Barn Find Stories

Absaroka Plate

Rare Absaroka License Plate

After telling my father about that automobilia collection we looked at other day, he smiled and said, “I want to show you something”. He then proceeded to pull an item out of the shelf. It looked like a license plate, but it was a little wider and had the words “Proposed State of Absaroka” stamped onto it. Turns out that this simple piece of metal told quite a story. Apparently, in 1939 some ranchers and farmers in Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota decided that they were fed up with how things were being run in the Capital so the idea of forming a new State was proposed. Absaroka would have been the 49th State and Sheridan, Wyoming (my hometown) would have been the capital. Obviously, that never happened, but they did manage to crown a Miss Absaroka and print some of these license plates before the plan was abandoned. Read more »

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1966 Pontiac Puzzle: Worth Putting Together?

This old Pontiac was found sitting in the driveway of a vacant home. I tracked down the owner and although he isn’t actively trying to sell it, he said he may have to because a neighbor complained. The owner purchased the car when it was about a year old and quite driving it sometime in the ’80s. They then proceeded to start it every week until a year or so ago. They state that it’s rust free and that they think it’s worth $1,000. The problem in California is that if the owner wasn’t paying non-op fees, it could have a lot of back fees due. This is a very basic car, so I’m sure it could be made to run and drive fairly easily, but this is one case where I would understand if one were to customize it. But, would it be worth it? What do you think – off to the crusher or is there still hope? Read more »

Moldy XK120

Rare Classics Rotting Away!

Once a race car driver, then a fashion designer, now a classic car dealer in Dusseldorf, and full time eccentric, Michael Fröhlich bought 50 classic cars from the 1950’s and created a sculpture park on his land not far from his dealership. Some are very rare cars that should be in museums or on the street. Yet they languish in the wilderness to decay and rust. He wants to show that nature can defeat technology, as the cars rot away. Among the cars is a Jaguar XK120 that Fröhlich used to race. He is said to have smeared yogurt on the Jaguar to make it decay quicker. Some of the cars were running when they were parked and at least one, a Buick Special, had just been restored. The most unusual part is that he doesn’t allow public to come see his collection of sadness. Read more »

Bugatti Barn Find

Amazing Bugatti Barn Find!

One would assume that every single Bugatti barn find has already been unearthed. Well, here’s more proof that there might still be a few out there waiting to be found. A small group of people have dedicated their whole lives to the search of these special masterpieces. They spend their days scouring factory records and club registries in hopes of locating a forgotten specimen of one of the world’s most desirable automobiles. It doesn’t happen very often, but every once in while these treasure hunters strike gold. One such discovery happened not long ago and this is tale about how a very special 1925 Bugatti Brescia was found after being lost for nearly 50 years! Read more »

1969 Torino Talladega

1969 Ford Torino Talladega Garage Find

From Jim O – Hi Guys. It’s Jim O. again with a local barn find. A friend recently told me about a guy that he knew for quite some time. Until recently he had no idea that he hoarded cars. He mentioned he had a Torino Talladega. My friend contacted me to see if I might be interested. Of course I was. I met him this past Saturday at a local swap meet to introduce myself. He agreed to let me look at the car but he wasn’t sure if he wanted to sell it. He had others come and look and offer to buy it, but it never happened for whatever reason. I went over to look Monday night. Fell in love and told him that I would buy it if he decided to sell it. He said he’d think about it. The very next night at a local car show he came up to me and said he’d sell it to me!! I went over last night, paid and picked it up this morning. It had been sitting in his barn/garage for about 10 years. He parked after having some issues with it running reliably and there it sat. I can’t wait to get it back on the road. Read more »

Porsche 356 Graveyard

Porsche 356 Graveyard

The photo of this Porsche 356 graveyard has been floating around online for about a year now. I did a little research to see if I could figure out where it was taken and by whom, but wasn’t able to come up with much. With all the interest in old Porches lately, I doubt this yard still exists, but you never know. So, do any of you recognize this place?

Sunk Samba

Sunk Samba: 1957 VW 23 Window Bus

This find from reader Vincent L has been out there for a while, but it is such a great story that we just had to feature it! I’m sure many of the VW Bus fans out there already seen this incredible story, but if you haven’t, get ready for an amazing story that proves just about anything can be saved! So this story begins back in 1973. A hotel in Norway was using a 1957 VW 23 Window Bus to shuttle guests around, it was cheap transportation with fantastic panoramic views. One day the transmission went out and the owner had to decide what to do with this old worn out VW. Rather than fix it, it was decided the best course of action was to push it into the nearby Fjord (water inlet). Apparently this was common practice at the time with cars and junk that cost more to fix than they were worth. Read more »

SU Carb Cleanup

MGB Update: Still Running Rough!

