Barn Find

1951 Bandini Siluro Motto Crosley Mercury 750cc Devin Monza‏ Barn Find

February 20, 2017 in American / Barn Find / Home Garage Build / Italian / Race Car / Sympathetic Restoration / Video

This 1951 Bandini Siluro Motto Crosley Mercury 750cc Devin Monza has a compelling, storied history to explain it’s ridiculously long and complicated name. Let’s take a crack at it and see if we can sort this out…
What started out as a cycle-fendered Bandini race car was ultimately transformed into this Devin Monza-bodied car for the 1958 racing season when an SCCA rules change dictated that they no longer allowed cars with cycle fenders to compete. It went on to race successfully for many more seasons before it was put away in storage for over 50 years, until it was finally exhumed out of it’s original owner’s garage in 2007. The term “barn find” is incorrectly over-used far too often these days, but if there were any car to qualify it would certainly be this one.

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Survivor: 1935 Mercedes Benz 290A Cabriolet

January 18, 2017 in Barn Find / German / Restoration Shop / Survivor

The subject of today’s Survivor is this stately, almost all original pre-war 1935 Mercedes Benz 290a Cabriolet. One of only 19 short wheel based drop top 290’s built between ’35 and ’36, it was originally ordered by a vintner to drive around his winery in his home town of Burgundy, France. We can just picture the scenario now…the top down, a well dressed gentleman rowing it’s 4 speed manual box through the gears while putting it’s 60 horsepower 6 cylinder motor through it’s paces on a beautiful summer night on a twisty mountain road, gorgeous French girl by his side and a bottle of their finest wine flowing. Perhaps he ordered it’s interior in red to hide any spills? That would be just all too appropriate, the image alone certainly adding to this classic’s provenance for us. But we digress, so back on topic with actual facts that we do know for certain…

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Survivor: Unrestored 1969 Shelby Mustang GT500 with 8,531 Miles

January 11, 2017 in American / Barn Find / Survivor

The subject of today’s Survivor is an all original 1969 Shelby Mustang GT500 that is set to hit the auction block April 25th in Pennsylvania. It has only 8,531 miles on it from when it’s first owner, Larry A. Brown bought it new and it is said to have never even been washed since sitting at the dealership. This 428 Cobra Jet 4 speed car had remained in his Pennsylvania garage since sometime before it’s registration expired in January of 1973, until he unfortunately recently passed away. The kicker to this story is that before he decided to store it away over 40 years ago, he never drove it in the rain or even washed it out of fear of water sneaking it’s way into the car’s unmentionables and rusting it. The car psychic in us attributes his tin worm anxiety to probably be the culprit of some early English or Italian car ownership sometime in his past, which would be an appropriate explanation and an understandable cause of his concern. Whatever the reason why, we wouldn’t have had the will power to let it sit untouched for so many years ourselves, so come take a closer look at a true time capsule example of self restraint with this Black Jade garage find and check out how they looked when they left the factory back in 1969…
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Survivor: 2,996 Mile 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

January 4, 2017 in American / Barn Find / Survivor

We felt that this 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe would be the perfect fit for today’s Survivor feature to accompany yesterday’s 8,500 mile all original ’69 Shelby Mustang GT500. Both American V8 cars have similar back stories of being tucked away after having been driven very few miles, preserving them in the same condition that they left the factory over 40 years prior. Once again, we have no idea how either of these two guys could possibly have been able to store them for so long without driving the snot out of them, but at the same time we are thankful for people like them who possess the self restraint that we apparently don’t come close to having ourselves. Follow with us on the next page as we search for a better understanding of this garage find owner’s background to explain the who and how while we take a closer look at the 2,996 all original Survivor
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Survivor: 1963 Iso Rivolta IR 300 GT

December 16, 2016 in American / Barn Find / Italian / Survivor

This 1963 Iso Rivolta IR 300 GT is set to hit the block at the May 10th RM auction in Monaco without a reserve price set. There is no description up on RM’s site yet, but all of the leaves and dirt accumulated around it make it appear that it has been left outside for a long period of time and possibly an all original example, which would then qualify it for another Survivor feature here today. The question mark stays up until we can verify more about this car’s history, because this one has us up in arms at the moment. Up through 1969, only 797 of the rare cars were produced, which intrigues our curiosity even further. Let’s see if we can piece this one together…
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The Ultimate Alfa Romeo Belgium Castle Find

