British Barn Find Hoard In Massachusets!

While I typically find Facebook Marketplace an overwhelming mashup of undesirable goods for sale, there are some legitimate gems hiding out in the classifieds section of the predominant social network. Take this collection of no fewer than 12 Triumph Spitfires sold as a lot with “Make offer” as the list price. You’ll find the whole collection here on Facebook Marketplace with a variety of tantalizing photos, offered for sale in North Brookfield, Massachusetts. 

The first photo shows what looks like a group of protected cars that are better than parts cars, but it’s impossible to determine if the New England climate has rotted them out underneath. The photos here show cars in relatively complete condition, assuming motors and transmissions are still installed, with a thick coating of dust protecting the paint.

Other photos like this one reveal another indoor storage area, or at least one space that’s protecting a MK3 Spitfire, along with an impressive amount of junk piled on top. I have a feeling the seller has little or no connection to the stash of Spitfires, other than perhaps belonging to a deceased relative or land-clearing that involved getting rid of junk cars.

Additional photos show what look to be the actual parts cars, with several Spitfires evidently parked in the weeds and undergrowth for many years. The seller provides no information on whether some of these cars are closer than others to return to the road, but given the open-endedness of the listing, I’d simply offer a price that reflects the cost/time involved in removing the Spitfires and associated parts and see how eager the seller is to be rid of this large stash of neglected British roadsters.

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Comments

  1. Rock On

    Appears to be a whole squadron!

    16
  2. Ronald

    Run, Run quickly away

    15
  3. Martin

    Very rewarding project cars. Everything is available, lots of online support, endless performance options from turbo Toyota’s to the GT6 2 liter, to the Rover Buick V8. And left stock they are fun and reliable little summer cruisers. The rust is often limited to the battery box and the floors, mostly from leaking soft tops, and a new floor is available and can be installed with a spot weld drill and a mig welder in a weekend. Everything is rudimentary and easily rebuildable, and you will rarely see yourself coming in the other direction anymore.

    16
  4. John M.

    North Brookfield is just west of Worcester in Central Massachusetts and a less than 90 minute drive from my house. If had the time, I’d head out there to scope the cars out.

    2
  5. Little Cars

    The first photo shows the cars on a concrete pad, so maybe some protection from moisture underneath. Also, these have frames so even if the floors are toast, the support structure won’t be (like an MG of similar vintage). Gas tanks are up high behind seats at the front of the trunk so another plus. If I was closer, I’d be offering a per-vehicle bid and leaving the tree-cutting to those with more patience than I.

    2
  6. MB

    As former owner of a Spitfire, this whole bunch of cars are maybe worth a $1,000 or less. Nice fine for a parts horder, not much else. Remember they all have Lucas electric parts. I learned that British car only run 3 weeks a month, it’s your job to figure out which 3 or walk.

    12
    • Martin

      I owned my first Spit at 16 and even then, with my extremely limited mechanical knowledge I kept it on the road all day every day for several years. I never once walked anywhere. The last year was spent With the oil pressure guage showing zero oil pressure, which I later found to be thanks to a cracked pump. And despite this, and the fact that I had it up into the red on every shift(the only way to get any speed out of it) the engine was still in good shape.

      12
      • S.O.

        Same experience. I drove my 1978 Spit everyday for 4+ years from 2008 to 2012. Very reliable and very fixable when it did throw a problem. Keep a spare starter and a points file on hand.

        1
    • ken tilly

      @MB Absolute tripe.

      5
      • MB

        @ken How many British cars have you ever owned?… I had a couple. So don’t tell me what you don’t know. Everyone I have ever known that had British Leyland cars and Jaguars and RR or 2 had nothing but grief from them, including an excellent Jaguar mechanic and XKE owner, we all love the look and handling of a British car, but they self destruct with uncanny regularity. I loved my Spitfire, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a POS, because it was.

        5
  7. hatofpork

    No-They aren’t Hondas in terms of reliability, but the rewards of owning and driving an LBC (little British car) are intangible-and priceless. Just bring some rudimentary mechanical/electrical ability and a willingness to learn! Hope someone saves these.

    9
  8. Rob

    Bought a new 1974 Spitfire for $3200. Drove it 45,000 miles and sold it for $3200. Loved that car!

    4
  9. Coventrycat

    Loved my Spitfires but you can’t even give em’ away.

    4
  10. AKRunner

    You can give them away, that’s exactly how I got mine! A friend always wanted one and eventually found one that was a project car. I helped him get it to start once it arrived in town, it was shipped to Alaska from California, and he and a local shop got it to driving condition over time. After years of struggling with keeping it running he listed it on Craigslist one day having decided it was beyond his abilities to do so. A month later, after no one called on it, he called me up and gave it to me. That was nine or ten years ago and it has been sitting in my garage for most of them. I did get it to run as it was not when he bequeathed it to me and drove it for a few summers until one Fall when I put it away and there it sits. Come summer I plan to get it out and work on making it more reliable, if that’s possible!

    4
  11. John

    Always carry a hammer to tap the fuel pump under the car, at least on MGs

    2
    • MB

      or the starter, or the carburetor or the distributor or the alternator.

      5
      • ken tilly

        @MB. In reply to your question on how many British cars have I owned, I would say in the region of 150, so I would say that I DO know plenty about them. However, I always stayed away from British Leyland cars as they were known world wide to be generally rubbish, mainly because of their build quality, not their propensity for breakdowns. I am a Ford man but the worst car I ever owned was a 1962 Ford Cortina which was No. 1 off the production line and was given to the CEO’s wife. After I bought it my wife would drive it Monday to Friday and I would repair it Saturday and Sunday. I have also owned maybe 20 American cars and 30-40 Japanese and Korean cars and they all had small problems at one time or the other so please don’t generalise about British cars as all cars have their problems..

