has friends who race for the International Motor Sport Association (IMSA) and they occasionally let him know about a wrecked Ferrari 458 or 488.

Mr. Stoyanovski, whose father ran a steel mill here (some rolls still sat in random spots around the building), initially worked in a small section but eventually expanded. and inherited all his property. Now called the anti-junkyard, the business includes an area where the wreckage is dismantled and palletized for engines and other large parts for later sale, a room where the parts can be placed for sale photos, and an office. I have. The company has customers all over the world. more:For the love of Z cars: Datsun in the Detroit area, Nissan fan is poetic about his first ride On this particular day, two silver Rolls-Royce Phantoms from 2004 and 2005 were parked close to each other. These vehicles, despite their six-figure tradition and price, are also a major source of spare parts, which can cost thousands of dollars. With so many different types of cars, many with unusual names and lineages, Stojanowski and the rest of the staff see cars differently than most people.

For one thing, it's common to see cars and brands that seem to have nothing in common.

"It's interesting to see Ford parts in Aston Martin and Mercedes parts in Tesla," Turner said. Seeing so many cars up close can also mean puncturing a myth. "When you see all these cars broken down to basically the bare foundation of the frame, the other way around is that a lot of the cars that everybody really, really likes aren't very good cars. ', Stoyanowski said. "Like Lamborghini and Ferrari, we've seen something pretty and not-so-good in these cars, straight from the way the manufacturers built and engineered them. It's the type of stuff you'll never meet your hero. It's something like

Please contact Eric D. Lawrence: [email protected]. Become a subscriber.