Roadside Sighting: Canadian Barn Find

Reader Ben D spotted this dilapidated and decaying barn just outside the town of Stratford, Ontario Canada. At first glance, you can’t tell that there is anything parked inside, but upon closer inspection, you can make out headlights and a windshield. So, Ben decided to take a closer look and discovered that parked on the second floor of this old barn is a first generation ChevyVan. He didn’t enter the barn, which was probably a good choice, but there could be hidden treasures parked inside. At least this one is parked inside, unlike some of the other recent Roadside Sightings!

Chevy introduced these G-Series vans in 1964 and are known for their happy face and flat windshield. There’s been a fair amount of debate about what kind of Van the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo is, but my money is the first generation ChevyVan. Add the psychedelic paint job to this van and you’d be ready to hit the road to solve some mysteries! Well, that is if you can get it out of the barn.

Here’s the closet photo Ben was able to get and after zooming in a little more you can see that the license plate is from September of 1979. So, there’s a good chance that this van has been parked here for nearly 40 years. Hopefully, someone is able to get it out of this barn before it finishes collapsing. While there aren’t any other cars visible in the photos, I’d still love to have a look around just in case there’s something else parked here. Our thanks to Ben for sending his sighting in and if you spot a barn with something hiding inside, please send us some photos of it! You can send them to us at


WANTED 1954 Buick Skylark Looking for a car that needs restoration Contact

WANTED 86-93 Ford Mustang Coupe I am looking for a low mile bone stock 1996-1993 STOCKmustang coupe to add to my private collection. Contact

WANTED 1959 Chevrolet Apache 3200 Fleetside LWB Looking for project truck. Complete vehicle with minimal rust desired. Contact

Submit Your Want Ad


  1. JazzGuitarist54

    Sure that isn’t just the front clip of the van?

    • Mark

      You can definitely see the entire side of the van in the picture, so it is a whole van but getting it out will be another matter.

      • dan

        2 barn doors right behind it,left one wide open, i see no trouble getting van out.

      • Gerry Rhoades

        There is a ramp on the other side for access, been in many barns like this.

  2. Chev team six

    Thanks for the spotting! I have deployed a team of mechanics and omish craftsmen to retrieve vehicle under operation “Mountie Hoe”
    and this Chevy will be picked up soon.
    A black hawk is flying to roundavu at 0800.

    Upon retrieval notifications will be made to barn owner of abuse of a van requirement and removed from family and then the chev will find a forever home 😜

  3. Mike B

    Wow, that’s gonna need a lot of work to get back to original condition. Not sure if the market will bear it since it’s not a Porsche, but hope somebody is up to the labor of love. It’ll be a nice barn.

    • Dickie F

      So we know what is in the barn..
      But what is in the van……. ?
      Yip … a complete low mileage stripped and ready for spraying ’54
      P…. car.
      Don’t ask me how I know….

  4. Pete

    Too bad the barn isn’t closer. Some of those Chestnut beams could be valuable too.

  5. RGBaker

    By 1979 Ontario plates didn’t have the year on them; the system had switched to corner stickies you changed annually.

    So I’m not sure what this plate says …

  6. gaspumpchas

    Those first gen Chevy vans are cool. Non existant here in the rust belt.Hope someone rescues this baby….

  7. Del

    False info.

    Its a Dodge Van

    • Ken

      Nope. It’s definitely General Motors. Could be a GMC, but if so the “C” would be visible underneath the vents. I say it’s a Chevy.

      • Jerry

        It is definitely a Chevy Van.

        Just look at the top of the ringer washer tub straight through to the Van
        and you can make out the Chey emblem. look closely.

    • Miguel

      Dodge vans had a corner front turn signal, which this van does not have.

      • Chuck Simons

        As well, first gen Dodge boys rounded the side of their vans. GM put a crease in them (yes I took this off the internet)

  8. CanuckCarGuy

    Wow, this is about 45 minutes north of me; predominantly agricultural and plenty of old barns and farmhouses, just waiting to share their inner treasure. Is that an old wringer washer sitting in front of it?

    • jw454

      Yes, that’s a wringer washer sitting in front. I can’t say what maker it is but, it’s definitely an old manual washer. The van also looks like it’s missing it’s windshield.

      • Miguel

        You say “old wringer washer”.

        Those are still sold new in Mexico.

  9. giade FLIGHTNING

    COOL as Heck!

  10. Joe Howell

    I had a 68 short wheelbase Chevy rolling bedroom way back when I had hair. The most crash unworthy vehicle I have ever owned excepting the Harleys. In a head-on crash you were the first one there with only the windshield in front of you :( Made you feel like you were driving a flat nose bus with the near vertical steering column. With a 6 popper and 3 on the tree it was easy to work on, cheap to feed and fix. The straight front axle’s ride qualities and marginal drum brakes were much improved with the next generations A-arms and disc brakes on the front. Rust killed the ones that weren’t worked to death like most old trucks so I love seeing one on the road today.

