Oddballs

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 »

bricklin

1975 Bricklin SV1: Supercar Dreams

The Bricklin SV1 is a curiosity of automotive history. I remember being drawn in by its profile, with those exotic gullwing doors and turbine-style wheels. But for the most part, it never really took off and is only cherished today by fans of the brand. The Bricklin was packed to the brim with safety features, and its doors operated with the push of a button – despite these neat features, however, the car was a flop and Bricklin went bankrupt owing creditors millions. This particular SV1 is located in Canada, listed for sale here on kijiji for $12,000 (thanks to Barn Finds reader J. Clark for sharing). As the dust will tell you, it has been idled for quite some time, despite being on the receiving end of an engine rebuild before it was parked. This certainly isn’t the only Bricklin that sits unloved today, as any scan of craigslist or eBay will tell you. Will they ever become a cherished collector car?

front

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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hillman

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?

left

1941 Chevy Coupe Deluxe Truck!

In the ’30s several manufactures, including Chevy, offered a little truck bed as well as a trunk lid for their coupes. Chevy offered them from 1936 to 1942. One could use the truck as a commercial vehicle during the week and have a coupe to take the missus out in on the weekends. It is also claimed that as a truck, they would be classified as Class T and received more gallons of gas per week. (The sellers claim doesn’t make much sense, there was no rationing before the war) We had plenty of gas, but not much rubber, so rationing was about saving rubber. This Chevy includes the truck bed as well as the trunk lid. It looks pretty rusty, but hopefully most of it is surface rust. The sills and the tailgate show a lot of rust damage. Being a California car, perhaps the underside is not so bad. I would hope someone would restore it to original and save this bit of history. Do you think it’s worth saving? The owner is asking $4500. It’s in Banning, California, in the desert east of LA and listed here on craigslist. Read more »

shortbus

1955 Ford School Bus: Ride the Short Bus

When Barn Finds reader Chuck Foster sent in this 1955 Ford School Bus he spotted here on craigslist, I had to write it up. You see, one of my fondest memories of elementary school was riding past an identical bus in the woods alongside busy Rt. 82 near Hopewell Junction in New York. The yellow paint was faded and woodlands creatures had taken it over, but it was otherwise the same bus that hundreds of children before me had ridden. It’s gone now – I was disappointed on that return trip home to see it missing – but this short bus gives me hope it found a new owner and wasn’t simply scrapped by the town. Though it’s a lot of sheetmetal to clean up and restore, I’m sure these old buses are quite the conversation starter with some modern steel wheels, wide tires and the faded green paint preserved underneath a coat of clear. Swap in the hot-rod mill of your choice and take some friends along for the ride! Would you ever take on a project like this?

1981 Puma GTB S2

Never Seen One: 1981 Puma GTB S2

Barn Finds reader Jim S spotted this unusual 1981 Puma GTB S2 here on eBay, and it may be the only one in the country. Puma vehicles were never officially exported to the U.S. from their home market of Brazil, but this one somehow made its way here. Economic conditions made it cost prohibitive for Brazil to import foreign cars, so they had to make do with whatever engineering resources were available within country limits. Many Puma vehicles share parts with Volkswagen and General Motors, which both had manufacturing plants there. This rare GTB S2 features a Chevrolet inline-6 and rear wheel drive, and while the looks are subjective, I think it’s a decently attractive car. The leather-wrapped dash is a nice feature, and I dig the Euro-market Cibie headlights. Since the seats need recovering, I’d put those on the shelf and swap in some Volkswagen-sourced Recaro seats to enhance the interior and call it a day! If you’re near Palm City, Florida, it could be the only time you’ll the chance to lay eyes on a car like this.

preranchero

Pre-Ranchero: Custom 1953 Ford Pickup

This custom Ford “Ranchero” was spotted here on craigslist in Maui, Hawaii as an interesting project made from a conjoined ’53 Ford sedan and ’52 station wagon. Said to be a resident of the Hawaiian island since new, the work is purportedly first-class and done by a local body man whose reputation is still known today (well, at least to the seller). I’m not an expert on one-off creations, but this Ford pickup doesn’t appear rusty and the body line from the B-pillar down to the truck bed looks high-quality. Listings like these usually end in disappointment when the pictures reveal a crudely assembled project, but this example may have been created by more of a craftsman than a bored teenager! It’s supposedly been barn stored since 1987 and is ready for a new motor, paint and interior, not to mention chrome and all the trim. The seller says some of these pieces will come with the car but doesn’t specify what. The price is right, however, even when you consider shipping it stateside. Does anyone remember seeing this custom Ford in a magazine spread back in the day?

1966 Ford Econoline

1966 Ford Econoline: 18 Year Slumber

After an 18 year nap this 1966 Ford Econoline van is ready to wake up and play. It’s rust free and runs, but the clutch and brakes need help. It’s completely stock and complete. The $3200 asking seems pretty reasonable, but what do you think? Parts are plentiful and reasonable as these are based on the Falcon and thus the Mustang. There are lots of possibilities for this old van, from a promotional vehicle for your business to a fun weekend cruiser, looking original or customized. Which ever route you take it, it will be a fun project! I wonder if a 289 would fit under the hood? These have been getting very popular and there are some interesting custom Econolines out there for ideas. It’s currently located just south of San Francisco and listed here on craigslist.

vegagokart

Pint-Sized Fun: Rupp Vega GT Go-Kart

If the Porsche 936 go-kart we featured a few months back was too rich for your blood, maybe this Rupp Vega GT go-kart here on eBay is a more affordable alternative. While I did love that Porsche and the sheer ridiculousness of its unmarked condition and astronomical asking price, this Rupp-manufactured Vega GT is much more realistic if you’re looking to get your kids into karting at an early age. From what I can find online, Rupp was an Ohio-based manufacturer that built at least a handful of different kart bodies – there’s also this Monza Jr. here on eBay for $5,000, a bit pricier than our Vega that’s currently bid to $305. This seems like short money for a fun summer project to me, but you’ll have to arrange pick-up or shipping yourself. In this case, driving it home is definitely not an option!

1966 Lincoln Ranchero

Luxury Truck: 1966 Lincoln Ranchero

I’ve come across a few Cadillacs that have undergone the surgery to become a truck, but this is the first Lincoln I’ve ever seen sporting a bed. I’m not sure if it should be considered a Contichero or a Ranchinental, but one thing is certain – it’s unique! This luxury truck is obviously someone’s vision of the luxury truck that Ford should have built. They took a Lincoln Continental and paired it with a Ford Ranchero. No mention is made of who did the conversion. Some coachbuilders were known to try crazy things like this, but I’m guessing that it’s a home brew. Take a look at the craigslist ad here and let us know what you think. It’s located in Kansas City and the seller is asking $15k. So, if for nothing else, it was good for a laugh. Thanks goes to Hurray for the submission! Read more »

1971 VW Karmann Ghia

Corvair Power: 1971 VW Karmann Ghia

Well, this isn’t something you see every day. This 1971 Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia found here on eBay sports some seriously flared fenders and a Corvair powerplant, putting some bark behind the body’s bite. The staggered wheel and tire setup fills out those rear arches nicely, and I imagine with the 4-speed manual and Corvair engine, the wide rear rubber is helpful in keeping this Ghia going straight. It’s not without its issues, however, as it may have bad transmission synchros and there is some rust in the floors – but neither problem seems to stand out as big concerns to the seller. You’ll have to check it out yourself to see if they’re deal-breakers or helpful in knocking the price down a few bucks (though, the auction is already set at no-reserve). I’d love to know the history of this bad Bug variant as it seems like at least one of the previous owners had quite an imagination!

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