Inside LA's Top Secret Junkyard

 by Michael Satterfield

Around 20 years ago Photographer Dieter Rebmann was fortunate enough to be allowed into Rudi Klein's collection of rare mostly European cars. Unlike many collections full of cars from Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche, and Maserati, these weren't restored to perfection, instead the collection was truly a Junkyard.

Since 1967 Rudi had been stockpiling what were then just used foreign cars under the name “Foreign Auto Wrecking” on Alameda Street in South Central Los Angeles. The collection includes some of the rarest cars in the world including a one of a kind 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K built for pre-war Mercedes racer Rudolf Caracciola, this car alone could be worth as much as $10 million dollars. Not many people get into the Klein collection, which is now run by his two sons, but those have, say that the cars hidden behind the walls of the junkyard are the stuff that dreams are made of. After much negotiation, photographer Dieter Rebmann and author Roland Lowisch were permitted behind the gates to document the collection for what would become this amazing book.

The book Junkyard is 175 pages of impressive photos of some of the rarest cars in the world slowly rusting away or gathering dust. The book sells for $28 on Amazon and I highly recommend it.