December 14, 2016 in Barn Find / Italian / Race Car / Survivor / Video

Could this be the ultimate Alfa Romeo barn find ever? Perhaps, but better scratch that and make it the ultimate Alfa Romeo “castle” find because these were hunted down in November of 2012 by urban explorer Tim Knifton at the Kasteel van Heers in Belgium . We found the story recently pop up on BarnFinds.com, then a little more research revealed a few more sites that featured it too, along with a video of the find, as well. Follow with us on the next page for a closer look…
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A Look Back at 2004 Hurricane Charley Damage to Car Collection

December 13, 2016 in Barn Find / Italian / Race Car / Uncategorized

The following photos of the damage inflicted by 2004’s Hurricane Charley to a vintage car collection in Florida are definitely not for the feint of heart, although we find them mesmerizing for some twisted reason which we are unable to explain. The collection, consisting mostly of vintage Ferrari’s is said to have been owned by Walter Medlin, a real estate developer and convicted tax evader who was apparently keeping the cars hidden away from the government in the secret shed before mother nature came along and decided to expose their whereabouts. Apparently, the IRS had previously confiscated his Ferrari P3 and his P4 in 1990 due to owing $540,000 in back taxes, although we seem to remember reading somewhere that he bought them back before they actually went to auction. Certainly an interesting collection of cars, not to mention character of a personality.

 

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Survivor: 1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing

December 9, 2016 in Barn Find / German / Race Car / Survivor / Video

The subject of today’s Survivor feature is this 1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing, which was found sitting inside a storage container in the California desert since the late 1970’s until Jay Leno more recently came to it’s rescue. As the third owner of the vintage race car that competed at west coast venues such as the now defunct Riverside Raceway, he did exactly what we would have done with it and treated it to a sympathetic restoration. Come check it out with us on the next page, won’t ya?…
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Survivor: 1966 Alloy Body Ferrari 275 GTB

December 8, 2016 in Barn Find / Italian / Survivor / Sympathetic Restoration

If you are into vintage cars like we are, then chances are you already know the story about this 1966 Ferrari alloy-body long nose 275 GTB survivor. Even if you have seen it before, we’re sure that you will agree that this one’s definitely worth a revisit. As the story goes, the car was excavated by Ferrari barn find expert Tom Shaughnessy after sitting in the corner of a Ferrari mechanic shop in Southern California since the early 70’s. We have no idea how the car could have gone unnoticed there for so long, but if you have heard of Tom before then you know he pulls together some serious hat tricks when uncovering these once-lost cars. In fact, you may remember him from his more recent garage find from a few weeks ago of a Ford GT40, another jaw dropping story not to be missed. So, come take a closer look at this all original vintage Ferrari with us on the following page, then be sure to check out his GT40 find after in “Related Posts” if you haven’t already, you won’t be disappointed if you like “barn” finds.
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1969 BMW 2800 FIA Gruppe 2 CSL Barn Find Restoration

November 29, 2016 in Barn Find / German / Race Car / Reader Submission / Video

UPDATE: Motoporter has a great new website that can be seen here at: http://www.motoporter.com/ 
Our original feature from December 15th, 2013:
This 1969 BMW 2800 FIA Gruppe 2 CSL (chassis number 22000093) was the subject of a restoration by Arthur W. Porter, known worldwide as the leading authority on BMW’s CSL competition cars. He originally came across the orange painted race car in a Stockholm, Sweden storage facility in 1990, and then wisely kept in touch with it’s owner until he was finally able to put a deal together to purchase it in 2007. After, he had it shipped to his shop in Denver, Colorado where he took it upon himself to complete an impressively quick full rotisserie restoration just in time for that year’s Monterey Historics.
This is just the type of story that we thrive here at CarBuildIndex, as it checks all of the right boxes for us. Barn find? Well, technically a storage facility, but yeah, we can roll with that. Check. Vintage competition car with race history resurrected to race once again on some of the world’s finest circuits? Check. Track down one of the car’s past driver’s? Check. Shall we continue? As you wish, so follow along with us on the next page as we delve deeper into this particular car’s literally colorful history…
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Original ’56 Gullwing vs Restored at Auction

November 17, 2016 in Barn Find / General Discussion / German / Survivor / Sympathetic Restoration

We take a brief look at two almost identical Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing coupes that sold during January’s Gooding & Company auction in Phoenix. Both cars were both black on red, and both the same model year, so why “almost” identical? One was an original survivor that needed, let’s just say a bit of freshening to make all of it’s patina workable and the other was a fully restored show example. So, which one sold for more? Hemmings.com featured both of them with that very same question before they went up on the block, although we have not found a follow up so we thought that we would take it on ourselves. So stay with us onto the next page and we will answer that after the break…
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Survivor Sunday: 1951 Mercedes Benz 220 B Cabriolet

