Barn Finds Auction Frenzy

1964 Sunbeam Tiger

One of our UK based readers, RickyM,  just sent over links to past and present auctions that have starred a couple of lots that might be of interest to us. It is always interesting to see what dusty old cars sell for at auction and there were a bunch of them at the Anglia Car Auctions’ Easter sale. In fact, according to Classic & Sports Car magazine the barn finds were some of their biggest draws. This particularly dirty 1966 Sunbeam Tiger sold for £24,150 which equates to about $35,000 US dollars! There were a few Jaguar project cars that sold for big money too and even a ratty 240Z that doubled the auctioneer’s estimate. This is exciting and all, but is the”barn dust” premium charged these days is really worth it?

1964 Triumph TR4

Admittedly, I love the look of this 1964 Triumph TR4 sitting there all covered in grim, but is the $27k selling price justified? It is nice to find an original, un-messed with car because it can make the restoration easier, or better yet, unnecessary. Still, the phrase “barn find” used to equate to bargain. That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore for anything rare or unique though. It is important that a few of these completely original cars get preserved for future generations so maybe it’s for the best that they are reserved for those with the resources to do the job right. Let’s just hope they have enough sense to focus on protecting what’s left instead of performing restorations that could have been done with any old rust bucket.

1954 Bentley R Continental Fastback

The cars mentioned above may have already sold, but this rare 1954 Bentley R Continental Fastback is scheduled to cross the auction block this weekend. It was the fastest four-seater available when it was new and the original owner was a race car driver who supposedly ordered in a purple hue. The next owner, understandably, had it resprayed white and the last owner used it sparingly over the 33 year span it was in their possession. It eventually went up on blocks and sat dormant for the last 15 years. It may be too late to bid online, but you can view this rarity and all the other auction lots here on Barons. Thanks for the submission RickyM!


  1. Alan (Michigan)

    Unimpressed by the dust.
    I’m almost always impressed by vehicles which have endured a very long-term storage, and come out the other side in decent condition. Why that means to so many people that a car can’t be washed off before being offered for sale makes no sense to me.

  2. Andy McNab

    This auction is one of my usual hunting grounds for stock and currently in the classic car world in the UK barnfinds are huge they are much more valuable than a car that’s already been restored . It’s the total originality that’s driving the market . At Silverstone sale there is a E-Type with 7,000 miles one owner that’s up for £90,000 when a restored one is £50,000 . Madness ! I myself prefer to buy cars that are ready for resale . Normally Porsche’s .

  3. That Guy

    When the Harrah Automobile Collection still existed. one of the crown jewels of the collection was the Thomas Flyer which won the 1908 Peking-to-Paris race. It still had the mud and dirt on it from the race, and I think that added immeasurably to its interest for adolescent me.

    But other than historically important dirt which ties a priceless car to a specific time and place, dirt is dirt. What’s the point of paying a premium for grime? It’s just dumb.

    I hope the new owner of that Bentley takes it back to the original purple though. How fun and cool that would be.

  4. Dolphin Member

    That R Continental is definitely worth having in a collection of important British post-war cars. The fastest 4-seater at the time, but also very good looking and solid in the Bentley tradition. These are million $ cars in excellent condition, and this one looks to be worth close to the auction estimate even if I don’t recognize the name of the driver who first ordered from the factory.

  5. Rancho Bella

    That Bentley…………one of my favs. This is big money for the Triumph, another dandy car. The Tiger?…………pass

  6. Andy McNab

    Forget the Bentley in the same sale at Barons is a 1963 Rolls Royce Phantom V that once was owned by our Queen’s mother which on its own is huge you don’t normally get the chance to buy Royal cars ever and with that provenance it’s golden and at a quarter of the price of the Bentley . Given the choice it’s a no brainer it will be the only Rolls owned by our Queen mother that will ever hit the market . Our Royal family generally keep the cars they have .

  7. Tim

    Now that the “dust” has settled on the Ray Lambrecht auction it seems many of the cars purchased could not be sold now at break even prices, the dust on a barn find means nothing other then years of neglect., its the car that has historic value not the dirt.

  8. Rev Rory

    The Bentley is attractive enough but the Queen Mum’s Roller, that would be the one for me. Verifiable provenance, of course…

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