        4
    • Duff

      John… John… John… you plan too much! Where’s your sense of adventure? More than a few LBC’s have been put back on the road with nothing more than a stick or flat rock found at the side of the road. And think of the scenery you’d miss… while you’re sitting under a freeway overpass… waiting for the radiator to cool.

      1
    • B.J.

      And sometimes the starter motor John, on virtually any old car.

      2
  12. Nick G

    British cars do not suffer procrastination gladly. If you keep on top of the symptoms as they appear, these cars are as reliable as any. They were designed nearly 70 years ago, which is good news, in that there are no electronics, only electrics. Those over exaggerated problems are generally due to old/oxidized connectors. Very binary problems. The bad news is that if you expect them to be a modern Toyota, you have unrealistic expectations.
    ps. I’ve owned British cars for 40 years.

    13
  13. Brue

    I will repeat what I have said so often that it is often not the car but how it is treated and maintained that will give it a bad reputation. I have owned over 20 MG’s, Austin Healey’s, Lotus, and Triumphs over various stripes and my friends have owned just about every other English car that I have not owned.

    We have restored maybe another 200 of them over the years of restoring cars and aircraft including warbirds of both England and the United States. If cared for properly and not abused a Spitfire can be tremendous fun. The wiring, gaskets and cooling system can be problem areas but new wiring looms will solve most of those problems, new gaskets, hoses and radiators may be necessary as well. But I have seen friends drive Spitfires many thousands of mile, cars with milage of over 200k that have been near rock reliable.

    If you have had a series of problem with various cars maybe the problem is not so much with the car or the country that it is from but how hard you push the machines you own. How you maintain them. To be certain English cars could use much more preventive upkeep than cars from Germany or the U.S.

    Push any machine too hard for too long and it will be expensive and not reliable. I have seen the same effect with Maserati’s, Mazda’s Porsches and Mercedes. Know the limits of the machine in both performance and operation. While this is largely about cars I have seen the same effects in aircraft. I can think of a couple of owners that have taken highly reliable single and twin engine aircraft and abused them to the point that I would not fly in them. Certainly not with the abuser as pilot in command.

    13
  14. Little Cars

    Hear, hear, Brue!

    Might I add, MB….those items (starter, fuel pump, dizzy, alternator) I consider consumables and go in my trick bag any time I drive somewhere. Whether it be around the block or 100 miles of countryside near my home. Low-end little British sports cars were thrashed new off the lot…often treated like implements. But even a well-maintained implement will give you years, maybe decades, of reliable service.

    3
    • MB

      @LittleCars With all those “consumables” all you need is a spare 12hp Briggs & Stratton as a spare engine. Even crap like 70’s-80’s Mopars the only real spare you needed was a ballast resistor in the glovebox… In American cars most of those parts you call “consumables” would last 100K miles or more, with British cars you need a spare…. car

      1
  15. Duaney Member

    While the roof overhead provides some protection , the high humidity there has kept these cars wet all the time, I don’t see how they are in any good condition

    1
  16. Joe

    MB hasn’t ever loved a British car it seems. How sad. Anybody can drive a Toyota, it takes a real car guy to drive a British or Italian car. I’m glad only a few can handle it, and I’m glad I am one of those few. The best things in life are worth the learning curve.

    4
  17. Fred W

    Corvairs (in the 70’s) were the closest thing I had to the British car experience, leaving me beside the road more times than I care to remember. Looking back though, I wouldn’t change a thing! There were no cellphones and I don’t remember ever having to walk anywhere to make a call- using a small set of tools, I got it running well enough to get home or to a service station. It’s a valuable life experience.

    2
  18. Little Cars

    Pre-cell phone I got stuck on the interstate headed to college with what I thought was a rebuilt engine in a very presentable 68 Monza. Turns out it was rebuilt by running silicone through most of the air and oil passages. My last daily driver Corvair left me stranded only once in the late 1980s, but I learned a valuable lesson from the experience and from the guy who sold it to me — carry spares and a select number of tools to make repairs on the roadside! Same spares, come to think of it, that I now carry with me while driving my MG Midget! LOL

    1
  19. Dale Watson

    If you want to have fun get a Model A Ford , parts are everywhere and they will last forever. No foreign cars for me of any make

  20. John M Zaghi

    This collection belonged to a gentleman who is now deceased. The person posting the ad on marketplace was doing so to sell the collection for the family, as I understand it. I have since purchased this house and now am the lucky owner of all of these triumphs, and more. I asked him to pull the ad until I figure out what I’m going to do with all of these!

    3
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Thanks for the update John. We would be happy to help if you’d like.

      1
      • John

        Thanks Jesse, I may very well be reaching out for help!

        1
  21. charley

    what do we know about these cars do they run do they roll what models are they GT6 in there anywhere

    • Little Cars

      If Massachusetts is too far away, charley, come to middle Tennessee. There is a gentleman with a similar batch of Triumphs selling for $300-$800 per car, including GT-6s. Keeps his hoard on eBay perpetually and boasts that they all drove onto the property where they currently languish.

  22. John

    There is a GT6 and an mk2. Mostly mk3s and 1500s. About 6 are in decent restorable condition, 4 are fair and four are strictly parts cars. I *think* I have them all sold as a package. I’ll update if they are gone or still available.

    1

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