Jim M’s Barn Finds Success Story!


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Reader Jim M – I already owned a 1930 American Austin that was truly a “barn find”. It has not been licensed or driven since 1955 and had been stored many years in an auto repair shop, then in a barn for several more years. The first photo is of that car. This car has a great story and has been featured twice in the American Austin Club bulletin. After it has sat in my garage for the past 7 years, having project after project being placed ahead of it, I saw the Austin American featured here on Barn Finds.

Jim's Austin American (2)

Long story short, I contacted the seller and found out more about the car. Fortunately, I have a brother that lives only 45 minutes away from where the car was located. He drove to Newcastle, CA and inspected the car for me. Later that day I bought the car.

Jim's Austin American (1)

After making several inquiries for shipping (and becoming increasingly frustrated with the process), I contacted Parkway Auto Transport in Clearwater, MN. They actually had a truck just 8 miles from where the car was located. We negotiated a very equitable price for transport in the enclosed carrier and the car arrived at my house on Saturday evening. Just 6 days after I read about the car on your website.

Jim's Austin American (1)

There was a fair amount of serendipity involved in this whole transaction. I learned that the seller had purchased this car along with a 1953 Jaguar XK120 Roadster and had no interest in the American Austin. The car had been owned for over 60 years by a collector and was in the process of being restored when his wife became ill. Eventually she died and the car had sat for several more years until his death. Unfortunately, none of his children had any interest in old cars, so they were sold.

AMERICAN AUSTIN 3-29-08 Smaller Photo 005

Purchasing this car will give me a huge leg up on getting a car on the road by next summer.  The main things that need to be completed will be to install one of the two engines that I had rebuilt for the other car, put an interior in it and it should be ready to go.

AMERICAN AUSTIN 3-29-08s Smaller Photo 003

We truly love what we do here at Barn Finds, but nothing puts a smile on our faces like hearing about a car we had the pleasure of featuring ending up in one of your garages and on its way to back to the road! We want to congratulate Jim on his purchase and we wish him the best of luck with both of his Austins! If you have a Barn Finds’ success story, we would would love to hear about it.

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  1. van

    I would like to see more cars like this
    80 year old smart car

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    • Rob

      ……and less foreign stuff from the 60’s up.😞

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      • MountainMan

        Different strokes..
        Personally I appreciate the wide variety of cars,trucks,motorcycles, RVs etc that Barn Finds features. There are a lot of vehicles featured that I have no interest in owning and some that I even dislike but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worthy of being featured on the site. Barn Finds has become my favorite website by far partially because of the wide range of stuff we readers get to see. When I go to the grocery store there are many products on the shelves that I dont purchase. That doesn’t mean the store should not carry those items, just means I don’t put them in my cart.

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      • MikeH

        Well said, Mountain Man! If it doesn’t interest you—-don’t read it, or is that too much effort.

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  2. David Frank DavidMember

    It’s really exciting for me to see a local car I wrote up is on it’s way back to the road! These Austins are a very unique car with an interesting history. There is one in the local museum and it gets lots of attention.
    I ride the train occasionaly between Sacramento and Santa Barbara and there are several of these Austin’s sitting in a yard along the tracks in a rural area north of San Louis Obispo. I should track those down and see what is happening with them.

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  3. MountainMan

    Congrats to Jim M.
    Cool little car, glad it went to a BF reader…look forward to hearing more about it

    Like 0
  4. Wayne

    Front end photo looks like the radiator is badly cockeyed.

    Like 0

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