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James Graham’s Barn Find Hoard

I recently received a message from Yvette VanDerBrink of VanDerBrink Auctions about an estate that she is helping liquidate this summer. The owner of this collection, James Graham, had great tastes, some massive barns and the means to fill them full of cars! James managed to collect close to 150 cars, trucks and tractors, which have been stored in several barns on the farm in Minnesota. This hoard is set to be auctioned off on the 9th and 10th of August in Beardsley, MN. You can find the auction details here at VanDerBrink Auctions.

It sounds like James was simply into collecting and bought anything interesting he came across. If he had any specific interest, it was in Graham trucks, since they share a name. He tried his best to drive his cars, but after falling in his 80’s, he could no longer give the cars the care he once did. When he could no longer walk amongst his cars, he started driving through the barns to admire them. Unfortunately, he passed away and the cars have continued to accumulate dust.

The time has come for James’s collection to be liquidated and hopefully, all of these cars make their way to good homes where they can be used and enjoyed once again. It’s truly amazing to see collections like this. Clearly, James loved to buy and didn’t miss a good deal. If you see something here you’d love to own, be sure to take a closer look at the auction catalog and let us know if you are going to be attending?


  1. That Guy

    When she entered the building, my first thought was that I’m really old, and I’ve had a lot of cars. I own or have owned examples of each of the first three cars: the bullet bird, ’67 Imperial, and ’59 Cadillac.

    This is a really nice collection. These aren’t your average barn-find. Mr. Graham knew his stuff and had the means to indulge.

    Like 27
    • Junior

      Yvette knows her vehicles! I’m truly impressed by her inventory knowledge!

      Like 9
  2. bull

    “Mr. Graham” may have been able to indulge HOWEVER not necessarily enjoy!

    At the end of the day he who dies with the most stuff is still dead leaving the heirs to enjoy their good fortune or divest themselves of the of Mr. Grahams “Redneck 401K”!

    Like 14
    • Steve R

      Nobody’s perfect.

      At least what’s been shown wasn’t left in a field to tor away. He seems to have chosen his collection well, once the dust settles and the checks are deposited his “redneck 401k” should have a healthy balance.

      Steve R

      Like 23
      • Bhowe Member

        I wasnt able to come up with a list of vehicles or any details on their website. They would generate more interest if a person could find out what is selling

        Like 6
    • Mountainwoodie

      On the other hand he did the carnuts of the world a favor.He saved a lot of great cars…besides which wth….he could afford to do it.

      At least many of them were out of the elements.I mean Minnesota for chrissakes! other than gitting a crink in mah neck when Yvetter flipped her iphone 90 degrees I enjoyed the hell out of her tour. Shes got a great job.

      My only problem with this is I couldn’t possibly get a car for a price I would think made sense….it will Lambrechts all over again. A flippers paradise.

      Stop whining MW!

      Like 14
    • Richard

      You perhaps miss the main point – Enjoying, for many people can just be the act of collecting neat cars and having them to look at. There is a lot of satisfaction and joy in that pursuit for many. My collection will indeed go to my son and daughter – they can do whatever they want with them. So what. More power to them

      Like 18
  3. Alex

    The trick is not to own every toy in the world, but to play with the most toys.

    Like 11
  4. Redwagon

    Apparently Mr. Graham liked post-war convertibles. Beardsley, MN extreme west-central Minnesota, very close to where MN, North Dakota and South Dakota meet.

    Like 5
  5. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    Wow this guy really spent a lot of money on cars. At one time I had 5 classic cars, and it was too much…not too much maintenance or insurance, but too much to enjoy. I got it down to two classics, and that, for me, is the correct number. There is always some little thing to putz with, and both of them are nice and can be driven any time.

    Having that many cars etc. would keep me up at night, especially if I wasn’t able to drive them.

    Like 14
    • Roger

      If they told me I could pick just one car myself I would have a difficult time choosing one.

      Like 4
  6. ccrvtt

    It was his money and he could spend it any way he wanted. Coincidentally he preserved a great number of truly desirable cars.

    In this life we are not owners of anything but merely caretakers. If we do a good job once our enjoyment is over the next caretaker can pick up the torch.

    This is a nice find.

    Like 26
  7. daCabbie

    Auto haulers are gonna get rich on this one… and my guess is that 60% end up being shipped overseas… Yup, transporters gonna get rich.

    Like 4
    • Howard A Member

      Got that right, probably all have new trucks after that LAST VanDerBrink auction,,,you know which one.

