43 Years Hanging on a Cable! 1923 Cadillac Victoria

051116 Barn Finds - 1923 Cadillac Victoria - 1

This is one heck of a car, and one heck of a story! The 1932 Cadillac Type 61 Victoria seen here is listed on eBay with a price of $32,900 and it’s in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. It was hidden for years in hopes of saving it from WWII scrap drives and, thankfully, it worked.

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As if a 1923 Cadillac Type 61 Victoria isn’t enough of a story in and of itself, this car.. are you sitting down?.. was hanging from a cable for 43 years! No, really. As WWII broke out, a gentleman named Barney Pollard, who was in the road construction business, had the means to trade old construction equipment for classic cars, and that’s exactly what he and his family did. They traded pound-for-pound with a scrap yard and ended up saving hundreds of classic cars!

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Here’s how they stored them: they “took telephone poles and buried them in his massive warehouse facility and strung cables from the top of them, deadheading the ends for weight. He put the tops of the cars down, removed the tires and then hung them from the wires like clothes in your closet. He could get 5 cars in the footprint of 1 car sitting on it’s wheels.” If that isn’t both the craziest and most fantastic story that I’ve heard in years, I don’t know what is! Let’s have a round of applause for Mr. Pollard! No worries, you folks who will say that the war effort suffered because of his idea; it didn’t, and we won. 

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This aluminum-bodied car only has 17,000 miles on it and it would surely be the star attraction of almost any car show in the country just by itself. Plus, add in that almost unbelievable story and it’s sure to be a popular favorite.

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The original price of this car was around $4,000 in 1923; around $60,000 today. That amount of money would buy a very, very nice Cadillac in 2016. This is an L-head V8 and the seller says that “even the compressor off the transmission, to air up the tires, still works.” What an amazing car! I have never heard such an incredible story of someone storing, and essentially hiding, so many cars. Have any of you heard of a similar or even more incredible story about saving so many cars?

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Comments

  1. T-bone guy

    wow…just, wow!

  2. stongey

    Google “Barney Pollard” for pictures of the hanging rig.

  3. TheStig

    My parents have a 21 Cadillac and it seems the detail work done on the cars went down a little over the years. Cool to see one of these up for sale.

  4. Mike

    All I can say is wow, now that is a story. Shame there aren’t pictures of the other cars hanging around!!!

  5. Robert

    That BEATS any STORY I have heard HANDS DOWN, The war did not go without the Metal for Mr Pollard gave Pound for Pound so all is RIGHT. MY HAT is OFF to Mr Pollard For being a Visionary. Thank you Mr Pollard. R.I.P.

  6. BradL

    It should have “BJ Pollard” stamped on a frame rail if it was part of his collection.

  7. John K

    I half expected this to be some eBay hype, but nope, this guy really saved those cars from the scrapheap.

    “you folks who will say that the war effort suffered because of his idea; it didn’t, and we won.”

    Thanks a lot. I was just reading a book on it and now you go and give away the ending.

    • Keith

      Next he’s going to reveal that the Titanic sinks at the end of the movie!

  8. DrinkinGasoline

    My Grandfather, who owned an electrical contracting business (est.1921) did just that, but in a different manner. By the late 30’s, My Grandfather, (off the boat from Germany in the late 1890’s) had a clue that Hitler’s political ambitions were dangerous given that he still had family in the Fatherland. My Grandfather did two things that would prove to be “insurance policies” for his family.
    1): My Grandfather bought up all of the copper wire that he could lay his hands on and stored it by the roll, everywhere possible, in neighbor’s garages, etc. So….. long into the war, he was wiring houses when no other contractor could buy wire.
    2): He bought 7 vehicles, ranging from cars to trucks and registered them as “company vehicles”. This allowed him gas rationing privileges as “necessary vehicles” with “A” and “B” fuel ration stickers. He then secured a contract with the U.S.Navy Station at Lake Erie (now Coast Guard) as a sub-contractor for station electrical repairs. Damn, this guy was smart ! That copper wire, along with hanging onto those vehicles secured His family future.
    Pearl Harbor came and his two oldest sons went to the US Army Air Corps. They thankfully came home upon Germany’s surrender.
    Those vehicles were kept in my family’s trust, per my oldest Uncle until the 80’s, when they were sold at auction at more than 8 times their original price….each. Imagine going through all of that while having family on both sides of the conflict and still providing….Grampa….You were one in a million !
    With that said….to go to the lengths this “storer” did, all I can say is……damn !

