Take Your Pick: Avon Park Collection

This listing spotted by Barn Finds reader Fred is located in an area I’ve frequented quite a bit, thanks to my wife’s family being from Florida. Avon Park is not too far from Sebring International Raceway, so perhaps you can snag a project while you’re attending the epic 12 Hours event in March. Anyway, this Florida find includes several affordable classics listed here on craigslist and all of which look like they need a good amount of work. 

My brother-in-law and his family live in Avon Park, and actually have a metal structure similar to this in their backyard. Not nearly as many vehicles lying around, however, and the seller notes he’s got several for sale: 1941 Cadillac for $1,000; 1964 Cadillac sedan, runs for $2,000; 1970 Cadillac convertible “lead sled” listed for $7,500;  1951 Pontiac Hearse listed for $3,000; 1951 Studebaker up for grabs at $1,500; a 1956 Ford Crown Victoria Custom listed at $3000; a 1956 Ford Crown Victoria two-door for $2,000; a  running 1970 Riviera for $2,000; and a 1949 Oldsmobile coupe for $5000.

This looks like the hearse body that’s mentioned; can you decipher what’s parked next to it? There’s nothing tremendously valuable here, but it’s all interesting to varying degrees. There seems to be an unofficial theme to buy cars that can be converted into rat rods or lead sleds, but not a one of them has apparently been modified in that fashion. Which one would you choose to cut and chop?

The seller also mentions having a good collection of spare parts for classic cars but doesn’t elaborate as to what’s stored inside. If I’m reading the listing correctly, it seems like there’s an open invitation to visit him on Saturdays, when he’s out in his shop. Perhaps there’s some good conversation to be had if a deal can be struck, and if I were local, I’d focus on my project car favorite: the Ford Pinto wagon in the top photo. Which project would you choose from this Florida stash?

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  1. KevinR

    To my eyes, the red car next to the hearse looks like a modified Buick Riviera or Oldsmobile Delta 88.

  2. Mark

    I’m thinking the car next to the hearse is a Cadillac based on the roofline but with how little visible it’s hard to tell.

    I’m sure you could come up with a couple of good project cars in that group if the prices listed here it sounds like they are very reasonably priced.

  3. grant

    That red car looks like the Riviera. You can just make out the passenger corner of the front fender.

  4. Mike

    It’s a Mercury cougar or Montego

  5. CCFisher

    Looks like a heavily modified mid-60s Riviera. Whatever it is, it’s been chopped.

  6. Kenneth Carney

    I’ll take the hearse. These 2-door models
    are extremely rare. Either restored fully
    or restomodded, at least it would at the
    very least it would be saved and preserved for future car nuts to ponder
    and enjoy. I really like these oddball cars
    and this is as oddball as you can get.

    • Bill McCoskey

      The Pontiac is likely a “first call” or “service” car for funeral homes, but without an interior photo I can’t tell. The general difference is in the interior, a typical funeral coach would have a mohair fabric interior with casket rollers, a service or first call car would look more like an ambulance interior, either finished in Formica or stainless steel panels. Very few hearses were made without rear side doors, as access to secure the front of the casket was important.

      The most likely makers of this custom body would be Memphis Coach or Superior Coach. Memphis specialized in making less expensive vehicles on Chevrolet & Pontiac chassis, and Superior was known for making a fair number of Pontiac funeral & ambulance vehicles.

  7. dave

    I say mercury.

  8. Wrong Way

    Oh yeah! Avon Park, land of a former bombing range! I remember growing up down there they were still finding and digging up bombs back then! LMAO, hopefully they have found them all by now!

  9. Del

    Wow. Looks like a grand collection of stuff that should have been crushed long ago.

    I see nothing worth the asking price.

  10. Mark

    I love all presented cars but ……. but I hate snakes and rats hidden inside.

  11. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Another for Riviera…the next like 69/70 ? That’s a 51/52 Hardtop Stude with a bullet nose front….kinda what you want to do….that Olds 2 door is sweet and not seen to often…..looks ready to sell some stuff

  12. Jeffrey A Reigle

    How much for the pinto wagon?

  13. Bill Wilkman

    He’s dreaming regarding prices quoted.

  14. Ray

    I’ve been in that she’d.I used to live in Avon Park.


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