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Yo Ho Yo Ho a Shaughnessy Barn Find for me!

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by T308, Jul 2, 2005.

  1. T308

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    #1 T308, Jul 2, 2005
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    The first of several posts, hope you enjoy the story of Tom's latest barn find (and my new project!).


    Tom with a very appropriate sign, who knew there was a Ferrari to be found?
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  2. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
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    ok, spill it already ! :)
     
  3. T308

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    #3 T308, Jul 2, 2005
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    I met Tom Shaughnessy, the way most Ferrari folks meet him, while looking for hard to find parts for a 410 SA. Tom supplied parts, quality counsel and great encouragement as we took on the task of getting a 410 from Greg Garrison’s Montana barn to the lawn at Pebble Beach in ten months.

    Time passed, I left the Ferrari business behind but “just when I thought I was out” I felt the Ferrari pull again, so I called Tom a year ago asking if he had any GTEs on the “barn find” radar screen. He said he’d keep on the lookout for one and would ring when he found “the right one” for me. Time passed and seven GTEs moved through Tom’s hands. Some left him in one piece, others in many.

    I never despaired and three weeks ago Tom rang and said “I’ve been chasing this one car for about eight years, it’s too nice to cut up and I think it might be available. Are you ready to move on it?” Without asking where, when or how (or how much!) I said yes. He said he’d call me back.

    The following day Tom called and said, “I can’t get in touch with the owner, but I know where the car is. It’s in a warehouse/barn near the Mexican boarder, as a matter of fact, you can see Mexico across the street! We might not get in, I can’t promise anything, but let’s try”. I figured a barn find journey with Shaughnessy, even one with a slim chance of success, was worth the trip, so off we went.

    So we motored down the coast, hit the boarder, turned left and found ourselves in an unbelievable mass of people (most from Tijuana) and cars (of every description). Thousands of cheap cars for sale ($100 and up) as well as tens of thousands of wrecked, junked, torn apart hulks as far as the eye could see. Shaunessey’s backyard Ferrari bone yard times ten thousand! It was the infamous Otay Mesa boarder car lot where 50,000 cars donated to charitable causes end up crossing the boarder with many entering the smuggling trade.

    http://bear.cba.ufl.edu/karceski/FIN7447/WSJ%20Spring%202004/WSJ%20100404.html

    Not the place you’d expect to find an old Ferrari. Inside this haystack was one needle from Maranello.

    A view of Otay Mesa from above (via Google Earth). Yes, those are all cars.
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  4. T308

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    #4 T308, Jul 2, 2005
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    Continued...

    We drove into the mass of cars onto the back road (which is sinking in several places) and looked for our destination. To my surprise, Tom wasn’t completely clear on where the car was. One call on his well worn cell phone (which doesn’t ring, he’s literally worn out the ringer but it still vibrates!) and he got more info. We pulled up outside the spot we were looking for. And some spot it was. It was just south of Brown Field and just north of the boarder. The yard was full of cars in varying stages of repair (disrepair?) and a beat up old Winnebago that someone was clearly living in. Just the kind of place you fear walking into and never walking out of. I was expecting (fearing?) to meet someone named chopper-riding whacko named Zed behind those doors.

    Sadly the gate was locked and nobody was home. Rather than turn around and go home, we decided to kill some time. As it was lunchtime, we went off in search of food and to take Tom up on his promise of a “Free Lunch”. On the way out we saw many bizarre sites. We followed a truck so heavily laden with motors and transmissions that it looked on the verge of collapse. When this beast stopped a literal torrent of fluid (oil, coolant, etc,) poured out the back and into the street. We did our best to avoid the flood.


    It looks like Tom’s truck after a good day hunting 250 Motors!
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  5. T308

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    #5 T308, Jul 2, 2005
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    Continued..

    After Tom treated us to his famous “Come and see me and I’ll buy you lunch” in Imperial Beach ($13 for three people!) we returned to the locked gate behind which allegedly rested the white GTE. We knocked on the walls of the building, called out for anyone, someone to answer. Finally a man emerged and we asked if we could “come in and see the Ferrari”. The man looked a little skeptical, told us to wait, and then returned to the building. I must admit, I wasn’t holding out much hope of seeing the car at that point. I assumed he’d return, say, “go away” and that’d be that.

