Barn find stories?

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by atheyg, Jul 2, 2004.

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  1. atheyg

    atheyg Guest

    Anyone have any barn find stories? Are their any Ferraris left in barns or were they all discovered in the late 80s boom?
     
  2. F SPIDER

    F SPIDER F1 Rookie
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    Jan 30, 2002
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    rijk rietveld
    I found my Daytona yesterday in an upstate barn. I have not been able to drive it much for the last few months. We are doing major renovation on our cabin there and I have not been able to spend any serious time up there. But, like in the movie the money pit, it will be finished in two weeks.

    Yesterday I took the car out, and it started right up and after it warmed up properly, I drove it hard on the twisty mountain roads of the Catskills. All second and third gear. I have not even been in fourth gear the whole trip. The car was soo happy. I forgot how good a Daytona howls above 4000 rpm.
     
  3. andrewg

    andrewg F1 Rookie
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    All I seem to find in Barns are cobwebs, old farming equipment and horse S$£t
     
  4. BigTex

    BigTex Six Time F1 World Champ
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    I'm putting 'em IN the barn.....future generations will thank me!


    Mainly the future generations I see around the dinner table......
     
  5. SefacHotRodder

    SefacHotRodder F1 World Champ

    Dec 20, 2003
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    I'm just curious. How do people find these barns? Do they just go out driving and look for an old barn and open it up? Aren't there laws against that? I just see all these barn finds in magazines and wonder how people manage to find them.
     
  6. BigTex

    BigTex Six Time F1 World Champ
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    What most people call a "barn find" is actually more complicated than that.
    It usually involves the research of guys like Sheehan who track the owners of these cars until they are willing to sell. Cars are rarely "lost" but more accurately "off the market".

    My favorite of recent note was the Cobra Shelby Dayton Coupe, ex Phil Spector (who has his own minor legal problems right now) that surfaced from storage after the female owner lit herself on fire with her pet bunnies in her lap, committing suicide.

    Her mom took the car with questionable claim to title, and before you could say "roast rabbit for dinner" flipped the thing to a collector! Big bucks!
     
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  8. El Wayne

    El Wayne Global Moderator
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    Aug 1, 2002
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    I've posted this link before, but for those who are interested, details and photos can be found here.
     
  9. GTB4NART

    GTB4NART Formula Junior

    Jan 17, 2004
    421
    Back in 1990 while a student at UCLA, I was chatting with a gentleman at Otto Zipper motors in Beverly Hills and I was told that he had seen most of James Dean's wrecked 550 Spyder in an old garage in the side of a hill in Pacific Palisades. I don't know when this sighting was but I investigated every house that had a permit for an underground garage - about 15 of them. I couldn't get an answer from two of the garage owners. I surmise that the car is now overseas. My plan was to find the car and split the proceedswith the title holder. There are about 25 cars in the world that would be considered "epic" car finds.
     
  10. El Wayne

    El Wayne Global Moderator
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    Curious: Other than Lil' Bastard, what are some of the cars that you would include in that list of 25?

    By the way, I found the following information here.

    The "curse" of Dean's car remains a strong myth more than 45 years after the accident. On the 356 Talk email list, the issue of where Dean's 550 Spyder, "Lil Bastard" is today has arisen. Lee Raskin of Brooklandville, Maryland tells it thus:

    Actually, the entire wreck was purchased from (the) insurance company by Drs. Troy McHenry and William Eschrich--both 550 owners. The engine, tranny, steering, brakes and other mechanical parts were taken as spares...the remains were sold to George Barris...for his traveling circus tour. Both Drs. are deceased. "(The) tranny was rebuilt by Al Cadrobbi in So Cal, and later purchased by Jim Barrington of Stinson Beach, Cal. and are now in the possession of Jack Styles of Boston, Mass. (The) tranny (is) not being used in a vintage 550 at this time. Lots of stories exist...most have been embellished by George Barris...and others."