    • Robert

      That is AMAZING, It just seems in today’s WORLD we just don’t have many if any MEN like that anymore, Don’t get me WRONG there are MILLIONS of GUYS who get up in the Morning and go to a JOB they HATE and work those JOBS for FORTY YEARS and Retire. But Men in those days are just More EXTREME in there MINDS, ITS HARD to EXPLAIN. But like your GRANDFATHER I would say he was a Genius. GOD BLESS your Grandfather, AMEN.

  9. MG'zer

    Any idea on the other hanging cars

  10. David Frank david Member

    Wow! What a great story! And what great stories. (Did you happen to see “Legendary Motorcar” where the fellow bought and stored 8 new 1976 Caddy convertibles as an investment?) Years ago ,in Juarez, Chihuahua, you had to have cars in the city a year or two before you could use them as Taxis. One enterprising fellow built racks in a big barn and hung his cars like beef, pushing them along until their date came up. I wonder if they still do that.

  11. boxdin

    Would like to see an “artist rendering” of that hanging business w deadheading the ends for weight…

  12. scot carr

    ~ Here you have a few more details of Barney Pollard’s story. from Just a Car Guy.

    http://justacarguy.blogspot.com/2011/06/barney-pollard-car-collection-over-half.html

    • Robert

      Thank you Scot Carr. Thank You. PEACE.

  13. Jesse Bowers

    There are a couple of stories of more interesting ways to save cars from WW2… like a Bugatti Royal. The biggest damn cars ever, and most expensive too, no doubt. The 2nd one built was hidden in the Paris sewer to keep the nazis from finding it. As for the other stories, sadly I can’t remember them right now. If you want to, you can look around Justacarguy.blogspot.com, my blog, and see if you can find where I posted others. 24 thousand posts, and I can’t remember them all

    • Robert

      ALWAYS ALWAYS some one Aunt’s Friend on my Grand Father Side, 4th Generation or was that on my 5th Generation. They knew some one who Hide More then 2 Hundred better Cars then any one Else’s. I Believe my Self that is the BEST of the BEST Story I’ve ever heard. And That’s the Story in the BIG CITY.

      Like 1
  14. DrinkinGasoline

    All of this just cements the fact that there are many stories out there, yet to be heard and it is up to US, to hear them, and most importantly…. tell them !

  15. Robert

    ALWAYS ALWAYS some one Aunt’s Friend on my Grand Father Side, 4th Generation or was that on my 5th Generation. They knew some one who Hide More then 2 Hundred better Cars then any one Else’s. I Believe my Self that is the BEST of the BEST Story I’ve ever heard. And That’s the Story in the BIG CITY.

  16. Scotty G Staff

    My apologies to Jesse, he did a great story on Mr. Pollard a little over a year ago!
    http://barnfinds.com/barney-pollards-1924-cadillac/

    • Jesse Bowers

      thanks!

  17. Woodie Man

    I think we ‘re all losing our minds here a little :)

  18. Roselandpete

    I guess it’s amazing that any of the old cars escaped the scrap drives.

  19. Mark S Member

    I think it needs a full body off restoration with a mild chop say about 21/2″ to get rid of that tall hat look. Paint the body medium blue with gun metal grey fenders. Leave everything else stock and you’d have a fabulous looking classic, a real head turner. Most people wouldn’t even know it was chopped. Nice car.

    • Ed P

      Sacrilege !!! Villagers unite!! We must cast out the demons that infest poor Mark S !!

      • Mark S Member

        So Ed I take it that you disapprove, take heart Ed and all you villagers I’m not in a position to bid. That said I’m NOT looking to start any fights, but I respectfully disagree with this purest ideology, I’m a great fabricator with a good eye for what looks good and what looks out of proportion. IMHO this car has two strikes against it, first is it is an ugly a$$ sedan that under different circumstances would be an undesirable car that no one wants. Second this roof line is way off, Abraham Lincoln’s tall hat would fit in there with room to spare. Which is ruining the lines on this old car. One thing you gentle need to remember is that this is not a religious artifact nor is it sacrilege to alter its appearance. Finally you must remember nothing and I mean NOTHING !!!………LASTS FOREVER not even this old Cadillac ( after all it’s just folded sheet metal ). Cheers.