    Surprisingly he let us in. Stuffed in the corner, under a sheet, surrounded by damaged cars was an ivory series 2 GTE. The car, with a partially disassembled interior, looked reasonably complete. It was clear that someone had tried to “restore” it at one point and whoever that was didn’t know much about Ferraris. The data plate was gone, but the motor and frame numbers matched, both were s/n 3921. We looked at it as best we could and then took our leave.

    After seeing the car and its condition, I gave Tom the go ahead to contact the owner and attempt to strike a deal. My trips to Montreal and Indy and Tom’s journey to the FCA nationals intervened but last Friday Tom called and said, “You own the car! The owner said ok, it’s on Rice paper, it still might not happen but I think we have a deal.”

    I met Tom on Saturday at the Irwindale Speedway Automotive Literature event and handed off the cashiers check and crossed my fingers. Tom wanted to be ready to move and get the car as soon as possible, so he took the money, sold several early Ferrari tool kits, Miura sales brochures and various and sundry other pieces of “automotive jewelry” in the parking lot and then headed south to San Clemente.

    A few days passed as the owner collected all the bits and pieces (hopefully including a title!) and then gave us the go ahead to come collect the car on Thursday. We drove down that afternoon and needless to say we ran into traffic (noon on Thursday?). We were supposed to arrive at 2pm at the “barn” and we arrived at 2:02pm! The car had been taken out of its corner and rested under a car cover. Thankfully nobody had beaten us to it!
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  6. T308

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    #6 T308, Jul 2, 2005
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    Continued...

    After a little final hagglin’ Tom “encouraged” the shop helpers to move the car out of the barn and on to his trailer. At this point, we still didn’t have an “official deal”, but as possession is 9/10ths of the law, we figured we’d be better off if the car was loaded up before the deal was finally done and/or the owner changed his mind.
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  7. T308

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    #7 T308, Jul 2, 2005
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    We moved the car out and on to the trailer. The car “steered and stopped” so we figured we had at least something to work with. At this point remember, I still had not heard the car run! Tom said he’d heard it a few months ago and there were no audible “death rattles” so we moved ahead (who needs a PPI?).

    So as Tom continued to negotiate, the car moved towards his trailer. He hooked it up and started to winch it up the ramp with the owner was literally tottering in the passenger window dragging his hand tools and other non-Ferrari bits out of the car before it entered the black hole that was the Tom’s trailer. At this point I still believed the deal might go “sideways” and we’d leave with nothing. But Tom continued to talk, the owner continued to baulk, and the car continued on its way and was ultimately ensconced in the trailer.

    Here's me trying to figure out if the passenger side door gap was to concours standard
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  8. T308

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    #8 T308, Jul 2, 2005
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    Continued....

    At this point, the owner, realizing the deal was done, surrendered and moved off to the dark corner of the barn to close the deal. When it was done we were provided with a rusty old briefcase in which was found all the receipts and details of a decades worth of restoration attempts as well as a clean title and a power of attorney to complete the deal. Success!

    Below is a rare photo of Tom in action actually closing a deal!

    With car, title and the loose bits in our possession we “bugged out” and headed north back to Tom’s shop (while carefully watching our rear view mirror to ensure that we weren’t being followed by someone suffering “seller’s remorse” or by renegade “Federales” seeking to imprison us for crimes against the people of Mexico. Two hours of San Diego traffic later and we found us back at the starting point, Casa de Shaughnessy. I was thrilled with the car and the adventure of being on a true “Shaughnessy Barn Find” and Tom satisfied with his 8th GTE bought and sold of this still young year.

    Thanks for my barn find Tom. Now, can I buy some missing parts from you? And don’t even think of taking those Cheney clamps, I counted them!

    Thank you all for indulging me. I thought some of you might enjoy the our little adventure.
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  9. Chiaro_Slag

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    Cool story! Need more pics! :)

    Congrats.
     
