Barn Find…if you could only be so lucky (Post #124) 1/6/2009

In America finding an automobile in an old barn has become a cottage industry. There is even a guy out there that just looks for old blue jeans in barns and abandoned mining camps. Of course finding anything in a barn that is old is pretty cool but finding a rare automobile is probably the coolest.

I know someday that long lost uncle I didn’t know I had, or perhaps my biological father, will die and a hoity-toity lawyer from “back east” will call and tell me that I was left an old estate and in the barn was a 1947 Land Rover Series I. Then again, if we are going to dream, lets make it a whole garage full of cars I’ve always wanted to own and an estate that would allow me to stop working and play with my new toys 24/7.

A family recently found a very rare Bugatti in their father’s garage that is original and has been untouched since 1960. It should/could fetch above the 4.3 million dollar mark.

A quote from the article on Yahoo News.
“Relatives of Dr. Harold Carr found an extremely rare 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante — a Holy Grail for car collectors — as they were going through his belongings after his death.

The dusty two-seater, unused since 1960, didn’t look like much in the garage in Gosforth, near Newcastle in northern England.

But only 17 were ever made, and when it’s cleaned up and auctioned in Paris next month, experts believe it will fetch at least 3 million pounds ($4.3 million) and possibly much more.”

I had no idea what this car was until reading about it in the story. It’s a pretty awesome find. Other than finding a similar one and selling it this would not be the vehicle I would like to find. I’m kinda weird that way. If I found something in a barn it would hopefully be something I could AFFORD to play with.

You can’t just take a 1937 Bugatti out for a spin unless you are perhaps Jay Leno. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if this didn’t end up in Jay’s garage. But then again, maybe he already has one. This is a truly classic automobile and as rare as they get. Imagine if Bubba in his 1974 Buick Riviera decided to pull out in front of you?

So I’m going to compile for you a list of cars I’d like to find in a barn. With the criteria as follows…
I could:
1. Afford to repair and drive the vehicle
2. Afford the insurance to operate the vehicle on Oklahoma roads
3. Do most of the work required to restore the vehicle
4. Have a place to store and work/play with the vehicles

Here we go.

Land Rover Pink Panther
Voted Top Gear’s 84th most sexy car. This is the end all be all of the Land Rover Series vehicles for me. And if you are going to find an old Land Rover in a barn this would be the coolest. Of course finding any Series IIa 5 door would also be awesome.
Given enough time and money you could convert any of the long wheel base Series vehicles to a pink panther.

Volkswagon Bus
I have fond memories of driving around the island of Guam in my dad’s VW. I’d like one just for the fun of driving around in it.

Morris Mini
Just about any 1960s era Mini would be a fun car to drive around. I had a chance to buy one of these from a guy about 15 years ago. I didn’t have the money or time to take care of one properly.

Vincent Motorcycle
I know I don’t belong on the back of two things, horses and motorcycles. But I think touring around on a vintage cafe racer would be a lot of fun.

And with that in mind…

A World War II era BMW R71 complete with side car. Yeah, if it’s cool enough for Steve McQueen, it’s cool enough for me. Chinese motorcycle company Chang Jiang is making replicas. They are cheap and copied, but again, affordable fun.

Here’s another pic of one I thought was funny.

1964 MG
My uncle had a late sixties model. This is a vehicle I could definitely afford to drive today. I just don’t have the time or place for it. Repainting it would be my first priority. Baby blue…seriously?

1964 Austin Healy 3000
Sexy. Cars don’t get much sexier than this. This is definately at the end of the range of cars I could “play” with. In all reality I don’t have the coin to buy one of these today. But if I found it in a barn I could probably pull off the costs of keeping it on the road.

I’m sure if I put more thought into it I could come up with a half a dozen more. I can think of a Mercedes or two I’d like to find for sure.

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