A while back we were discussing the possible causes of my MGB’s rough idle and many of you suggested that the carburetors could be the culprit. I wanted to blame it on the valve train, but before doing anything drastic, I decided to try out your suggestions instead. If you’ve read much online about SU carburetors, then you’ve probably noticed that a lot of people complain about them. I’m not sure why though. SUs are simple, well-built, and easy to work on. Sure, they can wear out and become impossible to tune, but so can any other carb. As such, it’s a good idea to address any other potential problems before fiddling with the carburetors. I gathered together my set of standard open end wrenches, screw driver, carb cleaner, and a couple of rags and got down to business! Read more »

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Dad’s 1970 Chevelle SS 396 Survivor

From Chad H – This is my father’s 1970 Chevelle SS396 4spd w/M22 Rock crusher transmission this car is a 100% original numbers matching with no paint or body work and with original interior. Found here in Michigan in a garage that was starting to fall down around the car. This is how the story went, the previous owner (dad is #3) drove by this car everyday on his way to work noticing the tail lights and bumper behind a half opened garage. Knowing the type of car it could possibly be he still drove by it several more months. One day he stopped in and asked the owner if he could look at the car and the guy said “sure but it’s my sons car that I purchased for him when he was serving overseas in the military but he now lives in Hawaii”. So he proceeded into the half falling down garage with dirt floors and found a once in the life time surprise… Read more »

Hot Rod Cover

The Barn Finds Trend Keeps Growing!

Look at what I just picked up at the new stand. Barn finds seem to be showing up everywhere! They are regularly featured in books, magazines, and even TV programs. These once forgotten cars are now creating an automotive genre all their own. We don’t claim to have started this movement, but I think it’s safe to say that we have spurred it along. Admittedly, sometimes it can be frustrating that the big publications don’t give us much coverage, but I’m sure we still benefit from their “barn find” stories indirectly. Just the other day I was reading an article by the editor of Hot Rod Magazine. He discussed how they discovered that when they stuck a dirty old car on the cover, they ending up selling a whole heck of a lot more magazines than normal. Let’s just hope this whole thing doesn’t rise and fall like some other automotive trends have done (think lowriders and minitrucks). Either way we are going to continue to work hard to bring you the best discoveries we can dig up. We can’t do it without your help though, so please keep sending in your stories and suggestions. Any ideas of how we can become a bigger part of the movement? Thanks guys!

1966 Olds Delta 88 Sedan

What’s This 1966 Olds Delta 88 Worth?

Reader Andrew S recently contacted us in hopes of getting an idea of what this beautiful Olds Delta 88 might be worth. It’s in great shape, but is a four door, which isn’t valued by Hagerty. He thought you guys might be able to help him value this survivor! From Andrew – Hey Folks… Maybe you can help me with this. My friend’s father passed away last year and my buddy inherited his 1966 Olds Delta 88 4-Door Holiday Sedan. Normally I wouldn’t be interested in anything with that many doors, but this one is incredible in that it only has 22k miles and looks/smells/drives like a new car. Can you give me some idea as to it’s value? Thanks! So what do you think would be a realistic and good price for this Olds? More photos below! Read more »

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Lemons Wedge: 1978 Triumph TR7

What’s this? Jamie’s posting about another find being sold off a trailer? Nope, not this time. That’s my sad looking trailer, and rather than a flipper selling a car, this was a picture while we were on the way home from purchasing this fine example of “the shape of things to come.” The TR7/8 was Triumph’s (and British Leyland’s) final attempt at producing a sports car for the masses. It’s controversial and polarizing Harris Mann styling was very unique at the time, giving an almost mid-engined look to a front-engined car. I love “wedges”, as they are known by Triumph enthusiasts, having owned several TR7’s and a pre-production TR8 coupe that we reluctantly sold a couple of years ago. I particularly like the coupes, having been introduced to one when a very good friend of mine let me drive his prize-winning TR8 coupe from Texas to North Carolina when my car overheated on the way home from a Vintage Triumph Register national convention. What a way to cross the country! But let’s look into the reasons I purchased this particular wedge! Read more »

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