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The 'Barn Find' is not dead my friend...

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jive-Bomber, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. onetruth1130
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 271


    Wow, such cool stories! Feelin inspired, buuut not a lot of barns around in central jersey, but I'm sure there has to be something somewhere waiting to be found. Gosh, sounds so adventurous!
  2. SlamIam
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 467


    "Pulling back that stubborn barn door..."

    I love barn finds, garage finds and other treasure hunts, but some of the cars I've found have not given themselves up easily.

    I was 16, and a young friend asked me to help him open an old garage. He mowed lawn on a property, and the old woman living there said he could have the car in the garage in lieu of pay. It had been her dead husband's car, and she never learned to drive. The garage at the back of the property hadn't been opened in years. The walls and roof were completely covered in a thick layer of vines. We chopped vines and dug dirt away from the door for more than an hour before we got the door open. Inside was a time machine, alright - a 39 Dodge in perfect shape, parked one day and never driven again. Little reminders of the owner were evident, receipts in the glove box, change in the ashtray, glasses on the dash. I'll never forget how clean the interior was, and the intoxicating smell of old mohair. My friend drove that car to high school the next few years.

    I was thinking about that vine-chopping experience on another treasure hunt last year. When the owner tried to open his garage, the heavy 16-foot door broke a hinge and sagged sideways in the opening. It took several men to lift the broken door and prop it up with 2x4s. Only then could I see the back ends of 2 cars buried in a mountain of debris. It took several hours to dig the 58 Imperial I wanted (88,000 mile 392 Hemi) out of the debris, inflate the tires, pull it out into the light and winch it onto the trailer. It was afternoon by the time we hit the road. The looks we got on the road and comments we got at stops hauling the big blue Imperial home are a story in itself.
  3. Jkustom
    Joined: Oct 8, 2002
    Posts: 1,684


    Thats another cool part of the whole thing- dragging it home. It seems like everyone is giving you the thumbs up and all that. I swear more people are happy to see the dirty, just unearthed project on the trailer than the same car after its back on the road.. I dunno, just seems like a project on a trailer that has obviously been in a time capsule gets more attention at stop lights and gas stations than when you're actually driving the thing..
  4. Belchfire8
    Joined: Sep 18, 2005
    Posts: 1,541


    I look and look and look and nver see anything, other guys stumble on stuff and have no idea what they have found. My son in laws uncle Jerry (really) found a 1938 Cadillac in a barn while hunting. He had actually found it many years earlier but had never asked about it. It was on a neighbors property and in a barn without any doors. Luckily the opening of the barn faced away from any road. He finally decided to ask about the Caddy and the owner sold it to him. Now the good part, Jerry told me ina surprised voice, "I had to give $500 for it" I told him the grille was worth more than that. He had taken a picture before he pulled it out of the barn and that picture was used on the cover of the Cadillac Clubs calender the next year. He now has it stored in a shed on his farm and it's still a thrill to pull the old wooden doors oupen and see those nice round fenders and tall grill peeking out. He's gonna restore it when he retires....I keep telling him I'll double his money on it.
  5. Normant93
    Joined: Apr 23, 2009
    Posts: 150


    Wow, such cool stories! Feelin inspired, buuut not a lot of barns around in central jersey, but I'm sure there has to be something somewhere waiting to be found. Gosh, sounds so adventurous![/QUOTE]

    Doesn't have to be a barn, only a few of the cars my dad and I found over the years were actually in barns, many of them were in old garages in neighborhoods. I bet you can find one, just talk to all the old folks you see, ask them what their first car was, tell them you love old cars and dream of finding one that was put away years ago, and ask them if they know of any. Even if nothing comes of it, it's fun and it will probably make their day.
    If you talk to enough people you'll find one eventually, it most likely won't be a '32 coupe but you might find something cool.
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,407

    Alliance Vendor
    from AUSTIN,TX

    Weekend before last, I got to do a little diggin of my own...yeah, the cars are o.t, but most will certianly appreciate what I dug out of the's not a bad day to buy a 70 mach 1 AND A1967 Fastback for an absurdly low price.

