It's like the ultimate barn find, only swap out the relatively ideal dry confines of a barn for a watery grave. Adventures with Purpose, a YouTube channel devoted to the exploits of a group of divers in Oregon that specializes in pulling submerged cars from the water, recently found six vehicles in the Tualatin River, near Portland. The most notable finds? A 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1 fastback and a Mazda RX-7 sports car, plus a Chevrolet LUV pickup, which is not shown being pulled from the water.
As you might expect, neither are exactly in top condition, with the badly rusted Mustang basically disintegrating into scrap pieces as it's pulled onto a flatbed truck parked on a boat ramp. The RX-7, meanwhile, is caked with mud, its windshield and roof crumpled, but it's basically intact. A hat tip goes to CarBuzz for spotting the videos.
The divers use inflatable salvage bags to help raise the vehicles. They removed the Mustang’s rusted and encrusted V8 first — the '73 model came with either 302 or 351 engines — and had to pause to remove some of the thick mud that had built up inside the car. Other things they found from both pulls include an old sledgehammer, a stop sign and a rusted Washington state license plate.
The crew say they received a call from someone who told them they’d find plenty of vehicles in the river. The whole Mach 1 salvage operation took two days.
"A lot of you are going to be a bit upset at how destroyed the Mustang Mach 1 became after we tried removing it from the river," the team wrote in its description. "In our defense, there was an extra 8,000 pounds of mud inside the car, along with the Mustang being underwater in the river for over 40 years."
The Adventures with Purpose team says it has recovered 326 cars, six guns, two bodies and a tractor, among things.