  10. judge4re

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    Great story. Good luck with the car.
     
  11. T308

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    #11 T308, Jul 2, 2005
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  12. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
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    what a super cool thread, hats off to you and Tom S. thanks for sharing your story,and i look forward to reading updates as you see fit! :)




    the car has red-line "muscle car" tires on it!!! lol :)

    car seems nice overall,

    some you save, others you chop up. this one will live on!




    ' Reaper out...........
     
  13. T308

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    #13 T308, Jul 2, 2005
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  14. T308

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    Yeah, those red lines are very "American" aren't they? Fear not, unless the motor goes "POOF" this one won't be cut up!

    T308
     
  15. Chiaro_Slag

    Chiaro_Slag F1 Veteran

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    White/red. I love it!!

    Thanks for some more pics.... Are we going to be getting some restoration pics in the coming months?? Can't wait.
     
  16. SefacHotRodder

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    Awesome story. Love the colour combo.
     
  17. Kevallino

    Kevallino Formula 3

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    Wow - great find and great story - thanks for sharing!!!

    BTW I like the redline tires!!!

    Cheers
    Kevin
     
  18. Gary48

    Gary48 Guest

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    Great story guys, Thanks for sharing the almost impossible, mythical dream. It still can be done. Tom is a magical detective. So much gratification to be shared. Kudos!!!!!
     
  19. Stackhouse

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    Great Story!!! My last Barn Find Involved A Slice of Cheese And A Dead Mouse!!

    I Need To Hang With Tom I May Find Something Worth Keeping!!

    Thanks For Sharing!!!
     
  20. donv

    donv F1 World Champ
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    Very cool. I like the color as well.
     
  21. ag512bbi

    ag512bbi F1 Veteran
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    WOW! Great story!!! Leave it to Tom. Always exciting! LOVE your car. Enjoy!!
     
  22. T308

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    It's pretty close to the original. I emailed Ferrari Owners site asking for info on the car and believe it or not, they replied in six hours! Sadly there's no build sheet for the car (kind of feels like having a kid without a birth certificate!) but they did give this info...

    <<Thank you for contacting us. We would like to inform you that we have the following data on your 250 GTE, chassis # 3921: its production date was October 1962, with original exterior colour Avorio 19375 Sint. It. and Pelle Rossa VM 3171 as the original interior. Unfortunately, this is all the information we have on your vehicle.>>

    Not bad customer service eh?

    Various parts of the car carry the stamp "273" which would lead me to believe the PF job code is likely 68273. I've got to dig for more history on the car but that's part of the fun! Bill Preston of the GTE Register is forwarding more data, so hopefully I'll be able to flesh out more history for 3921.

    T308
     
  23. Aardy

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    The first owner was Neri (probably from Italy) and the car is supposed having the pfjob number "68272".
    So you say it would be "68273" ???
    Does anybody know if the number "68272" is on 3925GT (supposed having pf job number "68273") ???
     
  24. kare

    kare F1 Rookie
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    >Thank you for contacting us. We would like to inform you that we have
    >the following data on your 250 GTE, chassis # 3921: its production date
    >was October 1962, with original exterior colour Avorio 19375 Sint. It. and
    >Pelle Rossa VM 3171 as the original interior. Unfortunately, this is all the
    >information we have on your vehicle.

    Maybe you should further ask whether they can provide PF start date and job number (Raab gives 68272, which must be wrong, I guess!). According to Raab intended customer was "Neri" (factory won't reveal customer info due privacy issues). I find the production dates pretty amusing as they don't tell what it means (start or completion or something in between, these cars spent 2-3 months in production!).

    You can also get engine, gearbox and rear end numbers confirmed (can you report that engine number, the photo shown in this thread is not clear enough to read it - 364/62 maybe?). Gearbox number can be fished out without removing center console by removing overdrive service door and pressing a piece of tin foil or wax on top of gearbox right in front of the door. Rear end number is stamped on diff housing and can easily be seen looking under the car.
     
  25. Anteriore

    Anteriore Formula Junior

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    I just love to read stories like yours! All the best with your GTE!
     

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