    Brad Ripley, of NLA Ltd., chimes in: "Jack Styles at Paul Russell Restorations has the tranny. He put it on Ebay only a few months ago." Lee says, “Transaxle # 10046...or as the official Factory letter said: gearbox 10046...was reworked after the accident by Al Cadrobbi in Southern California.”

    Lee Raskin continues, "After Dr. Troy McHenry and Dr. Wm. Eschrich purchased the wrecked Spyder from the insurance company (not George Barris as he says)…Eschrich put the Carrera engine in a Lotus 9...and ran it unsuccessfully at Pebble Beach. In 1956, PCAer Jim Fleming took a photo of it with the engine mounted up front. Troy McHenry replaced some older parts with the Dean parts on his 550. Unrelated to that...McHenry's steering broke...the pitman arm failed at Pomona in 1956 and he crashed into a tree…killing him. The tranny went to Al Cadrobbi and then to Jim Barrington and now it lives with Jack Styles and has been for sale on Ebay recently. The 550 engine remains with Dr. Eschrich's son Tyler. Dr. Eschrich died about 10 years ago. See the James Dean At High Speed video for most answers."
     
  11. Glassman

    Glassman F1 World Champ
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    Apr 23, 2002
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    This spring I was doing some work for a customer in a remote area of Montana. The talk turned to cars, and when I was getting ready to leave, he said lets go out to the barn for a minute. I want to show you something. Well not a Ferrari, but over in the back gathering dust was a Jaguar XK120, and a 66 E Type right hand drive. This guy told me the XK120 was his first car, an original owner car! He bought the 66 in South Africa while working for an oil exploration company.
    Is that a Barn Find?
     
  12. judge4re

    judge4re F1 World Champ

    Apr 26, 2003
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    This is probably my best barn find story:

    http://www.velocetoday.com/cars/cars_52.php

    I'm working on another car in Europe right now, but I'm not going to post any details because if everything is correct, I plan on buying it.
     
  13. Slim

    Slim Formula 3

    Oct 11, 2001
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    richard
    David Sydorick told a nice story on one of those "Car Crazy" episodes about finding one of his cars, I think it was the 250GT Zagato, in Sicily (don't know if they have barns but it sounded pretty much like a "barn find" story).
     
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  15. ForzaFerrari

    ForzaFerrari F1 Veteran

    Jul 25, 2003
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    That sounds awsome Rijk!! Must be a real real pleasure to drive a Daytona :) and a very nice picture too...love the contrast of the 'old' barn and the beautyful Daytona!

    ciao,

    Waldo
    ForzaRossa.com
     
  16. JohnnyU

    JohnnyU Rookie

    Jan 30, 2004
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    There's a 275 GTS rotting away in a detached garage in Babylon, Long island.
    Back in the late 1990's I was talking about Ferrari with my friend who happens to live next door to the owner of this car. My friend's daughter and the neighbor's daughter were listening to our conversation and the neighbor's daughter says that her dad has a Ferrari and asks if I'd like to see it. We walked over to the garage, I opened the door and there she sat, top down, filthy, flower pots in the interior, tires flat, bikes leaning up against the car...a sad situation.

    I got to know the owner over a couple of beers a few weeks later. He was a pilot at TWA who brought the car back from Europe in 1968. He drove it for a couple of years but was blown away by repair costs. So, in 1970 he put it in the garage and it has been sitting there ever since. He's afraid to sell it because he doesn't want his wife to get her hands on the money.

    To my knowledge the car is complete and still sits rotting away in the guys garage.
     
  17. BigTex

    BigTex Six Time F1 World Champ
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    Thanks Wayne for the complete Cobra story...

    Now if our padner Phil Spector can explain that House of Blues hostess, with the gun in her mouth in his front lobby..........

    Note to self: Don't use flaming gas, takes 15 hours...call Phil Spector....
    That was one tough ex Sears employee, that lady!

    Now back to our thread.....
     