November 8, 2016 in Barn Find / German / Survivor

his highly original 1951 Mercedes Benz 220 B Convertible storage find with only 5,820 miles just recently popped up for sale on eBay, making it the perfect candidate for Survivor Sunday. While we try not to make it a habit of featuring cars that are currently for sale, this black plate Cali car was too irresistible to pass up. It happens to be the original show car from the 1951 Berlin Auto Salon before being sold to it’s first owner in Santa Monica, which was all confirmed with a classic type writer written letter from the Mercedes Benz factory itself. And in our best late night infomercial voice, we declare, “But wait, there’s more!” (this is probably where we should mention that we have no affiliation whatsoever with this car or it’s sale)…
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Survivor Saturday: 1962 Facel Vega Facel II Coupe

October 20, 2016 in American / Barn Find / French / Survivor

This gorgeous dirt covered 1962 Facel Vega Facel II Coupe caught our attention as the perfect vehicle to feature for the subject of our Survivor Saturday profile. Upon first glance, it appeared to be a Maserati Mexico or a Ferrari 250 PF Coupe to us, but then that unique ornate grill gave up it’s identity as to it’s French rather than Italian origins. It’s history is quite interesting, both of this particular car and of the manufacturer, as well. It turns out that this vehicle had been sitting inside a wooden barn in Missouri for the past 40 years, having only covered 31,152 total miles before it was stored away. In fact, this rare Franco-American car is still wearing what’s thought to be it’s original Peacock Blue paint under all of that dirt that it has accumulated while tucked away in exclusion, hiding from marque experts who had written it off as lost forever. As we scan through the photos, we can’t help but wonder if the radio stations are still preset from the time when it was last driven, and how such an elegant, rare car gets banished to solitary confinement for so many years. With such a time capsule, our questions start building up as quickly as our imaginations run away from us…
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1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe CSX2287 Re-Makes History

October 11, 2016 in American / Barn Find / Factory Photos / Race Car / Survivor / Sympathetic Restoration / Video

Since we have recently been on the subject of unrestored vintage race cars that still have their original patina anyways, we figured that it would be the perfect time to bring up this 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe (CSX2287). Rather than delve into anything regarding Phil Spector’s later ownership of the car after it was retired from racing or the twisted legal battles it has been involved in since, we felt that the only appropriate focal point should be this Cobra’s glorious competition heritage. Apparently we weren’t the only ones, as the Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) announced a week ago yesterday that CSX2287 “will become the first automobile to be recorded under the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Heritage Documentation.” We had been feeling the gravitational pull of this particular car in our Daytona Coupe-shaped hearts, and now we know the reason why.

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1954 Mercedes Benz W196 F1 Race Car Photos

October 6, 2016 in Barn Find / German / Race Car / Survivor / Video

On July 12, 2013, Bonhams sold this 1954 Mercedes Benz W196 Silver Arrow Formula One race car (Serial #00006/54), previously driven by the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio for a record breaking amount. The hammer went down at almost $31 million, making it the most expensive car ever to have sold at auction. Although we felt that we should state that selling price out of some form of necessity, what we find most fascinating about this car is the absolute time capsule shape that it has remained in for so many years. “Patina”, “survivor”,  and “original” are all fitting descriptive terms that are thrown around far too often, but in this particular scenario they couldn’t be applied more appropriately. Continue with us on the next page as we take a brief closer look at this spectacular car’s history while marveling at the attached photos…
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4 Barn Finds At Once

August 2, 2016 in American / Barn Find / English / Italian / Race Car

While we normally like to feature mostly vintage car restorations here at CarBuildIndex, we always tend to favor those rare occurrences of discovering an unrestored, original barn find or even a sympathetic restoration story. Today we ran across the collection of the late Stan Hallinan of Bow, New Hampshire. Upon seeing the cars he stored away, Stan immediately become our poster boy for restraint. The reason why is because he held onto and kept preserved in his garage some of the most iconic sports cars in history somehow without driving them for 40 years. Although many knew of his stored cars, it was still a “barn find” of epic proportions in our books. We can’t help but wonder how on earth he he had the self control to keep a 1962 Shelby Cobra 260, a 1951 Ferrari 212, a 1958 Lister-Chevrolet “Knobbly” and a 1966 Lotus Cortina Mk I all locked away in a shed for so many years?? Flabbergasted, we just slap our foreheads and move onto the subject of the cars themselves since we will never be able to comprehend the answer to that question our feeble selves.
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1972 Lancia Stratos Stradale Barn Find

