Rust is silent. It works inaudibly changing steel to iron oxide.
There is a paddock in Australia where old cars and trucks go to rust, similar to the Elephant’s Graveyard, a legendary place where old elephants instinctively guide themselves when they reach a certain age. They go there to die.
Old and disused trucks cars have their own graveyard where they go to rust in peace. It’s located on a stretch of country road, the Calder Highway A79, in country Victoria, Australia between Bendigo and Charlton. 36.2679° S, 143.3510° E.
The trucks and cars come from a time long ago in an age when trucks were workhorses and cars had flared wings. Looking closely at the badges on these vehicles reveals their identities.
Call me DeSoto. My name is Chevrolet. I’m Fargo. That’s how these dilapidated cars and trucks would introduce themselves if they could speak. They do speak. But they don’t use words. Their stories lie in their bodies that have been exposed to air and water over many years. The gleam of shiny, polished steel has shifted to variegated tones of iron oxide.
Iron oxide. By any other name iron oxide is 4fe+3o >2Fe2O3. Fe2O3. Iron + Oxygen + Water → Hydrated Iron Oxide.
Know them by their full names. General Motors 1945 Chevrolet Blitz Truck and Crane, Chrysler DeSoto and Fargo British Motor Works truck. Acquired by Dodge, the Fargo transitioned into the Dodge Plymouth and eventually into the modern Dodge RAM.
Rust may be silent but, in its silence, it reveals a bigger story than any words can tell.
What a lively tale these trucks and cars would tell.
If you’re quiet you can hear them whispering stories of carrying Schweppes Table Waters & Cordials, hauling heavy machinery during the Second World War and driving families to the picture show on Saturday night.
These cars have done their work, lived their lives and have come to the rust graveyard to Rust in Peace.
If you’re ever at the crossroads of Highway 79 and Charlton in country Victoria, stop, look and listen as the rust whispers its stories.
Play Video: "Rust in Peace"