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40 Vehicles Recovered from the Bottoms of Nashville Waterways

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Have you ever wondered, when going by or crossing a body of water, if there might not be some foreign objects at the bottom of them? Big foreign objects? Like cars, for instance? Residents of Nashville recently got to find out, as some 40 vehicles were removed from different bodies of water in the area as part of a clean-up operation.

The salvage expedition actually took place in the Cumberland River and the Percy Priest Reservoir, and was carried out by a team the mandate of which is to exploring the river and lake bottoms for a good cause: finding missing people, boats or cars.

The photos published on Twitter by Nashville mayor John Cooper show a row of rusty carcasses. There’s  a YJ-generation Jeep that appears original with its 15-inch steel wheels, a ninth-generation Ford Thunderbird, a more-recent Ford Focus, as well as a late-generation Pontiac Le Mans. No, not the mythical 1960s model, but rather the car Pontiac tried to pass off as an American model even though it was just a Korean sedan at a time when South Korea was still cutting its teeth in the industry.

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Recovered vehicles, including a Ford Fiesta
Photo: John Cooper
Recovered vehicles, including a Ford Fiesta

Some models appear to have been submerged decades ago, while others, like the Ford Focus, probably only spent a few years at the bottom. Some are complete, others partially stripped. Many are far too damaged to be recognized at first glance. Happily, no bodies were found in any of the vehicles.

How and why did these vehicles end up there? Some answers, of course, will reveal themselves to investigators, and it’s almost certain some are probably stolen models that were dumped after the thieves no longer had use for them. It is also quite possible that several of them were dumped in the water as part of an insurance fraud attempt. But we prefer to keep a few of them aside in our imaginations so we conjure up some truly fantastical stories.

In the more immediate, there might be a few area residents feeling a little more nervous right now due to this trove of new evidence rising to the surface.

Recovered vehicles
Photo: John Cooper
Recovered vehicles