Barn Finds In Bahrain!

Finding an American Classic sitting in a barn here in the US isn’t exactly surprising, but finding one in a barn in the Kingdom of Bahrain is downright incredible! That’s a long way for a heavy American car to have traveled, but more than a few made the journey. Reader Abdullah’s grandfather was a fan of American cars, so he collected all of the ones he could find. Initially, he drove his cars, but by the late 90s he was no longer able to drive, so he was forced to park them in his barn and the property around it. That’s where they’ve stayed ever since. Well, one car did escape the barn, a 1970 Pontiac GTO, which Abdullah wishes was still in the barn (I don’t blame him) but there are still some interesting finds here. You can find more photos of the cars below and here on Abdullah’s Instagram!

For Abdullah, the most interesting vehicle that his grandfather kept in the barn is this Plymouth Volare. He feels it’s the closest to a classic American muscle car of the bunch, although I like the Impala parked nearby and with the right engine, it would be a sweet muscle car. While not terribly rare here in the states, there certainly can’t be many Volares in his part of the world. Abdullah told me, “classic cars are hard to find here in the middle east. Most of them got scrapped or sold out of the country. Thankfully grandfather still has his cars. Believe it or not, at some point in the 80s he had a 1970 Pontiac GTO with power steering, Power brakes, factory A/C, and a big-block V8. I wish he didn’t sell it. At least it still on the road”.

As I was looking the cars over, I also noticed an engine just sitting in the middle of the yard. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but that sure looks like a Hemi to me! Hopefully, one of our Mopar experts can tell for sure and even what it might have been out of.

I always love seeing barn finds from other parts of the world, it’s interesting to see how things age in varying climates. Bahrain is an island nation but has an arid climate, so rust doesn’t appear to be a huge issue for any of the vehicles. It looks like sun and sand damage are bigger issues, but I kind of like the patina that some of them have.

Our thanks to Abdullah for taking photos, and sharing them with us, of his grandfather’s barn! It really is amazing to hear from our readers on the other side of the globe. We might be separated by thousands of miles, but our love of classic cars and the power of the internet lets of all come together to enjoy the hobby. If you have a barn find or know of one, we would love to hear about it and to share it with readers all over the world! Please send your finds to us here at mail@barnfinds.com.

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Comments

  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Thanks Joshua. As you note, interesting to see American cars stashed away in other parts of the world. They sure are…. dusty.

    Like 10
  2. stanley kwiecinski

    is that a beer can in front of the jeep? cuz’ It might give me a clue on which one to start on first.

    Like 8
    • space

      that’s a soda can

      Like 1
  3. Classic Steel

    So will i have to pay off taxes to inherit these? Kidding.

    Its cool to see them there. I hope someone local saves some of them.

    Like 4
  4. John Lesperance

    Where is this place and what would it cost to ship one to the states?

    Like 5
    • nlpnt

      Put the Hemi in the Morris Minor and it’d probably be fast enoughtto get you home in half an hour.

      Like 7
    • dan joyce Member

      Bahrain is a country in the arabian gulf. In the middle east. Lots of natural islands comprise the entire country. Spent some time there in the 80s. As far as shipping a vehicle out, your problems will start when it arrives here, getting it through customs.

      Like 6
      • Bill McCoskey

        Dan,

        There is no problem in importing a USA manufactured car, as it’s considered a “returning” vehicle. No tax required. I’ve done it on numerous occasions.

        Like 6
    • Bill McCoskey

      John L,

      Bahrain is in the middle east, 26 miles off the coast of Saudi Arabia. It’s a fairly small place, you can see almost everything if you spend a week there. It’s also one of the safest places in the region.

      I’m familiar with it because one of the citizens has a secret collection of hundreds of rare vintage cars, many with ultra low mileage. I used to supply all the spare parts for the owner’s restoration shop, and I visited there to help them with several problems. [As an example of what the collection includes: a 1957 Chevy Bel Air convertible, special ordered with BOTH Fuel Injection and Factory A/C! And did I mention it’s got about 1,200 KM on the odometer? And nothing in the collection is for sale. Period.

