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Barn Finds: AACA Car Show in New Bern, NC.

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I found myself in a quaint little southern town called New Bern, North Carolina for the Antique Automobile Club of America’s Southeastern Fall meet. New Bern was a fantastic setting for this event, giving a grand background for all of the automobiles that showed on Saturday. The AACA went above and beyond with many of the streets in downtown New Bern being closed for this event. There was a wide array of excellent vehicles, where there was something there for everyone. There were many restored, and original vehicles at this event. Some of the original vehicles would have fooled you as restorations from their condition.

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Needless to say there were plenty of Sting-rays to pick from, sporting an array of options and engines.

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Ford attendance was strong at this event with a myriad of Fords from every generation to be seen.


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There was also a wide array of muscle at this event. So much so, that it was difficult to pick a favorite. But I was particularly fond of the GTO Judge.

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There were several Brass era automobiles to see as well. Most of them being clean enough to eat off. The word “perfection” comes to mind when looking at many of these Brass era cars.

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Now one of our favorite categories is HPOF “Historical Preservation of Original Features.” Check out these awesome survivors!!

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This 1929 Woodie Ford “T” is in original condition with only minimal work to maintain its condition. This lovely Woodie is from Hawaii.

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Here is a beautiful 1956 Chrysler New Yorker. Do you think this car is restored, or do you think it is a survivor?

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This New Yorker is a survivor, having covered less than 13,000 miles and has always lived in doors. This car hasn’t been seen in the public eye for a few years according to the current owner. Being a native California car, this beauty was also owned by a famous musician. I’ll give you a hint, the current owners call this New Yorker “Karen,” as in Karen Carpenter. (Also note the cool record player.)

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Richard Carpenter acquired the car for his sister in the 1970’s from the original owner who had taken meticulous notes on everything he had ever done to the car. Here is a letter inviting Richard Carpenter and “his” 1956 New Yorker to the San Buenaventura Concours d’Elegance in 1978.

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No car show would be complete without a few oddballs in the mix!

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New Bern, North Carolina has a strong AACA chapter, where there are some really amazing automobiles there to be seen. This big AACA event is a onetime event, but the local AACA chapter puts on a regular fall car show with some very impressive cars. Also if any of you are Pepsi fans, New Bern is the birthplace of Pepsi, where you can go the original pharmacy it was created in and drink some of the fine soda to “cure” your ailments. Over all this was a fantastic event, with a wealth of automobiles and knowledge. The AACA even had a Ford Model “T” they disassembled and re-assembled in an intersection!

What was your favorite car from this event? Are you into restorations or preservations? The preservation car field was extensive and surprising, but then again, some of the restorations there were as close to perfect as one can hope for. I love going to any car event at Carlisle Pennsylvania, but what is one of your favorite car events you attend, and where?


  1. grant

    I’m into neat cars, original or restored. Thanks for this post! One would think, however, that some of these owners would spring for a wheel chock. Not sure how I feel about a fire extinguisher doing double duty.

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  2. Jumping g

    Leadsleds of Parsippany nj. It lasts the whole weekend. The hotels in the area sellout. Music from the 50’s parties every night car clubs from up and down the eastern seaboard show up. This is one show to put on your bucket list…..

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  3. Kieron

    What’s with all the fire exstinguishers under the front wheel ?
    Over this side of the pond the only thing you’d find beside all classics is a set of cheap deck chairs and a couple of pasty faced owners

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    • Bruno

      Typically at some of the shows I have been in, a fire extinguisher is required to be judged and be a participant. (For insurance reasons). Propping the extinguisher under a wheel during the show is customary as it’s easily seen to verify compliance. Who wants it in their car during judging! I welcome this additional coverage on the barn finds site. It’s nice to hear about shows like this. If I had known about it I would have loved to go!

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      • Howard A Member

        Hi Bruno, while I think fire extinguisher’s are a good idea, the cars may roll a bit and the extinguisher could get pinched under the wheel, impeding the fire control. I think an extinguisher in your car shows you are ready for an emergency. I carry one in my pickup at all times. And that’s my gripe with these postings of car shows past. If we had a heads up about these coming events, we could see them for ourselves. It’s always too late.

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  4. Howard A Member

    Um, ( here it comes), while I love a car show as much as anybody, I think this coverage is stretching the BF’s original concept. (Could we be running out of actual BF’s, like in England?) I know, I said, Space Shuttles, and battleships were ok, and they are, but if I want show coverage, there’s other sites to do so. So please, back to dusty Russian Space Shuttles, or whatever, but no thanks on the show coverage. I too think the use of fire extinguisher’s for tire chocks is not the best idea. I’ve seen bricks with the club name on it.

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    • Howard A Member

      Got it. ( a new record?)

