How would you feel having your meticulously cared-for pride and joy stolen from you, only for it to seemingly turn up shortly after… at a demolition derby? That’s what happened to two classic American car owners in the south of England recently. A 1985 Ford LTD Country Squire wagon and 1965 Pontiac Grand Prix came to a grizzly end when they went missing and were destroyed shortly after at a banger racing event.
The first car to go missing was the 5.0-litre V8 Ford LTD wagon, owned by 65-year-old Mark Wright. His car was parked in a permit-holder’s car park in Andover when he noticed it had gone missing on the morning of June 14. Just two days later and 17 miles away in Salisbury, a 6.4-litre V8 Pontiac Grand Prix went missing, too.
A month goes by and a stripped Ford LTD wagon and Pontiac Grand Prix liveried in the same teal colour scheme turn up at the Ringwood Unlimited Bangers Farewell event. Now, we’re quite aware that the land-yacht Ford wagon was, in the past, a fairly seasoned Demolition Derby veteran in the States, but these cars are now extremely rare beasts, especially in the UK where they were never officially sold.
The Ford LTD wagon and Pontiac Grand Prix would have stuck out like a sore thumb at the UK banger racing event, so we’re not sure why no-one questioned it before the race began. The police were called but it was too little, too late, as the cars both finished the race and were completely destroyed by the end of it – the wreckage impounded.
Wright has no question in his mind about whether the Country Squire was his and was heartbroken to see it stolen and abused the way it was. The car had only just been imported from the US in December 2021, so Wright had only had a chance to enjoy it for about six months. There’s no word yet from the Pontiac Grand Prix owner, but what much is there to say when your iconic piece of Americana gets battered to bits like that?