June 27, 2016 in Barn Find / Italian / Sympathetic Restoration

Our automobile feature stories are not always limited to just the full nut and bolt rotisserie restorations or modification threads either. We actually enjoy them far more when the subject is a barn find that is in need of only a sympathetic restoration, such as this 1972 Lancia Stratos Stradale. It just sold for $264,000 during August’s Bonham auction at Quail. Barn finds are becoming almost equivalent to seeing a unicorn, and there is something romantic about the whole process (the whole finding of a vintage car aspect, not so much the horse with an overgrown, horn shaped tumor on it’s forehead part). This Stratos looks like it is ready to hit the Strada once again, as is. Just repair the necessary mechanicals to make it road and track worthy, then enjoy it’s original patina and the epic sound made from it’s Dino engine.
Whenever we do a feature story on a Stratos, we have to mention their uber cool helmet holders in the door cards. Unfortunately, the photographer of this particular example did not capture them in any of the shots, but they can be seen in one of our other features linked at the bottom of the page.
The following is a re-cap of Bonham’s auction description…

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Abandoned Cars: A Sad, Sad Pictorial

April 27, 2016 in American / Barn Find / English / French / General Discussion / German / Italian / Japanese / Race Car / Replica/Tribute Build / Swedish / Sympathetic Restoration / Uncategorized

Warning: The following page contains graphic photos of neglected, abandoned and generally mistreated rare and exotic sports cars. The majority are vintage, but there are a few later model years included too that have deteriorated at an extremely quick rate. All car enthusiasts should prepare themselves for feelings of grief, anguish, and confusion along with questions of disbelief for what is about to be witnessed, if one indeed does decide to proceed with this disturbing endeavor any further. The photos were all sourced from a three part series on http://motoresanu.blogspot.it with no further information provided other than the actual pictures themselves. We recognize a few as well known historic cars which have since been saved, while others languish in automotive purgatory, their whereabouts unbeknownst to anybody but the lone soul who snapped their picture and the misguided derelict who so callously left them behind for dead. If only we could be so omniscient as to know the exact location and story behind each and every one of them and feature their resurrection process here, our mission in this universe would finally be complete. Until then, at best all that we can do is hope that each has a rescue story with a happy ending. 116 photos, and no explanation of even one of them in sight. When you are ready, please proceed with extreme precaution by hitting the “Continue reading” tab below. You have been fore-warned…
We have included a few of the more notable cars below. You may find all 116 by clicking on each one individually in the right hand column.
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VIDEO: J&L Fabricating on eGarage

March 17, 2016 in American / Barn Find / Build In Progress / Engine Swap / English / French / General Discussion / German / Home Garage Build / Italian / Japanese / Modification Thread / Race Car / Replica/Tribute Build / Restoration Shop / Sleeper / Swedish / Sympathetic Restoration / Video

eGarage & DonVintage present this video profile of a renowned yet humble fabrication shop in the quiet town of Puyallup, Washington that rebuilds and restores vintage race cars. This is one of the most inspiring classic car documentaries that we have ever seen, so we felt we had to share it with our audience as well, naturally. Working for J&L Fabricating would be every true car-guy’s dream job. Enjoy…

 

Title Photo Speaks Volumes- Just a Pair of 1968 Alfa Romeo GTA 1300 Junior Restorations

January 6, 2016 in Barn Find / Italian / Race Car / Restoration / Video

I am re-posting this story which originally appeared on January 19th, 2015 to try and entice our CBI viewership to send in their own builds and restorations. The good, the bad, the ugly, the drop dead gorgeous, the expensive, the cheap, the mega horsepower, the sewing machine powered, we want em all. And if it has a roll bar, extra brownie [email protected] “Stay tuned!”
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This 1968 Alfa Romeo GTA 1300 Junior was the subject of a restoration on alfabb.com by its owner, forum member “donrencos”. He came across the barn find by chance in 2011 and found that it had originally been part of the 3 Autodelta-prepared race car team, Zetor Racing from the former Czechoslovakia. Research found that this example was over revved at its first race in Olomouce in 1969, then was used as a spare parts car for the other two until sold a few years later. During that subsequent ownership, it was updated with wider fenders, plastic doors with sliding windows and 13″ rims, as well some not so optimal modifications to the front air dam. He goes into more specific detail about each of the cars histories in the beginning of the build thread, but ultimately this example was put into a barn in 1982 after a strong racing career on tracks and in hill climbs, finally to be resurrected and restored over 30 years later…

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