There's a curious fascination that comes with watching large, industrial machines do their thing. This time around, the thing is ending the life of several cars via a crusher, ultimately compressing five vehicles into the size of one. The slow-motion destruction is surprisingly quiet and oddly relaxing, but as motoring enthusiasts, we recognise there could well be an emotional response to the carnage. And you know what? That's just fine.
The clip comes from 1964corvan on YouTube, where you'll find several zen-like car-crushing videos. There's no narration, no music, just the visual and aural experience of metal under extreme compression, sending long-forgotten cars to their final destination. The clip opens with three such cars – a Ford Tempo, Dodge Daytona, and an early '80s Ford Thunderbird – already crushed. They don't carry the same appeal as vehicles like Corvettes or Porsche 911s, but over the course of 30 years, they were certainly invaluable to owners and families. What adventures did these cars see? We'll never know.
The crushing begins anew with a 1980s-era Oldsmobile Cutlass. A second-generation Dodge Neon is next, followed by a boxy mid-1980s Ford Escort. It's placed at the front of the crusher, leaving room for a Plymouth Sundance to meet its demise with the others at the rear. Through the lens of automotive history, these models aren't anything special but at some point, they were valued and loved by someone. Perhaps the Cutlass was a young driver's first car, or maybe the Neon got someone to the hospital in the nick of time. Again, more stories we'll never know.
The final car, however, is something special. And we wouldn't be surprised if you never heard of it, because only around 1,400 were built. It's a Buick Skyhawk Road Hawk, and while we aren't experts on the model, we do know it was a special appearance package that jazzed up the small Skyhawk for 1979 and 1980. It came at a time when vehicle performance was low, and just like many other such cars of that era, it was all but forgotten.
We choose not to forget, and neither does the video as the camera operator offers a short walkaround of the rare gem. This Skyhawk has no hope of restoration – its upgraded interior is torn, body panels are broken, and rust is prevalent. But the special model is granted one final look as a whole car before taking its place on the crusher.
If anyone has more information on the Skyhawk Road Hawk, we'd love to know more about it. And if you want more classic content on cars from the 1980s, check out our special Radwood-focused episode of the Rambling About Cars podcast, available below.