    Sent from my DROID device using the TJJ mobile app

    Attached Files:

  7. Ya know,nowadays driving while on a cellphone (or texting) is a major distraction & causes many accidents. Fortunately ,I'm a dinosaur in that area,but my distraction is just as bad. As I drive, I'm constantly looking in backyards,at sheds,lean-tos,sideyards,fields, for old cars. My wife yells at me all the time!! One of these days ,I'm gonna score that elusive "barn-find" or have a major fender-bender...
    Oh, what I'd give for a few days of X-Ray Vision..!!!
  8. Mr Haney
    Joined: Jul 17, 2008
    Posts: 1,001

    Mr Haney

    Parked in 58 with a broke motor,pulled out of barn in 08. grapes of wrath junkpile! Roof cut from a 40 ford gas welded in place.
    parked my entire life, body very sound
    recently freshened up with 283 slugs, scat crank, HC head, new rubber, driveline restoration, 12 volt system, webber carb
    new lease on life, now a daily driver. The stock body style of a full fender A is starting to grow on me. Fun car.......true "barn find"

    Race me ?
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012
  9. I discovered a 1969 Mustang GT ( not the more common mach 1 ) in a garage where it sat since for about 15 years. 390 eng. automatic and every option imagineable. Bought it for $1500, brought it home, washed, sold it to a collector for $6000.
  10. bonesy
    Joined: Aug 14, 2005
    Posts: 3,000


    ......sounds like there is more to the story.
  11. Close to a perfect barn find :

    Have a Buddy that has 2 5-window coupes (30 &34)....but his dream was a 32 roadster....Henry steel.
    I got a call one day asking if I wanted to take a trip to Tennessee (we are from north Texas)........Obviously he had bought something, so here we a Texas straight line.....
    Flew to New Orleans for 1 day of JazzFest.........then to Knoxville and the Street Rod Nationals and a great tour for a day by the seller....then the drive out into the country........and in a basement garage was a 32 Ford Roadster....Henry Steel.......
    sitting next to a 35 Ford 3 window coupe....both had been there a LONG time.....we loaded the coupe into a rental box truck and started home........we broke the tranny in the truck in Nashville and had to switch all to another truck.......ate dry rub ribs.....and decided that it was a good 4 day tour when we got back home !....the only thing I hated was I could'nt get him to budge on the 3 window....he had driven it to school in the 60's.........maybe someday we can go do it all again !!!!!
  12. Terrible Tom
    Joined: Feb 15, 2010
    Posts: 580

    Terrible Tom

    Great thread! Naybe I've told this story before, but here goes again. When I was about 16 years old, there was a lady who was what we would now called a hoarder. I discovered a 38 Ford 2 dr. out behind a shed on her property. It was up on blocks with the rear end unbolted from the shackles. She finally agreed to sell it to me for $20.00 on the condition that she could keep the back seat for "sentimental reasons." I never asked her what they were, lol. My brother and I bolted the rear end back up and towed it home, tubes sticking out of the sidewalls, with our Ford tractor. We put a battery in it and some gas and gave it a pull, to our surprise, it started. Unfortunately, the brakes were inop and I ran into the back of the tractor, damaging that beautiful grille. I never saw a car smoke as much as that one did! She also had a 49 Plymouth in her shed (in great shape) that she wanted $50.00 for. We passed on that because it was a 4 dr. Years later, after the old lady died, I went back to look at the property. There, alongside a shed, sat the remains of the back seat, right where it was left when I bought the Ford.
    Another time, we discovered a 39 Chevy 2 dr. alongside of an old neighbor's house. We went to ask about it and the old guy's wife took us to ask "John" who literally was on his death bed. He was out of his mind by then and said he didn't want to sell it because he was going to use it for a "plow motor." Whatever he thought that was. His wife sold it to us for $50.00. We discovered that it had a 58 six cylinder in it. My cousin ended up with it and drove it home, 70 mi. with no problems. $50.00 seemed to be the going price back then. Every now and then one is still discovered, but the price has gone up...thanks to Barrett-Jackson.
  13. They're squirreled away everywhere. I know one guy, a big T-Bird collector/parts dealer. He gets a line on a car plus parts in a Brooklyn, NY warehouse. A whole '55 or '56 'Bird plus a slew of parts to go with it including a mint hardtop. That was a score.

