British Barn Finds


1977 Lotus Esprit S1: Spy Gear Not Included

This 1977 Lotus Esprit S1 has been listed here on eBay for awhile. They’ve lowered the price from $30,000 to $19,995, but it still seems overpriced. (I thought these sold for $10k or less) It’s been a long time since that Jame bond film and I don’t think this one has rockets or any of Mr. Bonds cool toys. I don’t think a condition one car would sell for this much, but this one has been sitting since 1997 and is a survivor, well sort of. It’s very original except it was originally yellow. It certainly needs a new front bumper and a windshield, and the paint has the usual blemishes, but otherwise it looks pretty nice. One would want to carefully examine the fiberglass body for cracks and damage, of course, and the frame for rust. It is leaking oil, perhaps from the cam seals or other interesting places. So, am I missing something here? Is there an extra zero on the price? The speedometer was replaced when it was showing 23k miles, but that could be 123k, and the new one is showing 400 miles. The seller is a dealer and he’s had it 3 years, so surely he must want to sell it. Is there someone out there who appreciates this and can negotiate a reasonable price? What do you think this Lotus is actually worth? Read more »


Diamond In The Rough: 1974 Triumph TR6

While the pictures aren’t great, they are good enough to tell me that I should be out there looking at this car instead of writing it up. Circumstances don’t allow that; hoping one of you readers picks this one up in a hurry! Located in Henderson, North Carolina, this original-appearing Triumph is advertised here on craigslist. The price is a low $2,500 or best offer, and the car is said to have a good engine, transmission and tires. I own two TR6’s already; a third would be truly redundant! Places to check on the car if you are interested are the rear trailing arm mounts on the frame, the differential mounts, and of course floors and sills. The car happens to be in the same town as one of the best Triumph specialty repair shops around, so if it needs any of those things, you could just drop it off after purchase if you don’t want to do the work yourself. Let us know if you pick up this diamond in the rough!


Motoring Monday: Black Widow TR7 Spider

Ok, so it’s not a Black Widow, but it is a Spider. Towards the end of Triumph TR7 production, the company produced a “limited edition” Spider with red on black colors, TR8 wheels and distinctive upholstery. They incorporated all the improvements made during TR7 production and are arguably the most desirable TR7’s offered in the US. This one is relatively close to me (at least it’s in the same state!) in Crumpler, North Carolina and is up for sale here on eBay. Bidding is currently at only $1000, but reserve is not yet met. Read more »


Major Challenge: 1959 Jaguar XK150

This is one sad looking Jaguar! I have fellow staff writer Jeff L. to thank for calling my attention to this car that has definitely seen better days. It’s up for sale here on eBay and is located in Hanover, Massachusetts. Current bidding is at just below $5,000, with an optimistic buy-it-now of $29,500(!) Where to begin? The seller notes that “…there are a few things missing, i.e. the soft top frame, the bottom of the seats, the spare, the jack, the tools and some other parts.”  Uh… yeah. About those other parts! There’s also no mention of the creative alignment of the body and although a 3.4 liter engine is mentioned, there are no information on whether it turns freely or not.  Read more »

1971 TVR Vixen 2500

Is This Vixen Worth Fixin’?

This 1971 TVR Vixen 2500 was stored for 20 years. Like the one posted several months ago, this has the Ford Cortina engine. It’s not much, but this car is very light, so with 88 HP it does OK and there are lots of performance parts available. The big issue with this car is the rusted frame. If it’s as bad as it looks in the picture, perhaps this Vixin may not be worth repairing. I’ve added a picture of a typical frame to give you an idea of the work involved. The front and back glass are included. The wire wheels look cool, but the original wheels are included if one wanted the factory look. The bidding on here on eBay is currently at $3650. How much do you think this Vixen would have to sell for to make it worth repairing? Read more »


