Massive Barn Find Stash Found in France!

One of my most frequent automotive fantasies involves going off on a hike in search of a forgotten garage full of classic automobiles. I did this a few years ago with a friend off of a tip about a field of Porsche 924s and 944s left to rot in an abandoned quarry. We never found them (they had been removed by the time we got there) but one adventurer in Europe fared better than we did when he found a compound of sorts east of France littered with classic cars and seemingly forgotten years after they entered the premises. The full article and photos provided by the explorer were shared here on Classic and Sportscar magazine’s website, which features many unusual classics like the Peugeot 203 saloon, Peugeot 304 Cabriolet and Simca 5 captured here.

The origins of the collection are a mystery, as there’s apparently no owner checking in on the vehicles and the village where they are hidden is quite remote as well. The article doesn’t detail any specific information about how the vehicles came to be stored here, but given the grounds are littered with classics in less restorable condition, it would seem likely that they are the remains of a private collection that was left behind when an owner passed away or left the sleepy community behind. Pictured here are a pair of Citroens Dyane and 2CV Fourgonnette vans along with the company’s top-shelf sedan, the CX.

Although impractical, hiding a large stash of vehicles in the woods makes some sense to me, especially if they are non-runners I hope to restore someday. Free from prying eyes (well, until now) and neighbors who complain about project-grade vehicles, here they can sleep in peace until life allows for their rejuvenation. In this photo, you’ll spy a Facel-bodied Simca Océane, Panhard 24CT, and Fiat 850 saloon. Please note, the editors at Classic and Sportscar magazine are responsible for identifying these vintage vehicles, most of which are French in origin.

There’s a bevy of commercial-grade vehicles as well, and also some British, Italian, and German vehicles. Lancias, Jaguars, MGs, and Mercedes can all be found scattered throughout the property, such as this Panhard PL17 parked next to a handsome Mercedes “fintail” sedan. There’s several more of the oddball Panhards on the property, which was a major clue for me that this property has been scouted by explorers before – the fleet of junked Panhards outside of the buildings is an image that’s hard to forget. While there is a tinge of sadness to the photos that some great cars have been forgotten, there’s also an argument to be made that they belong to someone and should be allowed to rust in peace.

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Comments

  1. TimM

    Lots of cool old foreign stuff in this barn but I would have no idea where to get parts for some of these!! Would be cool to see them on the road though!!!

    4
  2. Howard A Member

    Ooo-la-la, apparently, hoarding old cars is a global thing. I thought we invented that.

    5
  3. Oceane

    That’s a Simca Plein Ciel. The Oceane is the convertible.

    1
  4. Philip

    “he found a compound of sorts east of France”, umm, Germany, Switzerland, or Italy?

    4
  5. Karl Sisson

    I also also see a white Mercedes “Fintail” rear fender in one of the pics.

    2
  6. Maestro1 Member

    I would be crazy enough to try to buy the 304 Convertible, restore it and drive it. My DMV would lose its mind……………

    2
    • Laurent Herjean

      The white convertible in the top picture is actuallya 204.

      4
    • Martin Horrocks

      Think it is a 204. Prettier than 304

      1
  7. James Simpson

    First I have ever even heard of a Simca Plein Ciel. or even the Oceane convertible. Wow, that is “esoteric! “

  8. Martin Horrocks

    What we have here is a scrapyard. There is almost nothing there that could have value beyond parts, and not much which is rare in the context of rural France.

    I can´t see a Simca Plein Ciel. First photo may be a Simca Versailles, which would be a $12000 car if excellent condition.

    Nice photos to illustrate Diogenes Syndrome. Beyond that, stash is probably the best way to describe a large, random and neglected group of cars, owned by somone who didn´t give a damn.

    2
    • Oceane

      I had the zoom in to tell, but the Plein Ciel is there.

      • Martin Horrocks

        OK, think I´ve got it, is the Plein Ciel the blue car behind the white Panhard CT24?

        Staying with my orignial post, these are parts cars, sad to see them so badly treated. The Panhard 24 is a beautifully idiosyncratic 1960s coupé.

        1
    • M.C.S.

      I wholeheartedly disagree. A vehicle doesn’t need to be “rare” to be interesting or have value to someone. I’d love to have any of these vintage automobiles.

      Furthermore, anything can be restored given enough time and money.

      Also, you don’t know that the owner didn’t care about the cars. He or she may have become elderly/disabled and no longer able to give them the proper attention. Generally, someone doesn’t accumulate a collection like this (primarily storing it indoors, no less), without having a deep appreciation for the vehicles themselves.

      1
  9. Martin Horrocks

    Which photo, please?

    • Oceane

      Yes! That’s it.

  10. Derek

    Oooo, Panhards…..

    And a cargo dolly!

  11. Snafuracer

    I don’t see a CX anywhere but the Panhard 24CT is a jewel! Beautiful car, though this one is rusted badly.

    1
  12. misterlou Member

    Découverte d’une grange

  13. Horse Radish

    This is a 5 years or so old story ……..

    2

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