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      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        Well Howard, that’s the nice thing about being from Wisconsin, we are an honest tribe and not afraid to tell it like we see it. Take care and go Packers!!!!!

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  5. Keith K.

    A 2.5 lb. minimum A B C fire extinguisher is quickly becoming a car club and show requisite for obvious reasons. Parking it under the front tire may not be the best place for easy access but laying it down keeps people from kicking it over into your 5000 dollar paint job. Take a close look . Some are actually standing up in the requisite position.

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  6. Jerry

    AACA rules state that a fire extinguisher must be present and judges will inspect it to ascertain that it is fully charged. They are not serving double duty by serving as a wheel chock. I think it is an excellent idea and always have one present whenever I show one of my vehicles at an AACA event and even at a local show. In fact, every vehicle should have one, cheap insurance.

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    • Howard A Member

      Hi Jerry, good points, but clearly, for some, they are serving “double duty”.

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  7. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    A few years ago I transferred down to N.C. to help construct a new hospital for the criminally insane. I would drive about an hour almost every weekend to check New Bern out. Cool place, very historic. And yes I did stop at the Pepsi pharmacy. If I remember right Blackbeard the pirate had two homes there. I really do not mind the occasional show coverage, keeps me from drifting off this site. The extinguisher is a must and outside makes sense. If a fire develops inside in the interior it would sure be safer to snag it from outside the rig.

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  8. Ginger

    All of these beautiful cars from brass age to recent and all you can talk about is the FIRE EXTINGUISHERS!? I love the rusty lost Barn Finds that pique the imagination of restoration or just a wash job and roll… But to see this many important, pristine cars from a special event on Barn Finds only embroiders the view of the dusty ones! Thanks for this special candy box of deliciously beautiful and important cars!! Fabulous! ❤️

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  9. Mike

    I went to my first AACA show last weekend. I had my extinguisher in the trunk with my other vintage items. I found out after the show that I was not judged because the judges did not see my fire extinguisher. I just wish that the organizers were a bit more forthcoming in letting everyone know that their club has certain requirements that not everyone is aware of. I am not sure I would have won anything, but to be left out of the judging and not be aware of it is not fair either. The organizers did not have any problems taking my entry fee. Next time I will tell them my entry fee is under the fire extinguisher and they can pick it up when they judge my car.

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    What is the car with the reverse opening hood parked next to the GTO Judge? A newer Avanti?

    As for including show coverage on BF I have no problem with it. We are still getting to see some really cool and neat cars, they are just in much better condition than the usual BF posting.

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    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      I believe you are correct on the Avanti identifier.

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      • Eric Dashman

        Are you sure it’s not a Cadillac Eldorado (front-wheel driver version)?

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      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

        Based on the asymmetrical hood bulge/scoop, I don’t think so.

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      • CATHOUSE

        Thanks Jamie.

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  11. Eric Dashman

    New Bern is a really nice place to visit. When I was married, the ex and kids used to go down there in the spring to see the flowers at the Governor’s Mansion restoration. New Bern was once the capital of North Carolina. There are some nice restaurants, antique shops and boutiques. It’s fun to walk around the side streets and look at the older houses (similar to walking Charleston or parts of Charlotte).

    I wish I had heard of this show. There are several shows in Raleigh at the fairgrounds each year, including auctions, as well as same in Greensboro. My favorite show is the spring show at the Charlotte Motor Speedway (early April). I usually go down on Friday and walk the thousands of parts vendors and then spend Saturday walking the track and pit areas. It’s almost exclusively American cars, and often muscle in resto-mods, but it’s fun, even for a British and Japanese enthusiast such as myself. The fall show is not nearly as good, nor are the others they run there. It has grown tremendously over the years. I have some photos from the early 80s and there may have been 150 cars total in them…literally. Today’s spring shows have several thousand cars, both being shown and in the vendors’ booths. It’s packed. I’ve never been to Hershey or Carlisle in the spring, but I understand them to be much more extensive in terms of non-American cars and parts. You wanna hear rumbling V8s and smell cigarette smoke everywhere, Charlotte’s the place, but for $10 a day, it’s a good time.

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      Do not plan a trip to Hershey for a spring show, those have not existed for many years now. And when they were held they were put on by a promoter and had nothing to do with the AACA. You need to come to Hershey for the fall show, that is an AACA show. It is usually about the second week in October.

      I cannot speak much about the amount of import stuff at either Carlisle or Hershey, it just is something that I do not pay much attention to. Carlisle does offer an import show as well during the show season.

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      • Eric Dashman

        Interesting regarding Hershey in the spring. I thought that there were all sorts of tales regarding the amount of mud from spring rains. Perhaps that was in the fall.

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  12. LD

    Nice show, love the town, this entry should have been called……..

    ‘BernFinds’ ?


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