My 10-year-old silver Saturn is aging gracefully, but the driver-side visor made itself an embarrassment by dry-rotting. It’s just cardboard covered with cloth, but I knew the Saturn dealer or a body shop would want a small fortune to replace it.
Then I read about a nearby salvage yard and got an idea. When I enlisted my father as my screwdriver man, he peed on my parade on our way to the yard, asking if I’d settle for a vinyl visor in a different color.
I knew what he was already thinking: Grab the first visor and run. “No, I’m not building FrankenSaturn,” I said. “Saturns exactly like mine are on the road everywhere.”
“Well, if they’re still on the road, you can’t have their visors.”
But this yard was organized. Their database gave us the exact row and position of 3 likely candidates but, boy, was I unprepared for what I saw.
When we stepped out into the yard in the blazing sun, it sprawled before us like that epic scene in Gone With The Wind where Scarlett picks her way through the wounded soldiers to fetch the doctor to deliver Melanie’s baby — but instead of soldiers, we saw wrecked vehicles. The only thing missing was the tattered Confederate flag.
All were stripped of tires (to prevent escape?) and sitting on rims, in various stages of disembowelment. You could tell which ones had been in horrific accidents. Their crushed roofs, shattered windshields, and crumpled bodies had probably made the news before being towed here. Airbags hung limp from many a steering wheel. I didn’t see any blood, but it wouldn’t have surprised me. It was a ghost hunter’s paradise, and you couldn’t get me there at night on a bet.
We took a good visor from a derelict maroon Saturn with a gray interior for $5. It fits perfectly in my car. I just hope its previous owner never stops by to check on it.