Little Bitty Car: 1960 Trojan 200

This little 1960 Heinkel is certainly a cute little car, although some might give pause to driving around with the Trojan nameplate. It’s been part of a private collection in Alabama for the last 50 years. There are a several really interesting cars in the background of the pictures. It does start, but will need some work to make it driveable again. The Heinkel has an interesting history. The were originally named the Kabine and produced from 1956 to 1958 and then produced under license for a short time in Ireland. Poor quality control quickly halted production in Ireland. Then from 1966 they were produced under license by Trojan Cars Ltd. in England. They were also produced in Argentina from 1959 until 1962 right next to Studebaker trucks! The steering wheel doesn’t move when the door opens like the Isetta because of Isetta’s patent. This one is listed here on eBay with bidding currently at $7,650 and the reserve not met. That seems like a lot of money, but the micro car market has really heated up. Many micro cars sell for $20,000 and more. This little car could be a fun little thing for running around, but you’d have to be a devoted micro car fan perhaps. Thanks to Robert R for this tip!
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Chopped Top: 1967 Hillman Husky

On one of my recent junkyard trips, my brother and I discovered an old Toyota that had a chopped roof. You could see where a previous owner had married the A, B, and C pillars with the new roofline, and let’s just say it wasn’t a professional job. The welds were messy and the gaskets around the front and rear glass didn’t fit at all. The rear windows, much like this 1967 Hillman Husky found here on eBay, were sandwiched into their new frame and messily cut to fit the lower roof. All of this is to say, from a distance, it looked pretty cool – but up close, you could see why it’s best not to attempt a chop top project in your driveway. I’m not sure what the future holds for this little Hillman, but I do know I’d rather discover a barn-find Husky than a half-finished homebrew hotrod. However, there could be an outside chance the conversion can be continued, maybe even cleaned up to be a respectable and water-proof rod. What do you think?

1976 Triumph TR6

Fuel Injected 1976 Triumph TR6

This TR6 caught my eye because of the fuel injection system that has been installed. See, in Europe the TR6 actually came with fuel injection from the factory. As a result, it benefited from a lot more power than the carbureted version we received here. We are talking about an almost 50 horsepower difference! I’m sure they were a handful to drive and those cars could be what people were referring too when they coined the “hairy chested sports car” phrase. I’d like to think that the Patton Machine fuel injection found on this car could create similar thrills? Find it here on KSL out of Bluffdale, Utah for $8,900. Thanks goes to Mac H. for the submission! Read more »


Two For One: 1970’s Triumph Spitfires

Not one, but two Triumph Spitfires for the price of one. Both look like they’ve been in storage for a good period of time, but at least it’s been dry storage. Thanks to reader Jim S for this find! The 1971 and 1976 cars are listed together here on eBay, where there’s a buy-it-now of $3,500 but lower bids are being solicited. The pair of British convertibles are located in Bel Air, Maryland. Spitfires offer a lot of bang for the buck, and at first glance the brown one (without an engine at the moment) looks like a good car to build up. The 1976, if it has the original engine, is the only year the 1500 engine had the European compression ratio of 9:1, and it also has an overdrive (the seller erroneously calls it a 5-speed) transmission. The seller is also selling another 1972 Spitfire on eBay that has been customized; you can find it here, it’s buy-it-now figure is $4,000. If I didn’t have four Spitfires in the family already, I’d be interested, how about you?

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 »


Motoring Monday: Four TR7’s And A TR8

I’d like to thank Barn Finds reader Brian C for making me wish I were 2,843 miles closer to the west coast! He sent in this terrific find from Seattle, Washington, and if they were anywhere close to here I’d be going to get them rather than writing this post. Five Triumph wedges, four TR7’s and a TR8, located in Granite Falls, Washington, all for a single price of $3,500. And for you sharp-eyed Volvo fans out there, I couldn’t find an ad for the Bertone coupe in the front corner, but that doesn’t mean it’s not for sale as well. The cars are advertised here on craigslist. I am compelled to point out that more TR7’s were sold than any other model of the Triumph TR series, and if you follow this site you know I will be racing one in the future, so despite some people’s dislike of them, I think they are great cars. I wonder, though, what prompted this large collection by one person? Read more »

Roadside Rolls

Roadside Rolls Royce Sighting

Whenever you see an old car parked along the street with a “For Sale” sign in the window, you should stop! Josh and I spotted this Rolls Royce the other day while driving back to the office and just had to take a look. We aren’t in the market for a Rolls, but it’s a car you don’t see everyday around here so stopped to snap a few photos. It did look exceptionally clean for its age and the asking price seems about right if all the maintenance records can be provided. I thought someone here might be interested and if not, at least it’s a good opportunity to remind everyone to keep sending in their roadside sightings. Sometimes the best deals can found right along the route to work! So, keep your eyes peeled and please keep them coming! Read more »

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