  18. ClassicFerrari

    ClassicFerrari F1 World Champ
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    Excuse my ignorance but I remember an old rumour that James Dean was burried with his car??? I always thought that, maybe im just gullable heheh.

    Any thoughts?

    Vasco.R
     
  19. Bob Zambelli

    Bob Zambelli Formula 3
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    Another story and absolutely true.
    Again, back to the late seventies - I was living in Rochester, NY and I heard a rumor about a California Spider in a barn in Honeyoe Falls, a village to the south. My investigation led me to a farmhouse and I knocked at the door and was greeted by a man, Doug, as I recall. I felt like a fool asking him if he had a Ferrari hidden in his barn - not for long however. He said that he did but did not seem anxious to let me see it - next thought was "sure, this guy has a Ferrari and I own the Mona Lisa!"
    I guess he had second thoughts because he decided to let me see it. Opening the barn door, there it was - the GOLD California that had been on the show tour in the late 50s or early 60s (accompanied by the model in the gold dress!). I actually thought I was going to pass out, the way my pulse quickened.
    The car was filthy and as I recall, well decorated with chicken sh**. The top was half up and there was a factory gold hardtop also. Wire wheels totally rusted. It appeared absolutely complete - the interior was actually not all that bad.
    It had not been started in many years and of course, I wanted it. The California (it was the SWB/covered headlight model) is my all-time favorite.
    As I recall, the car was once owned by a Mr Publicker.
    Of course, it was not for sale - I told the owner "name your price" and he said he would think about it - I stopped by many times but never could get him to sell.
    Then, one day, I was informed that a local bought the car for around $20k and that was the last I heard of it.
    OK, wizards - the ball's in your court!!!
    What can you tell me??????????
    Bob Z
    ps - I swear this story is true - every word of it.
     
  20. GTE

    GTE F1 Veteran

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    That is by far the most frustrating story I've ever read Bob....
     
  21. Tspringer

    Tspringer F1 Veteran

    Apr 11, 2002
    6,154
    I can give you a few tasty tidbits of car found and purchased.... all my personal experiences.

    When I was running a classic car restoration shop during my college days, we had a 1967 Austin-Healey 3000 come in for a ful restoration following a hard front end collision. When the car arrived on a truck, there was an old Alfa with it. I called the owner who told me the Alfa had belonged to an old friend of his but he had been storing it for 10 years in a shed. The Healey owner was leaving the country and had sold his home. The 3000 was going to be restored over the year until he was planning on returning, but he had no place to store the Alfa. He had contacted his friend who told him he didnt care what happened to the Alfa as long as he never saw it again. So.... I became the new owner of a 1959 Alfa Romeo Guilietta Sprint Veloce. It had very little rust, horrid original paint, decent original interior and after fiddling it for several days it ran and drove ok. Neat car.

    I also purchased a 1958 Alfa Guilietta spyder out of a car port where it had sat for about 15 years once for $600. Got that one running before selling it for about $4K.

    I found a 1952 Mercedes 300 (?) convertible once in a barn in Duluth GA. Big 4 door convertible with a giant tall grill. Looked like a Hitler car. 100% complete and original, VERY rusty. I sold that one to a guy in Belgium who was going to restore it. I was really afraid it would split in half when it was being pulled from the Barn and loaded onto a flat bed it was so rusty.

    I was trading Jags a fair amount, and based on an ad I had in Hemmings I got a call. A lady saw my '64 E-type for sale and wondered what the one in her garage was worth. It had been totally restored by her husband who died 6 months after finishing it 8 years previously. It had not moved since his death. It was a '64 roadster, white with red interior. I flew out to Denver, fiddled with it enough to get it running and pull itself around the cul-de-sac. I paid her $14K for the car (her price after we discussed it), had it shipped to GA where we redid the brakes, tuned and detailed it and flipped it 4 weeks later for $32K. A year later it would have brought $50K+ but oh well.

