The Great Wall of Cars

by Michael Satterfield - this story was original posted 02/08/2012 and has been updated as of 08/29/2021

I had heard for some time about the wall of cars tucked away in the foothills above Corona, California. After asking around, I discovered that I had actually known the property owner for years and he invited me to make the trip out to Mabey Canyon to see what was left of the retaining wall built out of classic cars.

Mabey Canyon road is a private road, which I was told led to what was once the country home of a prominent Doctor from Los Angeles. The property was a working avocado orchard and the Dr. would often fly in from the city in his personal plane. This is where the cars come in. However, Jeff Lenney reached out to me after seeing some photos to set the record straight on the legends of Maybe Canyon. Jeff's father and uncle were the men responsible for building the retaining wall out of cars in the 1960s. There was a Doctor who lived at the top of the hill, but he wasn't from Los Angeles and had nothing to do with the airstrip. In fact, according to Jeff, he was delivered by the Doctor who lived and worked right there in Corona, California.

The cars were put in place to protect the property's airstrip from the rains that washed through the canyon each winter. The cars, many more of which are buried completely, are strung together with a massive cable like a macaroni noodle necklace you might have made in kindergarten. While part of the airstrip and the foundation for the hanger are still visible, they are mostly overgrown, leaving this odd site of dozens of cars stuck halfway into the side of the hill.

Over the years people have stripped the bumpers, engine parts, grilles tail lamps, and other exposed bits from what were once mostly complete cars. The area is still remote and a bit of a local legend, kids used to say that the estate is actually a haunted mental hospital and those cars belonged to the victims of the Dr. who would experiment on stranded motorists, and other urban legends. 

The Foothill Parkway passes through the canyon and developers are looking to build more housing in the Corona area, so the odd wall of cars might soon be getting uprooted and sent back to the scrap yard.

 Enjoy the rest of the pictures.