  11. Tyler

    Looks a lot like this one. This is also a 64 & belongs to my nephew. It was purchased new by his great grandfather, but hasn’t been on the road since the early 80’s. The van is very solid & he has gotten it running, but the radiator is shot & a replacement can’t be located. Pretty cool ride, & not something you see everyday, so hopefully the one in the original post gets saved.

    • Whippeteer

      I think the struggle these days is to find a radiator place that can still recore and rebuild the radiator.

      • Steve Duric

        1979 was the last year actual quarterly ‘plates’ were issues… ending with the yellow-on-black Dec-79’s… the next expiry (March ’80) was a sticker affixed to lower left corner of windshield, (which was the start of the black-on-white commercial plates) and that lasted until I think the end of ’83..(by that time all the trucks had permanent plates attached).. then they went to the validation sticker affixed to the plate

    • Georg

      Hey Tyler,
      If your Nephew ever decides to sell that van… Let me know…

      • Tyler

        I’ve tried to buy it for years! But I’ll pass along the info.

    • Miguel

      Radiators can be made to fit. That shouldn’t be a problem.

    • Solosolo KEN TILLY Member

      @Tyler. Can your nephew not have a replacement radiator manufactured? I shouldn’t think it would be too costly or difficult to fit a similar rad anyway.

    • Oscarphone

      Radiator replacements are all over the place. Take some measurements, note the top and bottom hose placement and head over to An all aluminum, vertical flow radiator should be south of $200.00 bucks and they have a huge selection. If not directly for a G van than something close enough. Or they have all kinds of things there.

    • Tyler

      I’m not sure how much real effort has been put into locating a radiator today will fit. He’s the main painter at the body shop he works at, has a new baby at home, & is in the planning stages on building a new house, so his plate is pretty full with other obligations at the moment. But the van is in the dry, so it’s not rotting down.

    • Vanman

      They sell after markets that fit.

  12. Bill McCoskey

    last time I was in Barbados, there was a small radiator shop that not only repaired them, but also had the 1930s hand-cranked equipment to turn copper tubing into the flattened ovals for the radiator tubes, and also the hand cranked tool to take long strips of copper and bend them into the “Z” form that is placed between the tubes to dissipate the heat. So they were able to make any tube-type radiator core to original spec.

    20 years ago I was down there working on a 1969 Plus 4 Morgan. The radiator shop made the entire radiator from scratch after it had been severely damaged. Knowing how things stay the same on the islands, the shop is probably still there making radiators, especially when everything not made in the Caribbean that is imported into the islands, is subject to a 162 percent import tax! Yep, that $400 Morgan radiator would have cost over $1,000 by the time the taxes were paid. One year we needed 4 tires for our Isuzu truck, so I brought the tires into the country in my luggage, 2 per trip. [A $20 bill made sure the airport customs inspector didn’t see the need to open the suitcases, but I suspect due to the higher levels of security today at airports, that probably won’t work today!] The only problem I had on the first trip was, on unpacking my luggage, my clothing smelled like tires! For the second trip I packed my clothes into plastic bags first, before packing them inside the tires.

    • Nevis Beeman

      Wish I’d known about that radiator shop Bill….a few years ago I carried a radiator for my ’62 Austin all the way from Nevis to England for repair.Fortunatly there was no tax to pay on return as I’d ‘made an arrangement’ with Customs before departure.

  13. Mark J. Soderberg

    Let the van rest in peace. Trying to get it out would kill it for sure!

  14. glen

    I think you’ll find a ramp up to the doors behind the van.

  15. ccrvtt

    I had a ’69 lwb Chevy with a 307 auto that a friend & I used to haul dirt bikes on a western adventure. Very honest, basic, and totally unsafe vehicles, but what did we know back in the ’70’s? Great for its intended purpose, but I sold it & bought an MGB. Never missed the van, but I sure miss the B.

    • Gerry Rhoades

      Had a guy in my town back in 81 that had a Dodge van with a T/A 340 six pak in it. A true death machine, but it did one hell of a burn out..They always made me feel like we were going to hit something when i rode in my buddie, I would like a pick up to swap a 340 or 360 into

  16. Pete

    I drove by a barn similar to this sitting 100 feet off the road and spied the front end of what appears to be a 50’s Victoria sitting under the collapsing walls and roof. Didn’t have time to stop then, might ride down there again when it gets warmer and see if I can find out more about it.

  17. Rufus Clark

    To heck with the van; I would like the wood from that building!!

  18. Dean

    This van ain’t rockin’ so don’t bother knockin’

  19. Solosolo KEN TILLY Member

    Can your nephew not have a replacement radiator manufactured? I shouldn’t think it would be too costly or difficult to fit a similar rad anyway.

  20. Oscarphone

    Radiator replacements are all over the place. Take some measurements, note the top and bottom hose placement and head over to An all aluminum, vertical flow radiator should be south of $200.00 bucks and they have a huge selection. If not directly for a G van than something close enough. or that picture is from there.

  21. alan

    Wow! For a moment there i thought this was about finding a barn. Glad to see there was a car in there.

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.