    I once bought a '63 E-Type from Missouri sight unseen for $6,500. It was advertised as "fully restored" and looked pretty good in the few pictures I got. I figured at that price there was no way to go wrong. When the car arrived I was amazed. Indeed, it had been restored and it ran and drove pretty well. But the body was 85% bondo. This car had more bondo in it than any 5 other cars I had ever seen. I didnt really care because the good parts were worth more than I had paid by a fair margin, but it was truely amazing to see a car THAT full of plastic. I would never have thought you could actually construct a car out of bondo! I sold it in a package deal to The E-Type Centre in England fully disclosing the fact that it was a running/driving and good looking parts car. The guy there called me when he received the car equally amazed. He was happy with the car and was planning on parting it out, but he too was just floored that someone would rebuild a car with what appeared to be several hundred pounds of bondo!

    I once bought an E-type roadster what was being used as yard implements storage container behind a mobile home. I bought a TR3 that had been stored in a barns rafters for 25 years. I bought a Lotus Europa twin cam for $500 that ran and drove well but needed a water pump. Removal of engine required to replace.... I didnt learn that until later.

    I used to just get in the car and go on trips for 3-4 days at a time to find cars. I would pick a series of small to medium sized towns, call around and find out who used to work on these kinds of cars when they were new and then get in touch with these old timer mechanics. I would explain to them what I wanted to buy and give them a finders fee on every car they tipped me too. I almost ever left a town without a good car buy. By far the best towns were those near a larger military base, preferably Air Force or Army aviation. Pilots like sportscars and when they get orders to go overseas they often sold the car locally before leaving. I pulled lots of cars out of Fayetteville NC and Dothan Alabama. Ft. Bragg and Ft. Rucker, both have big aviation centers.

    I also missed a bunch of cars. The absolute worst was a 1956 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing. I got a tip from a mechanic in Lumberton NC. He knew of this old Mercedes with "funny doors that swing up". IT belonged to an old lady whos husband had driven it but he had been dead for many years. The mechanic couldnt remember the ladys name but said he had a friend who knew where she lived. I called this guy once a week for about 3 months trying to get the info to track down this car. Finally, he had directions to where the car was supposed to be but said he had never been able to get the ladys name or phone number. It sounded pretty sketchy, I was doubtful about the whole story so I didnt run up there right away. About 2 months later I was passing near the area, so I spent an afternoon trying to find the place. It turned out to be easy. The lady was very nice, had lots of pictures of the car and she had sold it 3 weeks prior to a guy from Charlotte NC for $16,000. This was in 1989. It was unrestored, totally original but had not run in about 20 years. Still, I figure it was a $150K car at that time.


    Terry
     
  22. Boudewijn

    Boudewijn Moderator
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    #20 Boudewijn, Jul 6, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    As found in a barn in France some years ago by Paul Koot: 500 Mondial #0422MD, old Tour de France racer, now owned by Jon Shirley.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  23. Boudewijn

    Boudewijn Moderator
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    #21 Boudewijn, Jul 6, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  24. Bob Zambelli

    Bob Zambelli Formula 3
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    Now, THAT could make my cry. Hopefully the car was rescued and restored to its former glory. Lots of work, I would guess!
    Anyone know how many of that particular S/A were produced?
    Bob Z
     
  25. Boudewijn

    Boudewijn Moderator
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    #23 Boudewijn, Jul 6, 2004
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  26. barchetta

    barchetta Formula Junior

    Nov 5, 2003
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    JohnnyU - Any chance the owner of the 275 would like to sell the car for all cash and keep the sale on the "down low"
     
  27. JohnnyU

    JohnnyU Rookie

    Jan 30, 2004
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    I took a Ferrari mechanic from Auto Turismo in Briarcliff, Westchester County with me to inspect the car. It was some time in either 1998 or 99. Auto Turismo offered him 60k cash and he turned it down. I think he was still living in the 1989 speculator market days...thought the car in its rundown condition was worth 350k. Last time I spoke with him (3 yrs ago) he said he was going to restore it himself. Yeah, good luck. I used to have the serial number and will try to locate it.
     

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