    Joined: Mar 30, 2010
    Posts: 3,253


    WTF.... I can't even find the barn.

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  15. Ranunculous
    Joined: Nov 30, 2007
    Posts: 2,465


    Most Barns you find are full of bullshit?
  16. 56FRLN
    Joined: Feb 7, 2012
    Posts: 221


    Here's a pic of a '57 Retractable after a quick stop at the car wash - pulled it out of a barn at a christmas tree farm. Unfortunately I had to let it go when I lost my storage - still regret that one.

  17. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 18,190


    The only time I've actually pulled a vehicle from the barn was a just few years ago. A friend and I bought twin '36 Diamond T trucks from the same farm. His was in the nice Morton building, and mine was in the old barn. It took our crew quite a while to cut the tree that was growing in front of the barn door, remove the door, and drag the frozen-brakes truck out into the daylight. Then we had to get the two-ton immovable object onto the trailer!

    I must have spent $20 at the car wash trying to remove the DEEP piles of coon residue in every nook and cranny.

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  18. BobPer
    Joined: Feb 15, 2009
    Posts: 282


    Here's 2 of mine.
    I only had to wait 27 years to buy them.
  19. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 4,657


  20. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 4,657


    Not quite a barn find but... I became addicted to cars around age 10. When we were kids we could ride our bikes anywhere during the summer after our chores were done as lonfg as we were home for dinner. One day about a mile from home I discovered a '56 Meteor hardtop. I knew what it was since my first AMT model was a '56 Ford that came with a meteor grill as an optional part. 17-20 years pass. I'm at my father in law's for Christmas and was puzzled as to why there was no gift for his best son in law. Finally he told me it was "in the back". Went outside and found a '56 Meteor 4 door with rust up to mid door level. Just what I needed; more rust.

    Then it all came back to me, the '56 Meteor I discoverd as a kid. The next day I went to the same neighbourhood and to what I thought was the same house. No '56. Drove around looking for the right house but it turned out that I had gone to the correct one earlier. Went to the front door knocked and waited for someone to come to the door. When the door opened I asked if they were the people that lived there when I was a kid. Yes they said so I then asked what happened to the car. They said it was still in the backyard. I told them it must have been stolen since it wasn't there now. The older guy took me around back and pulled some of the black berry bush off. There it sat. Not perfect but in a lot better shape than the four door. Bewteen the two cars a perfect '56 Meteor Rideau will surface one day. But I've had them for about 22 years and have not got around to finishing it yet!
  21. hillbilly4008
    Joined: Feb 13, 2009
    Posts: 2,919

    from Rome NY

    I had a guy walk into the shop yesterday looking to unload some scrap iron. Yes, he wanted me to buy it from him. After asking him what kind of stuff he needed gone (making sure there were no car parts) I gave him a scrappers phone number.

    Then we got on the subject of old cars, and how I'm looking for any and all model A parts I can get. "my step-father has 3 of em. Well, I think he does...its either 2 Model A's and 1 model T, or 2 model T's and 1 model A. All I know is I've known him for 20 years, and they have been sitting in this barn long before I came around."

    So I'm "patiently" waiting for a phone call from the step-father. I told him even if he won't sell them, I'd love to see them in person.
  22. teejay99
    Joined: Sep 26, 2009
    Posts: 356


    This has to be the world's best Forum ...'course youz guyz already know that . The stories .....priceless ......I've gotta sit with a bottle of scotch and a box of Cuban cigars some night and read back a few thousand threads entertainment around .

