I remember the bumper I dragged back to our mountain cabin. I was as tall as it was long, back in those pre-teen days, and I had it in my head that it was going to be part of the car I would eventually build from parts that I found in ditches and on the shoulder of highways. By the time I was ready, I would have something to drive. As that summer passed, I kept my eyes open. I spotted a few tires, but they were obviously worn or blown, and therefore not useful to my purpose.
That great big hunk of steel stayed under the porch of the cabin for a decade or so, long after I had surrendered to the fates and purchased my own used car. My '72 Vega hatchback was never going to need a bumper, front or back, that weighed as much as the aluminum block engine that was under the hood. If I had been the kind of guy who had the notion to weld it to the front end, it probably would have rocked all the way over onto its front wheels, with the rear wheels spinning furiously to gain purchase.
I don't know what happened to that bumper. Nor do I have any real idea whatever became of that copper colored Vega. I expect they became part of the same crushed cube of debris that was my experience with motor vehicles back in the late twentieth century. Maybe, just maybe, some little scrap or part escaped being melted down and found its way to Michigan, where a twelve-year-old girl named Kathryn started collecting parts to help her rebuild a 1988 Pontiac Fiero. She spent the past four years getting ready for the day that she could drive that sweet machine herself. I checked the bumpers. They didn't look familiar. Maybe all those hubcaps my son has dragged home over the past few years will eventually turn into a Toyota Camry. Time will tell.