      Like 6
  5. TimM

    Nice and dry there so I’m confident the rust is minimal but I’m sure the interiors are crispy!! Still a long way to ship a car!! I thought $1200 was a lot to ship from west coast to east coast!!

    Like 7
  6. dwcisme

    A few of those cars have pretty major rust (which may have started before the current owner got them. As Neil Young said “Rust Never Sleeps). The Hemi you are referring to seems to be a 4 cylinder. A Mitsubishi perhaps? Having spent a lot of time in Volare’s when they were new, I’m not anxious to get back in one. Nothing is said about the Buick beside the Volare. The misshapen roofline means it’s a convertible or someone was dancing on it? The Coronet reminds me of the taxi I drove in college. It was in about as good a condition. The 64 would be interesting if it were a 2 door. 409. 4 sp.

    Like 9
  7. Rex Kahrs Member

    Let me get this straight……

    The Volare is the closest example to an American muscle car in this collection? Well, I guess that seems about right, given the lame and weird cars this guy kept.

    I have kinda set a limit on how far I’ll travel to pick up a new project, and it’s around 150 miles. Dis-missed!!

    Like 15
  8. Bill Shields

    It’s an interesting story how those cars ended up in the barn but I’m more interested in how they ended up in Bahrain in the first place!
    If I’m going too spend all that money shipping a car from the States a Volare would not be on the top of my shopping list!

    Like 10
    • Bill McCoskey

      Bill,

      When I first visited Bahrain in the mid 1980s, I was surprised at how many American cars were there. But at that time, the US was popular, and being a US citizen meant I was automatically treated with respect. How times have changed.

      Like 2
  9. Husky

    It’s a Hemi for sure. But I think it is a Daimler Hemi, 2,5 liter or 4,5 liter.

    I might be wrong and it is a 436 Hemi!

    • Charles L Mather

      Pretty sure you’re right about that being a Daimler Hemi. Might actually be really cool a swap in the Morris Minor. They were somewhere around 280 cu in and came in Jags amongst other things.

      Like 2
  10. egads

    Pontiac never made a ” Big Block “

    Like 7
    • Craig B

      Pontiac 326 was actually considered a big block and 389 was based off the 326 block so Pontiac did have a big block

      Like 2
      • Jason

        WRONG CRAIG! You are utterly and completely wrong! Educate yourself on Pontiac motors. You do not know what you’re talking about.

  11. Martin Horrocks

    Bahrain is oil rich and has been since J´s grandpa was a boy. Lots of Americans worked there, so no surprise that you would find American cars there. Some surprise that anyone would collect such a load of low grade scrap, which was perhaps the motivation.

    Syria used to be full of old cars, as was Lebanon. All bombed out now…..

    Like 4
  12. ChingaTrailer

    That Hemi head motor is most likely a Japanese four banger – and yes, many are hemis. It’s just a term for the shape of the combustion chamber. My Toyota truck has a Hemi as did my BMW but what is the blue car – Austin? SIMCA? Fiat??

    Like 1
  13. MikeC

    Rust is a BIG problem in Bahrain. Very hot, very humid & dusty salt laden atmosphere. Lived there for a year & saw many many rusty wrecks

    Like 7
    • MikeC

      Was in Bahrain ‘76-‘77 running a precast concrete works for Tarmac Nass – 502 houses. Dubai for 7 years after that

      Like 2
  14. paul

    I was stationed in the Navy on the Lasalle in Bahrain in the late 70s. I used the same cabbie and he was so proud of his 65 impala, he kept plastic on the seats and he kept it very clean. There were quite a few American cars over there and they were all proud of them and loved the power.

    Like 8
    • Steve S.

      I was in Bahrain on the USS Lasalle in 1986, and I swear I saw the red Volare on the streets there. Most of the American cars there were late-model GM, very few Mopars, which is why the red Volare stuck out, and no Fords (I heard there was some kind of embargo).

      I once got a ride in a very nice Olds 98 taxi, the driver was very proud of it and kept it immaculate.

