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Barn Find Bounty: 1963 Sunbeam and More!

A host of cars from Europe and America recently rolled out of a southern California barn into the harsh sunlight for the first time in a long while. This 1963 Sunbeam Alpine headlines the inventory here on Craigslist, where the Valley Center, California classics come up for sale in as-is condition. Thanks to reader Gunter K. for spotting this dust-covered herd of mechanical barn animals.

Authentic barn dust:  no extra charge! Once viewed as a disgusting mixture of dust, spores, and other elements better not discussed at the dinner table, barn dust now represents an element of authenticity and mystery. Is the dust covering a rusty hulk or a well-preserved masterpiece? Only the person with the sponge and bucket will unravel the secrets of the dirt-covered classics. Be sure to live-stream the reveal, because you’ll only de-barnify these rides once.

Clearly not the carefully-stashed inventory of an auto museum, the Sunbeam Alpine and other vehicles look more like specimens set aside for the future restoration or profitable resale. Open air cars rule the roost, include the Alpine, a Fiat 124, a Jensen Healey, an MG, and an Austin Healey Sprite, all of convertible top configuration, ideally suited for cruising So-Cal byways.

Most of these barn cars haven’t worn legal registrations this century! With some exceptions it’s mostly smaller vehicles, including the diminutive Nash Metropolitan. Neighbors of my high school buddy Rich had a Metropolitain in the pre-Internet days and I’d never seen or heard of one as a teen. It was about as far-removed from his Chevrolet Laguna S-3 as one could imagine. After a proper restoration, most of these cars would require a tiny fraction of a muscle car’s gas bill to cross the country, and they’d be a blast in the corners too. Not only is vehicle weight the enemy of acceleration, it hurts cornering and braking as well, requiring larger components and grip to slow and change the direction of greater mass. Which is your favorite?


  1. alphasud Member

    Barn dust, rat and mouse poop, and other fallout has no appeal to me. I would be promptly scheduling a appointment to pay whatever is needed to thoroughly clean it before I laid a hand on it. Just looking at that nasty makes me want to wheeze and sneeze.

    Like 5
    • Skip Donohue

      Isn’t that a Jaguar XKE to the right of the Alpine in the 2nd Craigslist photo?
      It’s not on the list.

      Like 2
      • junkman Member

        # 17 on the list.

        Like 3
    • Martin Horrocks

      And at the end, there’s nothing of real interest here. Hoarding is not collecting.

      Like 0
  2. Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

    A collection only a proctologist would love.

    Like 6
  3. Howie

    And Craig’s List strikes again, better hurry posted 27 days ago.

    Like 3
  4. Wendell

    Nothing like a little hantavirus to keep you on your toes….

    Like 1
  5. Howard A Member

    A chilling vision of post- apocalypse classic car hobby,,,what?

    Like 6
  6. Harvey Member

    I imagine myself in the seat of a large bulldozer making a large pile.

    Like 2
  7. Benz_BoyOH

    $3200 for a filthy crust-bucket Alpine, buried nearly up to its axles on a dirt floor barn, stripped of most of its usable parts and likely in possession of a well-locked up engine??

    If this was a Tiger – gone in a heartbeat at that price, even in that condition. But an Alpine…ehhh, not so much.

    With equal measures of vision and perseverance, anything is certainly possible, however, if one were to approach this as a project, one may be better served by searching for a stronger vehicle as a starting point.

    Otherwise, this is likely nothing more than a $500-$700 parts car, if that.

    Like 3
  8. Lowell Peterson

    VW projects are the only viable ones in the picture, to me. And those?
    $1000 each max!

    Like 2
  9. TBall

    Looks like nice collection destroyed by “storage” facility. Never, never, never store a classic that you intend to sell in a barn with dirt floor.

    Like 1
  10. pwtiger

    I had to sell a similar Alpine about 10 years ago because Riverside county code enforcement was harassing me, I was lucky to get $500 for it…

    Like 2
  11. Gregg

    I have been to see these cars… When I tell you guys that they are rough… Believe me, they are ROUGH! First off.. When you assume there is rat and mouse feces… You have no idea!.. Were talking INCHES thick! It’s a genuine Poop-o-Rama! Dirt floor? No! the barn has a concrete floor… Unfortunately it was built in a flood zone, and regularly was awash with flood waters and mud and silt… All of these cars have been sitting, and rotting in about 16 inches of silt… Rust, rust, rust, rust, RUST! They all seem to be in some state of disassembly or have incorrect drive trains and have lots of missing parts… You definitely would want to inspect before considering any purchase!

    Like 2

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