Even if you’re a local, you’ve probably never seen this…

If you have a drone and visit St. Joseph, Michigan you might be able to catch a glimpse of the classic car graveyard which is tucked along the shore of Lake Michigan. The natural conclusion is to think some people used the area to dump cars used in crimes or to commit insurance fraud. The true reason for discarding all those cars back in the day is far more interesting than that.

See the 40-plus cars divers pulled out of waterways in Tennessee here.

The city of St. Joseph is situated on a bluff which has been eroding as the lake waters rise. While sometimes Lake Michigan is low, back in the late 1960s the lake was at a high point, threatening numerous homes. One man decided to take matters into his own hands, using classic cars to stop the threat.

image credit: WZZM 13

People were throwing all kinds of debris over the side of the bluff to save their homes back in the late 1960s, including home appliances, furniture, and cars. The idea to push vehicles over the edge of the bluff was reportedly from Carl Kuyat, a St. Joseph resident. Before the state of Michigan heard about the wild plan, Kuyat and others had ditched over 150 cars in the lake.

Of course, some will worry about the environmental impact of submerging old cars in a lake. Our main concern is there’s nothing like a 1969 Chevy Camaro down there. We’ve covered people removing cars from waterways as a way of cleaning up the environment. But when there’s an emergency and your home’s on the line, that’s probably not a huge concern.

image credit: WZZM 13

With the receded lake waters, you can now clearly see where all those classic cars piled up. They’re rusty, mangled messes now. But some you might be able to identify. While some have used drones to check out the scene, other more adventurous Michigan residents have hiked down the steep bluff so they can get a close look at the wreckage with their own two eyes.

Source: WZZM 13

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