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What?! Car Wreck Trail? There’s an actual path that leads you around a vehicle which has grown into the side of the hills for only who knows how long?

Yup, it’s true. This past weekend I saw for myself.

In South Orange County near Laguna Hills and Aliso Viejo at the Top of the World Hiking Trails, a narrow path among the brush leads you straight past an old, rusted and barely there automobile nestled into the dirt, growing with nature underneath the shade of a tree.



At first glance the clunker is almost unrecognizable.

“It looks like an elongated Beetle.”

“Yeah, but the back end doesn’t fit the Beetle’s shape.”

“You’re right, the front is too long also.”

I’m guessing it’s a ’40s-something, definitely a cruising car for the family.”

What’s your guess at first glance?

Photo Cred: Shannon Randol
Photo Cred: Shannon Randol
Photo Cred: Shannon Randol
Photo Cred: Shannon Randol
Photo Cred: Shannon Randol
Photo Cred: Shannon Randol

So, any takers? What is the make and model of this ditched lemon?



Don’t worry, I’ll wait!



If you guessed a 1946 Dodge 5-passenger coupe, you’d be correct.

What it looked in its heyday. (photo from allpar.com)
What it looked in its heyday. (photo from allpar.com)

But, its make and model isn’t the only mystery in this tale.

How did this Tin Lizzie get to its resting place? Not a road, back ally or freeway for miles to explain its inevitable end of grow within the canyon’s secluded silence.

And apparently, according to a quick skim through Google, articles and the trails information, not a single soul knows how the car ended up in a patch of dirt, encrusted to the mountain, miles from any paved road.

If you’re interested in enjoying the outdoors, a gear-junkie even a quasi auto fan,  or take delight in viewing vintage pieces of tin, this outing is all three wrapped into one!

Car Wreck Loop 10-14-2010, Elevation - Distance_thumb[1]

A friendly bit of advice: If you’re hiking (not running the trails) go down Car Wreck Trail, circle around and go back up Mathis. Car Wreck is steep, rocky and wonky, but if you’re up for the challenge and it isn’t 90+ outside, go for it!


The Marconi Automotive Museum & Foundation for Kids is a class 501 ©(3) nonprofit and doubles as an event venue in Orange County, California. The net proceeds from each event, museum visitor and donated dollar, aids children in need. The Marconi donates an average of $1 million to at-risk children charities.

If you’d like to obtain more information about hosting an event for any occasion at the museum, please call 714.258.3001 to get in touch with an event coordinator. You may also fill out a Request For Proposal online through the website.

Dare To Be Different.  


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