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Quintessential Barn Find: 1936 Chevrolet


When I picture a barn find, this is what I see. It’s sitting in a barn in hazy light, flowing fenders, rounded windows and such. This one has been moved as you can see by the dollies under the wheels and the barn is a modern metal building. The seller doesn’t tell us much or provide any detailed pictures, so it’s left to our imagination. Perhaps someone will create a street rod out of this or maybe there’s enough there to justify a full restoration? It’s located in West Columbia, Texas and is listed on here on craigslist for $4,000.



  1. RayT Member

    I must be out of touch with the “Barn Find” world. For $4K, I would expect something nicer and needing far less work than this tired ol’ Chevy. No report of condition or interior photos? That makes me expect major hassles ahead.

    It also makes me expect that the seller is a flipper who found the car, bought it, and expects an immediate — and substantial — profit.

    I understand that the days when a piece like this could be acquired for a hundred bucks are long gone. Still, what looks to me like a car with potential has a lot less appeal when priced so high.

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    • GreaserMatt

      I agree; everyone these days think they have bricks of gold for sale; this car probably needs everything; everyone is trying to get rich off old cars these days…

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  2. Rich

    Looks very straight, but missing interior photos. It’d be a nice one to clean up, get mechanically sound and just drive it as is if the interior isn’t ratted out. Could even drop a 350 under the hood if the engine is shot. Priced a little high in my opinion though. Maybe 2500.00?

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  3. Wayne

    Hot rod it? Wash your mouth out. Beautiful shape and colour combination. Cant comment about the price in the USA, but would be cheap here in oz.

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    • justin

      The price is in range for these cars, though I would like to know if this was an early or late ’36. The early ’36 had wood frames in the body. They also had wood screws to hold the door hinges that often pulled out. If you are not a carpenter or a craftsman that works good with your hands, stay away from these. The later ’36 came with all steel bodies and no wood used for the structure. The seller did state that it was an all steel body car but I would have to inspect the car in person to see what he calls “all steel”. These engines were good in their days but in order to do a rebuild, you must have someone install the babbitt bearings. A v8 replacement is somewhat challenging in these cars. The frame rails are close and all of you accessories will need to be located on top of the engine or do some heavy modifying to the frame for clearance. Front disk brakes are mandatory. Fat Mans has a weld-in crossmember for these cars.To install an a/c condenser in front of the radiator, it will have to be installed as a unit with the radiator into the grill shell as the grill is fitted from the inside out. This will also become a problem when routing the refrigerant lines and hopefully not to have any leaks in the future. A friend of mine has learned the hard way as I helped him try to resolve the problems with his early ’36 2 dr sedan.
      The best thing to do is to either find someone that has done all of this work and is a turn key car or keep a straight six and enjoy it.
      P.S. Can anyone explain why the cars in the ’30s had their rear wheels located to the front and not centered in the wheel well?

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      • Ken

        KJustin,This car appears to be a Master, the Masters were wood till 37. The Standard changed mid year to all steel body’s. About the rear wheels being centered, they used the same frame Master and Standard. The standard being a shorter bodied car and the Master being a longer bodied car by just a few inches made for the uncentered rear wheels to be a little off on the Master. There are many differences between the Master And Standard. The 36 were not two tone paint ( it may be a 35 )and there were a few different colors that were metallic. I have an all original restored 36 Master in close to excellent shape just like it rolled out of the factory, it runs and drives and stops excellent. I did my homework and research on this car before I restored it. Just my two cents, $4000.00 is not a bad price to restore it as I have ,plan on spending some big bucks.

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  4. moosie Craig

    Lots of comments recently about prices being too high, everyone is entitled to sell and buy at the price they wish & are comfortable with, too high, dont buy , too low, must be junk ready for the crusher. 4K for this old bowtie,,,,, seems fair to me, would be a bonus if it ran or would run with minimal effort.

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  5. Braktrcr

    I think it’s a good deal, yes the pictures are bad and the seller is vague, but it does say he is the second owner. For an 80 year old car it looks good from I can see

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  6. don

    no! to high on the price with the lack of a good description of what you are getting, 2000 maybe? would be better if seller had taken some extra pics and try to get it running. cool old car thou.