  23. revjimk
    Joined: Nov 30, 2010
    Posts: 89

    from Denver

    Never thought I'd see Jazzfest mentioned here. Been going since 1978. A friend of mine has a yellow/ red flamed hearse (54 Cad?) they let him park in racetrack area inside the gates. Got a picture somewhere, I'll try to find it. Trouble with Gulf Coast is everything rusts. I did see an interesting Model A rod near Lafayette, with IFS off an Opel. Not my cup of tea, but different...
  24. Cyclone Kevin
    Joined: Apr 15, 2002
    Posts: 4,154

    Cyclone Kevin
    Alliance Vendor

    I've been lucky enough to have had prhaps 2 BF's. The 1st one was actually Yard Art in Middletown,CA. There was an ad placed in the local Nor-Cal paper stating a 32 BB truck was for sale, but no takers?? It's b engine was still in place and it had 6 brand new Denmans on it. The cab needed everything and the bed as well. Fenders were toast as were the running boards, grille looked like a toothless old man.
    The guy stated that it "ran when parked", still had coolant in it,but that trans couldn't turn as the speedo gear was seized in the drive shaft torque tube. I initially passed,bought a "Grapes of Wrath" 29 sedan that was very nice instead. The guy said "Why don't you take that BB as well for $275.00, There was no way that I could pass that up, My brother and I brought it to his place and we started working on it. This was 1996 and I really haven't touched since 2000. It's been getting parts and I did drive it. Need to get back on it.

    Next one was again in 1996, I was told about this 34 Ford 3W, but so were about 20 of the "Known So-Cal Rod Contingent". I happened to get to really see this car which hadn't been driven since about 1960? I kept in touch with the owner and he finally said it was mine for a price, It was "nearly retail",but I doubt that I would have ever found another like this one. Lot's of dust all over it, cool 16" steelies, It was an old Hot Rod and it still wears its blue paint put some time in the 50's. She isn't a beauty queen, but she's a survivor.
  25. fbcoach68
    Joined: Aug 12, 2009
    Posts: 217

    from SOCAL

    How about "next" to the barn find.

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  26. hillbilly4008
    Joined: Feb 13, 2009
    Posts: 2,919

    from Rome NY

    i swear i'm not making this up, but i got another wicked sounding lead. I saw this home made trailer in somebodies yard and noticed it had a model A tailgate on it. Then I realized it was the entire box, so I went and knocked on the door. "I paid $10 for that! I had a guy come offer me $150, and I told him to take off" Fair enough, trailers not for sale. I can accept that.

    Then I asked him if he knew of any old cars around, something hot rod worthy. "Well, I dunno about hot rod... but three houses down I know there is a model T above the garage all wrapped in newspapers. The guy died, and the kid doesn't know its there. He will not go up there because he is afraid of heights." Now I'm not much of a Model T guy, but this caught my attention. He said he would go talk to the guy and call me back in a few days.

    Almost sounds to good to be true...
  27. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    35 years ago i knew of a 1938 Ford clubcoupe that was hidden behind a wall of stacked up newspapers. It is possible.
  28. Airborne34
    Joined: Dec 4, 2007
    Posts: 578


    I foolishly passed on a 53 Chevy that was daily driver until 1975 or so when the lady went legally blind and couldn't drive any more. Sat in Georgia Barn till 2008 when the daughter inherited the estate. Was right price but the wrong time for me. Good read.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  29. unclescooby
    Joined: Jul 5, 2004
    Posts: 4,979

    from indy

    a picture of the find two weeks ago, two miles from my house. A 1950 woody, a 1951 woody, a 1950 business coupe, a 1950 two door, and a 1950 four door plus the Jack Henry intake and a bunch of extra parts. I've never seen so much animal feces in one building in my life.

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  30. rickl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2012
    Posts: 103


    I tell my buddies I found the last mouse nest in my barn find, 1946 International K1. I keep finding more. I just got it in August. And yes, this was in a barn.

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