1971 AMC Hornet SC360

What A Buzz: 1971 AMC Hornet SC/360

This AMC Hornet has been done up for drag racing and from the looks of it, the work was done quite a while ago. The engine was built, the interior stripped, a roll cage added, and some slicks were tucked up under the fenders. I like the ratty drag car thing, but it looks some of the original parts are included in case you want to take this one back to original. You may want to do just that because the SC/360 was a rare car. It was AMCs answer to the high insurance premiums suffered by larger muscle cars. You can read more about them on Hemmings. The SC/360 was able to run 14 second quarter miles stock, so I can’t help but wonder what this little stinger could do. The roll cage makes me think it could have been a sub-11 second car? The seller has tried to sell the car once before but it did not meet their $7,000 reserve. I’m not sure if they have lowered that, but it has been relisted here one eBay with a lower BIN.

a7

Engine Needed: 1929 Austin 7 Special

This charming little special is just begging for someone to finish it – engine needed! Reader Robert R sent us this find, which is physically located in Albuquerque, New Mexico and listed for sale here on eBay. There’s a buy-it-now of $23,500, while bidding has yet to meet the reserve at just below $10,000. Many of these specials have been built over the years, mostly in the UK. For example, Colin Chapman’s first Lotus cars were based on the 7, and entire classes of British racing have existed for these little specials. In the US, I have seen them used mostly in vintage racing, although if this were mine I’d have to license it for the street and use it occasionally for short jaunts just to surprise my neighbors. No history for the car is listed in the ad, although the seller invites phone calls and seems knowledgeable about the car. Is this too high a price to pay for a car that weighs well under 1,000 pounds without an engine and can fit in the back of most pickups? Or is it a bargain for a hand-crafted evocative piece of history? Tell us what you think!

1959 Corvette Gasser

1959 Corvette Dragster: Period Gasser

Now this is a hot looking machine! I’m not usually a fan of gasser Corvettes, but the fact that it was built back in ’68 makes it alright in my book. The seller even has time slips from when it ran back in ’68 through ’70, showing that at one time it was capable of running a 9.48 at 144 mph! It really was built for one purpose, going fast in a straight line. Many of the original racing parts are still here, although the seller has decided to pull the engine and transmission from this beast. That is one of my single greatest pet peeves, especially with a machine like this. The engine was what made this dragster so special. Removing it is strips it of most of it’s history and value. Hopefully, they will change their mind and will leave the engine where it belongs! You can take a closer look at this old gasser here on eBay in Glendale, Arizona with a BIN of $25k and bidding just over $6k. So would you leave this Corvette a gasser or would you give it a more original appearance?

914lakester

1975 Porsche 914 Lakester: Single Seater

With the abundance of project-grade 914s on the market at a given time, it can be tempting to hack one up to use for something other than a conventional restoration. While plenty have found their way to the autocross course, this 1975 914 on eBay is the first I’ve seen in a Lakester configuration. On a very broad level, Lakesters refer to racing vehicles with a heavy emphasis on streamlining the body as much as possible to yield excellent aerodynamic qualities. Most of us associate Lakesters with the impressive machines chasing speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats, and this Porsche’s California location may indicate it made the trek to Utah on more than one occasion. Even if it didn’t, a race-prepped 914 could offer some cheap fun on track days depending on the condition and quality of this car’s mechanical and safety systems. What would you do with it – take it to Bonneville or go cone chasing with a local autocross club?

1960s Midget Racer

The Milk Man’s Midget Racer

As I was on the hunt for an interesting motorcycle to feature, I came across the most interesting of finds! It clearly isn’t a motorcycle, although it is powered by a Cushman motor. This 1960’s midget racer looks like it could be an absolute blast to restore and zip around it! I imagine size wise it lands somewhere between a go-kart and an ATV. And with the right tires would probably be as comfortable on a dirt track as it would be on road course. I love the plaid seat and its back story! The seller states it was last raced by a guy who went by the name “the Milk Man”, which seems like the perfect name for an all white midget racer! While it is going to need work, there really isn’t a lot to this little machine. You can find this racer here on eBay in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida with bidding just over $1,200.

Rare Racer

1959 Turner 950S: Past Racer?

The only Turners I’ve seen in the flesh have all been restored vintage racing cars or current SCCA racers. As a lightweight alternative to a Spridget, these little cars are surprisingly quick around road courses. Thanks to Robert R. for this neat find! This particular 950S is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is for sale here on eBay with a buy-it-now of $8,500, but best offers are invited. Turners were produced from 1951 to 1966, with the 950S made from 1956 to 1960. According to the seller, this is a previously “unknown” car to the Turner Register and brings the total known worldwide number of 950S survivors to 68. Signs of a past racing career include ancient Dunlop racing tires, holes where a roll bar used to be, and a set of tubular headers. Inside the car, however, is a bit of a surprise. Read more »