  20. MH

    That is about the worst idea I have ever heard. Anything other then a 100% stock restoration would be a shame! This is history, we need to keep them around for future generations.

  21. Nessy

    The story of Barney Pollard is nothing new. He has been in featured in many automobile magazines and history books dating back to the 1940’s. He started stocking up on cars in the late 1920’s. There were several buildings on his land, the largest held several hundred cars stacked on their butts and hung up like a meat market. The buildings were dark, no lights and very few windows so it was impossible to enter the buildings without the fear of getting wedged between cars in the darkness. Not a good place to be. Danger was everywhere. Cars often fell off the hooks and some brave soul would have to climb in that mess and jack the cars back up and rehook them. A fire took out one building in 1976, most cars in that building were toast, however, some were saved. Several auctions were held a few years later as Barney was in his 80s by then. The last auction I believe was in 1980. The family did keep some cars and many still are in the hands of collectors today. “B.P.” or “Barney Pollard” was often carved into the frames or other places on the cars. An early car called the “Oliver” was in the building that caught fire in 76. It was the only Oliver car known to be left. I am not sure if it was saved. Barney passed in 1981 at age 85. His idea of hanging cars on hooks has always been stuck in my mind. Unreal story but a true story as well. There was another writeup on his life just two years ago in the AACA monthly magazine that was covered in the course of a year.

    • Robert

      Nessy Thanks for the Story of Pollard, To me its as NEW as a New Born Baby and I’ve really ENJOY Hearing about how he saved these Cars and Hung them, To me he was a Visionary. So Thanks Again. PEACE.

  22. Robert

    Mark S, Leave it the way it is,,,,,There are so many so called FABRICATOR most thinking they are something to write home about, Just like saying I’m a Good Person, …….People will decide that not the Fabricator. I know in my Life that any good Fabricator don’t say they are, They are known for it. Don’t touch it, Don’t even look at it, Its a TRUE Survivor and Beauty is in the EYE’S OF the Original.

    • Mark S Member

      I respect your opinion Robert, but if designing and building industrial machinery for fifteen years as well as working on cars as an auto mechanic for twenty five year certified in both trades, doesn’t qualify me than I don’t know what does. Now you need not worry yourself Robert because as I said up above I am not In a position and I’m not interested in owning this car. I find it sad that some people lose perspective on what these old car are. There just old cars, folded sheet metal, they’re not the holy grail they’re not to be idolize. Some of you guys are taking this way to seriously this is a blog with a bunch of guys with different opinions almost all of which are not acted on. In the end what happens to this old car is up to the new owner, if he wants to leave it as is thats on him, if he wants to take out a torch and cut it into small pieces that is also on him. That the great thing about ownership and Liberty you have the right to do what you want with your inanimate objects.

  23. Mark S Member

    My apologies for stirring up everyone’s emotions.

  24. Nessy

    So, Mark S, did you just say that old cars are “just folded sheet metal”? Do you feel that way about a million dollar Duesenberg or a vintage Ferrari too? You do not sound like a true car guy. Robert is 1000% right Mark. Who on Earth would chop up a 93 year old original Cadillac to make another hot rod? How many 20’s Caddy coupes like this could still be around? Under 10, maybe less? That is a pretty good guess. Go chop the top off a Ford or Chevy or something else that can still be found in great numbers. More and more of the younger generation including myself at 40, are really into this type of car. So many things about this car including it’s story are what make this car so special but the greatest thing about this coupe is that tall top. This car is an important piece of history. It belongs in a museum where future generations can see what cars were like, long ago. Mark, you did not “stir up everyone’s emotions” but what you said with the folded sheet metal jazz is uncalled for. If someone took this car into my shop and asked me to chop it up, I would tell him to take a walk because I would not do it for any amount of money. You do not sound like a fellow car guy….