      Like 3
  8. Howard A Member

    Um, why are some of the cars covered with snow? Kind of defeats the purpose of having them inside, no? Gonna take a week to air up all those tires alone. Neat collection, these are still decent cars and I bet most will go to good homes.

    Like 4
    • George

      Maybe somebody turned up the AC too far.

      Like 4
      • Susan

        This was a really snowy winter this year in Minnesota (daughter attends the U). Probably lucky those roofs didn’t collapse.

        Like 5
  9. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Boy, Cadillac, Cadillac, Cadillac. Scans right past the MG, then back to more Caddys. Mr. Graham was a lucky guy, whats not to like about looking at cool cars? Myself, if I had the money for a collection like that, I would have hired someone to keep them clean and running.

    Like 5
  10. lbpa18

    “Honey, after you finish dusting the furniture, go out and dust off the cars again will you? Honey? Honey? Where’d you go?! Geez! Some kinda wife you are…”

    Like 6
    • bruce baker

      Funny. But it makes more sense than paying for her GYM membership. A good loyal smart wife would only dust off the cars that started for her first try with the choke out. If a car is dusty, then it needs fixing or she gets force fed all that snow, he, he.

      Like 2
  11. Bob McK

    I so wish I had known this guy. He was able to do exactly what he wanted. Isn’t that what we all want? Some people think that I have too many cars. But guess what…I don’t agree. Fortunately I can drive them all and love sharing them with other autohaulics.

    Like 5
  12. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    It has become prophetic that “the greatest generation” — once they achieve the means — oftentimes hoard to the point of building new spaces to house their stash. Be it cars, dolls, cookie jars, or quilts, beanie babies, etc. How many of these types of car collections have we seen pop up on Barn Finds? And we wonder why not many of us can find the vintage postwar car of our dreams. It’s because someone got there before us!

    Like 3
  13. chuck

    when will people learn to use a cell phone camera–horizontal-horizontal-horizontal !!!!!!

    Like 7
  14. Tony S

    How do you see the other buildings? The website was a dead end.

    Like 5
  15. J Parello

    They will continue to update the site. I’ve been to Vanderbrinks auctions-they’re a great time and some people spend serious money at the auctions. These cars pictured are in a cold-storage barn-uninsulated, but they appear well cared for. The snow would have blown in through the ridge vent-hardly a big deal. If I am able-I will go just to see what was there and watching an auction can be exciting. All of her auctions are available to bid through Proxibid.com if you’re not a local buyer. She runs a lot of quality auctions throughout the Midwest.

    Like 0
  16. Miguel

    I would love to be involved in getting these cars running again.

    That would be a dream job.

    Like 3
  17. garry connors

    these type of finds are rare you have to get out there and find them i found mine 1964 chevy g10 van san diego van im happy

    Like 1
  18. John C.

    I just never could understand how people can collect so many cars, you can only drive one at a time. After you get so many you reach a point where you cannot maintain all of them properly unless you can afford to hire a person to do just that everyday. Heck I work 6 days a week and have trouble maintaining my familie’s 3 everyday vehicles. Hopefully these vehicles will all find a good new home.

    Like 5
    • Howard A Member

      I hear ya’, John, and often think that too. Apparently, it’s an addiction, like someone collecting rare door knobs, or what ever. Look at the collections these American Pickers come across. How can someone accumulate all that? I mean, these cars, even when he got them weren’t free, so a lot of money p’ed away here and nothing done with it. That’s the crazy part.

      Like 2
  19. bruce baker

    Well i think he should be remembered for keeping all these cars from the crusher or from car wrecks this long.

    Like 4
  20. Mike

    One would think if you work at an auction house, you would know that vertical video would be distracting. Kinda like looking through a keyhole as she was walking through the barn.

    Like 4
  21. Little_Cars Saul Member

    At the very end of the video, she actually DOES attempt to walk “through a keyhole”…between two cars nose to nose. You can hear her struggle to continue with her phone. This clip works as a teaser for the auction but for the kind of money they bring in a professional cameraman with a dolly would be better suited to bring out more interested bidders. And, as stated before, why does she skip right over the T-Series MG?! boo

    Like 3
  22. Dennis

    SO agree on the MG (TD or TF?) she probably didn’t know which….but the only one she missed methinks. Think I will come as I just sold my ‘30 Model A and having withdrawal symptoms. D

    Like 1

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