Adventures of Junkyard Dog & Fluffy

A Piece of Tallahassee History is Leaving Us

By Jack Hanbury

Turners Used Auto & Truck Parts
3624 Woodville Highway
Tallahassee, Florida 32304

Turners Used Auto & Truck Parts and 24 hour Wrecker service has been known for 32 years as just “Turner’s”. The Turner family has been a part of Tallahassee history for many years. Even the Leon High School has had four generations of the Turner family to graduate, starting with their granddad in 1910 and Tim’s daughter this past year. Mr. W.T. Turner started this business on Springhill Road in October 1971 with about 5 acre’s of land. As the business grew, they moved to their present location at 3624 Woodville Highway in 1982 with just less than 9 acres. Mr. Turner’s three sons Tom, Tim and Ted started with him in the junk yard & wrecker business. Like all young men they got involved working around automobiles and related auto items. Mr. Turner’s past history working with GMC trucks and parts gave him a good back ground for marketing truck and car parts. Tom, the oldest had other interest and did not stay in the business but Tim, the next oldest son, stayed in the junkyard business when his brother Ted bought Capital Wrecker Service. Ted had Tallahassee’s first roll back wrecker in 1984 in this area. 

Tim, related to me that one of the first vehicles his brother brought into their new yard, in 1982, was a Fiat (Bianchina) 2dr coupe, (last lic.1969) and parked it where it presently stands with a 2 foot oak tree growing up through the bottom and through the steering wheel. Mr. Turner’s presence at the yard was always a treat to most of us but some were in total shock with his playful smiles and uncanny humor. When you walked in the door and saw Mr. Turner with his apron and hat on you had to be aware that someone would have to see what was under the apron towel.

The front desk and office area began to look like a collection from old car dealerships and service stations. As time went on, the family collected signs and memorabilia from all over the area and displayed them through out the building and workshop. Presently the yard has a number of early 50’s GMC trucks and mid 50’s Chevy’s with one 1948(?) Buick 4dr sedan complete. El Camino’s from the 60’s to late 70’s and a few early Volkswagens are among other desirable cars. Like most junkyards the 900 to 1000 auto inventory was all kept in their head and they had to stay with it daily to run a top-notch yard as they did. Ted has collected and restored a 1957 Nash Metropolitan Convertible and a 1931 Ford A Model Roadster. He is presently restoring a 1957 GMC 1/2 ton pick up truck. I also saw an Isetta in the corner waiting to be restored along with early bicycles and motor scooters. In Ted’s personal junkyard collection he has a number of early Nash’s, Reo’s, GMC’s, and Chevy Trucks from the 30’s to late 50’s. We all hope to see some of these autos on the rode driven by a Turner.

Mr. W.T. Turner passed away this past December 2002 and the two brothers have sold the yard this July and plan to have it cleared out by years’ end. As a hobbyist myself, I appreciated the opportunity that Tim and Ted gave me to take pictures and walk through the yard at my leisure. I must say I enjoy walking throughout a good yard and sad to see a good one leaving us. If you are in the area, take a moment to stop in and say hello and goodbye to a good group of people with smiling faces and good fellowship while it is still here. Remember, when going into any junkyard, always stop in at the office and talk a moment if you really want that privilege to go into a yard, and always stop back in at the office when leaving.

Scenes from the Yard