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    • The Walrus

      I just don’t understand how so many people on here don’t understand the values. More or less the value of these cars have remained the same, people don’t realize that, since Uncle Sam has been using the presses in an attempt to print our way out of the recession, the value of the dollars has dropped over the last 8 years. A lot.

      Here’s the book from OCPG Aug ’15 for the ’36 Chevy. Not sure the difference between a Standard and a Master. Either way, $4K is probably fair. Even without seeing the interior, it’s clearly not a PARTS CAR(6). Whether it’s a Standard or a Master doesn’t really matter, as it is priced below a GOOD car (4) in both cases. Depending on the details, it’s at least a RESTORABLE car (5). Assuming the $4K is an asking price, its negotiable. Anything you knock off gets you closer to a (5) price is bonus, although you’d be niggling over a couple hundred bucks I think.

      1936 Standard, 6-cyl.
      Sed 6-960 5-2,880 4-4,800 3-10,800 2-16,800 1-24,000

      1936 Master, 6-cyl.
      Sed 6-1,100 5-3,300 4-5,500 3-12,380 2-19,250 1-27,500

      4) GOOD: A drivable vehicle needing no, or only minor work to be functional. Also, a deteriorated restoration or a poor amateur restoration. All components may need restoration to be “excellent,” but the vehicle is mostly usable “as is.” This is a driver. It may be in the process of restoration or its owner may have big plans, but even from 20 feet away, there is no doubt that it needs a lot of help.

      5) RESTORABLE: Needs complete restoration of body, chassis and interior. May or may not be running, but isn’t weathered, wrecked and/or stripped to the point of being useful only for parts. This car needs everything. It may not be operable, but it is essentially all there and has only minor surface rust, if any rust at all. While presenting a real challenge to the restorer, it won’t have him doing a lot of chasing for missing parts.

      6) PARTS CAR: May or may not be running, but is weathered, wrecked a nd/or stripped to the point of being useful primarily for parts This is an incomplete or greatly deteriorated, perhaps rusty vehicle that has value only as a parts donor for other restoration projects.

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      • Doug Towsley

        Well said Walrus, I too find some of the comments about prices baffling, either its flippers angry they didnt find it for $500 and making some coin on the find, or folks still mired in the 1980s who recently learned to go online.
        Couple years back had a friend ask me to peddle his BSA B50 Single motorcycle. These have grown in value. We advertised it for him at $1900 and were expecting around $1500. (it needed work, but was pretty solid) I have a neighbor, old racer, doesnt even own a computer and lives day to day like its 1978 (maybe the early ’80s on a good day) and finds anything that contradicts that baffling.
        He offered $300. Was incensed at our response. Of course for decades that is what they went for. But this was 2012 buddy, get with the program! We got tired of the local tire kickers, put it on FeeBay and ended up selling for $2300.
        The old guy still rambles on about the insane price and anyone crazy enough to pay that much. Reminds me of that line in Cool hand Luke… “Some folks you just cant reach,,,,,”

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  7. Ed P

    This is an interesting car, but would more pictures cost that much extra?

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  8. grant

    I love the way the rear windows open.

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  9. charlie Member

    Those rear vent windows opened with a crank, not just push outs, as did the front vent windows. You can get the mohair seat material cut to fit, or have it done, if that has suffered from rodents. The OHV 6 was in production from before this, maybe l935, to the ’60’s, Chevy’s were nicknamed (probably by GM) as “Old Reliable” since they were very well designed and well made for the time. I spent many hours in one with my old maid aunt (can’t say that anymore) who bought one new and drove it unit l954. The paint color is suspect, though. But Chevy did produce one metallic color a year in the late ’30’s, and the ’36 could have been bronze. The ’39 was a metallic green. And I think it is a Master because of the rear crank vent window, without looking it up.

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  10. Chris A.

    My first car ride was in one of these when my Mom and Dad brought new baby me home from the hospital in 1945. It was in the family until 1952 and I always had to sit between my two older sisters in the back seat. Dad had a perverse interest in keeping it running as long as he could. Mentioning mohair and the back window vents brought it all back. Was this the one with “knee action” shocks? Restore it, or fix it up enough to make it a driver.

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    • Ed P

      Now I’m getting a picture of the Oldsmobile in “A Christmas Story”.

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    • Doug Towsley

      Thats a great story.

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