Last post on Aug 29, 2008 at 4:01 PM
You are in the Classic Cars
What is this discussion about?
Classic Cars, Coupe, Convertible, Truck, Sedan, Wagon
Sleeping Beauties -- Top 10 Great Barn Finds - Tantalizing tales of barn finds have been circulating for as long as people have been collecting old cars. Enthusiasts still talk about Barney Pollard, a mysterious 1950s-era Chicago collector who amassed hundreds of old crocks from the teens and '20s. He removed front bumpers, drained fluids and then stored them vertically so he could cram still more cars in his warehouses. When he died, his collection was sold and the cars dispersed. (more)
#2 of 17 Re: Article Comments - Sleeping Beauties -- Top 10 Great Barn Finds [KarenS
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Dec 04, 2007 (1:21 pm)
I've found a few lately:
1959 Mercedes 190SL, one owner. Woman had the hubcaps stolen in 1971, got discouraged about driving the car, drove it into her garage and there it sat until 2007. The keys were still in the ignition as she left it. Dusty and dirty with 4 rotted tires, rotted soft top and lots of spiders, but solid as a rock and of course totally original. It was sold to a local dealer and subsequently shipped to the Netherlands for restoration
1925 Maxwell 5P Tourer, right hand drive. Last of the Maxwells. The current owner brought it over from New Zealand 38 years ago. He gave up driving it about 25 years ago and there it sat until now. Very original car. Probably could be made to run, Very solid, no rust. Not very valuable, but interesting.
1929 Ford Model A Postal Truck -- in a chicken house way out on the San Francisco Delta Region. Pretty rough but all there and some of the Post Office markings still visible. Worth restoring? Well, historically yes, as these are rare, but in terms of value, definitely not.
1941 LaSalle Coupe --- yet another chicken coop find in farm country east of San Francisco. Very sexy, long-nosed coupe but it needed everything. A chicken coop is not a great place to store a car for 50+ years. Rodent, water damage.
1947 MGTC -- stored outdoors (groan!) for 35 years under a tarp. Storage fees amounted to $68,000 over the years (I saw the receipts). Owner finally went crazy, estate called me to value it. Weather-beaten, no back seat, chrome rusted, rotted tires, engine stuck----still, worth something. Had interesting hill climb and racing badges on it from Monterey Historic Races, so there's local history there.
1941 Indian Scout motorcycle -- owner passed away many years ago, in the midst of a restoration. The bike was about 1/2 done, not all skillfully. The Scout model is not worth what the Chief is, not by a long shot. We boxed it up and sold it.
Got a few more on the line, too. I'll let you know what I find. I did see a Jaguar XK120 alloy body roadster in a loft last year, but the owner knew exactly what he had and he got a whopping good price for it. I wasn't involved in that discovery, darn it.
#3 of 17 When I was very young...
Dec 05, 2007 (11:03 am)
...there was a big garage behind the neighborhood grocery store next to my parent's place that housed a 1931 Auburn Speedster. The grocer himself had a 1948 Ford F-1 pickup which would be considered collectible today. I used to deliver newspapers for a time from the mid-1970s thru the early 1980s and saw a lot of other interesting cars people had hidden in their garages. Among them was a dark blue LWB 1953 DeSoto Firedome sedan, a green 1951 Pontiac Catalina, a black and gold 1957 Studebaker Hawk, a 1947 Cadillac hearse, and a red and white 1940 Packard ambulance.
#4 of 17 Re: When I was very young... [lemko]
Dec 05, 2007 (12:28 pm)
If I look back to my childhood (the earliest I can remember realistically is the early 80s), I can remember seeing a few old cars tucked away too. The grandparents of my onetime best friend had a monster of an early 20s Caddy in their garage, I think the type to be called a 'Suburban' or a 'Pullman' - it was unrestored and very menacing in a way. Near my grade school I remember a 49 Mercury woody languishing behind a house, owned by some hermit who had very mean dogs. Even then I knew that car was cool. Not far from there was a ca. 50 Hudson Hornet behind another house. An old couple on my block had a Mercedes 300SE fintail, the rare highline model, in two tone grey and white with a red interior. I thought it was a very strange and ugly car. I also remember an old guy in town who had like 4 59 Fords. My dad had a good friend who collected old heaps, and he had about 20 cars in his backyard - I remember most a Model A coupe and a Ford 105E Anglia - I sat in both cars. I also remember going on a road trip in eastern Oregon, and seeing a very old Piece Arrow (predating the headlights integrated into the fender) in an old building - my dad knew exactly where it was and had to show me, so I think it might have belonged to a museum or something - but it wasn't on display. And now that I think of it, the people across the street from my grandparents had an early Porsche Targa, the kind with the plastic window, and it was a pukey period green. That car sold probably 20 years ago though.