    • Mark S Member

      It was not my intension to offend you Nessy, I guess the point I was trying to make is all to often these old cars a spoken of as if the are some kind of religious artifacts. The folded steel comment was my attempt to try to put some perspective on this car thing. These are not item to worship they are not a spiritual experience they are cars, yes they have history. But when I hear terms like sacrilegious just because I have an opinion tells me that there are folks out there that have not got a grip on reality and are elevating these inanimate objects above ourselves. I hear about guys doing restorations and making small changes to there projects all the time and that’s ok. So how does my initial comment differ from that. I didn’t say to hot rod this car I said to make a alteration to inhance the cars appearance. As for tucking this Caddy away in a museum, I here all the time on this site that these old cars are ment to be driven and enjoyed. So I feel like some of you gents are talking out of both sides of your mouths AS IT SUITS YOU. That said how are you to know how much of a car I am.

  25. Nessy

    Gee wiz Mark dude, you did not offend anyone. It’s a car website where guys talk about the barn finds that we see on these pages. You seem to be the one offended here since it looks like most people on this site disagree with your comments. Nobody needs to hear a “perspective” ok? Yes, we know they are “just” cars but it would still be insane to chop up this car after 93 years of being saved for future generations to see. You sound like you are trying to be everyone’s therapist. I’ll bet you would be the type who would put a small block Chevy in a Bugatti to make it a better driver right? Maybe paint it candy apple red with a modern stereo….Don’t dig too deep on our comments. It’s just car talk.

    • Mark S Member

      Well if it’s just car talk then why all the attacks. Seems to me that you only hear what you you want to hear. If you go back and read my first post you will see that no where in there did I say to do anything but do a miner adjustment to the roof line and change colours I also said to leave it stock in every other way while restoring it. If must know I am restoring a car right now and have kept it stalk. As far as Chevy engines are concerned, if you look back on the custom Merc from a week or so ago you will find that my comments were not in favour of a 350 Chevy engine. You do realize that the roof line comment is just a matter of opinion right. I even said that to Robert when I said to not to worry that I’m not interested in this car it’s all of you guys that have gone off deep end I think that you guys are the ones that need to lighten up. And give it a rest. Have good day now.

    • Robert

      Thank you NESSY that’s just the WAY I FEEL,,,, Mark no DISRESPECT, The Car is Rare and I think it should be Left Original, There are to many that you can Customize, But the Rare should be Left alone, To me it would be like me putting new touch to the Mona Lisa. PEACE.

      • Mark S Member

        There never was any intension to change this car I was speaking hypothetically as many of you other folks do as well. If this was mine then maybe but it’s not. I’m happy to stick to my own project car. Let’s just agree that we all hope that this car is saved.

  26. James

    I worked as a kid/apprentice for Herb Brown, one of Pollards long time mechanics. He would bring some of the cars back to life after being hung. Herb would always get mad about the grease and oil that would leak through the steering columns and sometimes the firewalls and ruin/stain an otherwise perfect interior. Pollard liked the brass cars and saved a lot of them. When I worked for Herb Pollard probably had about 150 cars left and one warehouse in Detroit that was still full.

  27. Robert

    James, All I can Say is you are one LUCKY MAN to have seen and got to work on these Great Cars, Herb was one LUCKY man to to INHERIT these Cars, GOD BLESS U, AMEN.

  28. RON

    i remember pix and an article on barney pollard and collection in i think old cars in the 70’s

  29. James427

    I worked for a man named Herb Brown back in the late 70’s who had a restoration shop in Farmington Hills Michigan. Herb was one of BJ Pollard’s restoration guys. When Pollard decided he wanted a specific car taken down, Herb would sometimes get the job. Herb would get angry about how the cars interiors were ruined by the gear lube from the steering columns dripping out from being hung up. Some of these cars had intricately embroidered interiors that were ruined by the gear lube. Herb would say “he couldn’t hang them from the REAR bumper! lol

    It was an amazing site to see them hanging in those dark warehouses covered in decades of dust. One building had literally every window and door bricked up and big steel doors welded shut to keep people out. We had to cut the welds to get in. Pollard tried to save as many cars as he could and had a thing for early brass cars and manufacturers that only made a few cars. At the time, Pollard was considered a traitor and maligned in the media for “taking from the war effort”, and that angered him, but he persisted.

    Many great cars and sole surviving examples exist today because of what Pollard did.

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