Crazy Ray’s: A Museum of the Modern American Road

If Baltimore is a city sometimes known to celebrate the bizarre, the unusual and all things on the fringes, we’d posit that there may be no more bizarre place in the city than Crazy Ray’s auto parts on Erdman Avenue.

An automotive “graveyard” might be an apt description of the yard at Crazy Ray’s, although unlike an actual graveyard, nothing is buried here. Instead, these mechanical corpses are laid bare under the sun for the inspection of God and all. In various stages of weathering, disrepair and destruction the Beamers and Buicks meant to be a source of parts are as much a macabre museum of the American roadway.

With acres of autos providing a window into vehicular history and the lives of their former owners, Crazy Ray’s is one of our favorite places to explore in Baltimore, whether we need parts or not. Here are a few photos from a recent trip.

A relic of the Studio 54 cocaine party era.

Party like a rock star.

Your stickers may outlast your car.

Family fun in a conversion van. Next stop Wally World!

Pie in the sky.

Still pimp as hell.

Is it just me or was it hot in here?

This is why you don't try to cook meth in the back seat.

It may look like hell, but it smells Springtime fresh.

Watch out for the giant forklifts, because they might kill you.

A view of the neighboring trainyard and the Bayview hospital complex.

It's a 10 car pile-up.

Damn, I think I left my keys in the car...

A word of caution if you go though: Junkyards are really fucking dangerous places. Aside from the giant speeding forklifts pictured above, there’s also the possibility that a car will fall on you, since most of them are propped up on stacks of tires or little spare-tire jacks. There is also broken glass and twisted metal absolutely everywhere. We’d recommend the thickest-soled, sturdiest boots you have, a pair of jeans you wouldn’t mind staining, and long sleeves wouldn’t be a bad idea either. Even if you don’t get cut or bruised, you may still come out covered in oil, grease or other automotive fluids.

But of course, some people are into that sort of thing.