#5 of 17 Re: When I was very young... [fintail]
Dec 05, 2007 (12:33 pm)
Oh yeah, I just remembered a teenage kid on my street during maybe the mid 80s had a huge ca. 1966 Pontiac sedan, and it had a chain link steering wheel. As a kid I thought that was pretty exotic, but now it seems amazingly dangerous.
I also remember the father of a girl I knew had a Plymouth Roadrunner - I don't recall the year, I just remember the decals.
#6 of 17 More on When I Was Very Young...
Dec 26, 2007 (3:31 am)
In 1967, as a 16 year old, I had a chance to buy a 1961 AC Ace roadster for about $1600. All aluminum body, straight 6 cylinder with 3 Webber 2bbl. carbs and tuned headers. The interior was just a little messed up with some rips in the seats and carpet. That was a lot of money for me then, so I passed on it and bought a 1960 Corvette for $815. Oh yeah, I found the Ace just after I passed on a 1959 Alfa Romeo roadster - red. In keeping with these sad tales, here's another...
My friend's father had a 1959 Jaguar sedan (3.8L or 3.6L???) sitting out back. It wasn't licensed and he was letting it go since he now had a 1966 289 Mustang convertible. The Jag needed work on the brakes and exhaust system and who knows what else. Once again, I decided to pass on the deal for $50 (this is 1967 again), so I told another friend about it and he bought it.
The Jag needed a short section of brake line replaced over the left rear disc and I ended up fixing the exhaust with sections of aluminum tubing that my father had laying around for his ham radio antenna. For a few bucks, the Jag was running in all of its gray paint and gray leather glory. Oh how that car purred. It had the automatic on the dash and electronic overdrive.
For more depressing tales, ask me about my baseball card collection that I let go with cards like the 1957 Mickey Mantle and others dating back to 1938.
Jan 17, 2008 (11:45 pm)
I was in southern Michigan about ten years a go. I went to a dealer that sold trailers. While he was doing the paperwork I went out back into a barn and sitting right behind the door was a white Plymouth Superbird. It looked pretty bad but it was all there. In spray paint across the windsheild was a sign that said Not For Sale. I went in and asked about it and the sales rep didn't even want to talk about it. I wonder if it is still there. Another one was a 68 Old Cutlass I would see coming home from our house. It sat there for almost 20 years. Even when we moved out farther I would come around and see if it was still sitting in that drive way. It was painted flat black and had a flame paint job. The house was an old farm at one time, but it didn't look like anyone lived there. About five years a go the house was torn down by the new owners, and I heard they call the junkyard to take it away. The new owners built a new house on the land. There are now two Hondas sitting in the drive. That pretty much explains everything. What a waste.
#8 of 17 Re: Barn Find [dvsutton]
Jan 21, 2008 (8:11 pm)
As an oldtimer, sort of, I cringe at all the cars I used to have. A 60 Olds convertible in blue. 56 Ford, 55 and 56 Chevy. A bunch of early 50's Mopar, including a 1954 Red Ram hemi. 59 Catalina. 64 Olds Starfire. a 64 Chevelle convertible and a 64 Chevelle El Camino at the same time. Once passed on a 63 split window vette for 2300 bucks. I'm getting depressed just thinking about them. My favorites? Hands down, the Oldsmobiles. I still have a 59.
#9 of 17 Re: Barn Find [hymes]
Feb 11, 2008 (5:38 pm)
Did you ever change an oil filter on that 54 dodge with the hemi?
When I was a kid working in a gas station, this old guy had one of these and every 2000 miles he would have us change the oil and filter.
Oh, what a nasty b***h that oil filter was! It was in a canister and wedged between the frame and the exhaust manifold which, of course was HOT.
It had a long bolt that went through the middle and about four O rings and gaskets that had to he aligned perfectly or it would leak like hell!
It would take three or four tries to finally get it right along with an hour of frustration and obcenites galore!
#10 of 17 Old Barn Finds
May 15, 2008 (11:09 am)
In the mid 1980s I came apun a 1951 packard convertable in an old body shop which had been left for work and the owner never returned after 17 years. The shop owner had the title and would let me have the car for 1,200.00. I put 500,00 down to think about it . Later I returned and took my 500.00 back . The car and the owner I later learned both died when the shop burned to the ground.