tornado

1962 Tornado GT: Lucky Talisman?

Barn Finds reader Jim S uncovered this Tornado Talisman GT, located in Bowling Green, Ohio and offered for sale here on eBay. The buy-it-now price is $29,900 but they are also taking bids with a reserve. This is an extremely rare car with only 186 made from 1961 to 1964 in Rickmansworth, England. The car was originally a four-seater, but has obviously been modified for vintage racing by the famed “Beady Eye” Racing Team. A nine-year restoration shows in the nice mechanical and cosmetic condition. It’s powered by a Cosworth-tuned version of the famous “Kent” Ford 4-cylinder. A huge number of pictures are included in the auction listing, and while some racing wear is evident, the car was obviously restored to a very high standard. Although I can imagine it being fun for occasional blasts down the road, I fear that if this isn’t raced a great opportunity is being wasted. I know I’d love to race it, and the price seems fair for what is obviously an outstanding and rare automobile. But do you think it’s fair, and would you race it if you owned it?

Photo courtesy of Huneycutt Photography

Southern Discomfort 2015: Race Report

Photo courtesy of Huneycutt Photography

As consistent Barn Finds readers know, I am the team owner of a 24 Hours of LeMons race car that races one of the most unlikely vehicles to ever enter a race track: an Austin Marina (Morris Marina to the rest of the world). You may or may not have heard of LeMons; and it’s changed a lot in recent years, so previous impressions are probably out of date. LeMons is endurance racing for $500 cars. No, we don’t run 24 hours frequently, although there are one or two of those a year. Generally we are racing on road courses typically used for SCCA, NASA or other club-type events for most of the day Saturday (in this case 10 am – 6:30 pm) and sometimes on Sunday (6 hours this time). This race was at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, South Carolina, a beautiful track in a beautiful setting! LeMons no longer crushes or destroys cars, and has generally become more like regular racing, although themes and unusual cars are still encouraged and rewarded.  The racing is broken down into three classes, with Class A being for cars that might actually belong on a race track (Mustangs, Miatas, old BMW’s, etc.), Class B being for regular cars, and Class C for those vehicles that would normally never end up on a race track (the Marina is a Class C car).  Other class C cars at this race that might interest you are a 1970 Valiant, 1964 Fairlane, an early 80’s diesel Mercedes and a Pinto (the eventual Class C winner). Many cars are pulled from junkyards; you don’t have to worry about anything really nice being destroyed at the race by an errant pass. Read more »

1932 Chevrolet Business Coupe

1932 Chevy: Saved From The Chrusher

It makes me wince every time I think about the cars that have met their demise at the hands of a crusher. Being smashed into a cube to be transported to a recycling center is a sad way to go, so anytime I hear about a classic saved from the crusher it brings a smile to my face. Don’t get me wrong, recycling cars isn’t always a bad thing, but when it has special history or is becoming rarer but the minute it needs to be saved for future generations. This 1932 Chevy Business Coupe isn’t extremely rare, but it appears to have been used as a stock car at some point in its life. The seller, who listed it here on eBay after saving it from certain destruction, didn’t provide much information about it. I would assume they spotted it on its way to the crusher and deemed it worth saving, so it’s unlikely that they know much about its history. It is sadly in bad shape and will need extensive work. I just wish I knew more about its history, like who raced it and what years it ran. I’m sure if it could talk it would tell some interesting stories! So do you think this one was worth saving or should have they let it get crushed?

1966 Ford Galaxie Race Car

1966 Ford Galaxie: Vintage Racer

Update 4/21/15 – This one has now been listed here on eBay with bidding starting at $7k with no reserve. Thanks goes to Blake S. for the tip!

From 3/12/15 – It’s not often that you see a barn find stock car! While this Ford did not compete in what is now Sprint Cup racing, it was driven by a former driver from that series and as far as I can tell, he was a pretty darn successful driver. This Ford Galaxie is in San Jose, California and is for sale here on craigslist without a price listed. Read more »

Racer Face Off

Racer Face Off: Dodge Coronet VS Ford Pinto

Do you want to go fast in a straight line or blast through the curves? That’s the question we’ve posed to you in this week’s Face Off, where we pit two classics against each other and find out which one you’d choose. I had track days on my mind when I spotted these two vintage racers, one of which is designed for ¼ mile blasts while the other is more at home on a road course: this 1969 Dodge Coronet dragster is available here on craigslist for $15,000 while a retired SCCA-veteran 1971 Ford Pinto is up for grabs at $3,000 and also found here on craigslist. Read more »

1965 Bobsy Formula V

Let’s Go Racing! 1965 Bobsy Formula V

Formula Vee is one of the most successful racing series ever. With thousands and thousands of cars built and raced over the decades, it’s one of the easiest ways to get into racing. Formula Vee’s are welcome at almost all vintage racing events as well as special events of their own. This great find by Robert R is located in Vinemont, Alabama and is offered here on craigslist for $2,850. Unfortunately, as you can see, there’s a little assembly needed! There are some good things; apparently the car is complete, the motor is free, and some parts even look like they had been replaced just before the car’s 15-year slumber. The story goes that a previous owner took the car to his fabrication shop, stripped the car down to clean and paint the frame and it never got put back together. Maybe a Barn Finds reader can be that person?