      Like 2
  15. Barney

    Last year I sold a decent 56 Olds four door 88 to a person in Saudi Arabia. A low dollar car sent all the way to the Mid East. I guess some American cars are still sent that way. I never learned what the shipping costs to the buyer was but I know it left out of the Port of LA

    Like 4
  16. Lex

    Even noticed a two tone Morris Oxford. This car will certainly start and run with help of a new battery. Front floorpans left and right may have more than substantial holes, but a bit of ventilation won’t hurt.

    Like 2
  17. Jason

    The “closest” to an american muscle car is the Volare? Ahh, one word; NOPE!

    Like 2
  18. Kevin

    The hemi looks.like an old 50s version, but not 100%,based on 1 pic.those cars were probably acquired rather cheaply decades ago before prices exploded, and whoever bought them could afford the expensive customs/shipping fees etc,at least they’re in 1 piece and not melted down and made into bomb’s.

  19. Terry Henning

    I don’t think there’s a car in the whole lineup, that’s worth spending over $1 dollar to have shipped anywhere! In fact, if these cars were across the street I wouldn’t walk across the street to look at them! Every single one, bad model, bad year, bad shape! Worthless!

    Like 3
  20. Kevin

    Actually Craig, pontiac v8 engines were not called small,or big block,in fact 326 thru 455 are physically identical, look it up,many of us do hours,and hours of research,and are glad to share the “correct “information.

    Like 2
    • Jason

      Exactly right! Hopefully Craig will educate himself.

  21. Bill McCoskey

    Now as to the headline for this find: The country is listed here as “Bahraini”. It’s Bahrain. A citizen of Bahrain is a Bahraini. Please correct. The Barn Finds are not inside a Bahraini!

    Up until the original Gulf war [courtesy of Saddam Hussain], I was shipping vintage cars and trucks to Bahrain. The last vehicle [a 1951 Dodge Power Wagon] I sent out left the port of Baltimore 3 days before the world decided the Gulf was under war powers.

    At that time, before 1990, the costs to ship a vehicle to Bahrain was about $2,000, using the Ro-Ro service. Containers would typically cost about 30 to 40 percent more.

    By the time the war restrictions ended, the county of Bahrain had discovered the internet, and my clients no longer had need of my services to find and buy cars and parts for them.

    Unless a vehicle was run along the beaches and into the saltwater surf [mostly SUV’s doing that], cars in Bahrain are rust free. Plus, many of the older ones were bought new in Saudi Arabia, and sold onto Bahrain as used cars. That said, the sand can be vicious to paint. They DO have minor sandstorms there, and even cars kept in a warehouse or garage, will have a very fine sand [almost like dust] deposited UNDER the car cover.

    I had a wealthy client there who had special FLEECE lined vinyl car covers custom fitted for each of his prized collector cars, and the employees from his restoration facility routinely removed the car covers and shook out the sand, and cleaned off the sand dust from the cars with “static cling” cleaning wands. I’ve seen older cars left outside, and the paint was “removed” by the wind blown sand.

    No matter how tightly a building is constructed in that region, there is always a battle with the fine sand dust. Everywhere you go, there are boxes of Kleenex tissues, and bottles of cold water.

    Like 3
  22. MikeC

    When I worked in Bahrain (‘76-‘77 – exactly 1 year for UK tax reasons), Eric Warne, foreman at the precast plant bought a 1970 Lincoln Continental. No idea what he did with it – he was still there when I left. (Eric was a big Cockney guy – had worked as a bouncer for the Krays in UK !)
    The precast works was at Salmabad – almost next door was the police pound where any vehicle involved in ANY crash was taken – not to be used again in Bahrain. If you had the right connections, they could be bought for export only. Saw a Rolls Royce in there one day when passing – it had literally been rolled – all the roof caved in. The dust problem was so bad – think moonscape – after a week in the pound you would be hard pressed looking at any vehicle deciphering just what it was without a thorough clean off.
    Almost bought a pristine vw beetle cabriolet from a US navy guy there for my wife – but she didn’t like the colour – powder blue. Navy guy had his servant there polishing every nut & bolt in the engine bay – it was immaculate

    Like 1

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