A couple of years ago I found this 1916 article and posted it on the forum. At the time we didn't believe there was any way Iowa could have one of the highest number of automobiles by state in the U.S..
The article caught my attention because a Model K was the second oldest vehicle registered at the beginning of 1916. The article also said Iowa was a leading state in the number of registered vehicles:
Since then, I've found a few other articles documenting the number of vehicles in the U. S. by state.
For 1914, Iowa came in 6th in number of registered vehicles:
In 1915, Iowa continues to hold strong in 6th place. Two other "rural" states with a large number of cars (that are still somewhat rural) are PA and OH.
This article examines the 1914 year. Iowa lists 38,000 Fords (of 106,000 cars) and says 60% of cars are registered to farmers.
If looking for "barn finds" today, I think Iowa might be a good place to look. While demographics in the U.S. have changed, the result may mean a state like Iowa, a top ten state in number of cars in the teens, is still a rural state, with many barns, outbuildings and farmsteads remaining.
Time for a road-trip........
So Iowa was more successful in taxing people who owned automobiles than 44 other states. This in no way means that there were more automobiles in Iowa than 44 other states. This does indicate that Iowa had more members of the democrat party in charge of taxation then, as now.
What it means is, The U.S. was a primarily rural agricultural based country. Until 1920, over one half of the population lived in rural/agricultural areas, not cities. As a result, a state like Iowa, with industry and highly productive and developed agricultural industry, was a relatively affluent state.
A little homework instead of political posturing might serve one well, or not.
(Message edited by Rob on November 04, 2014)
Rather than going off on a political rant. I'll throw out the hypothesis that there could be a correlation between the year that each state began registering cars and the rankings in 1915.
Minnesota, for example, began registering cars in '09. If another state started earlier, it would make sense that they would have more car owners complying with registrations.
Another theory could have to do with low fees and ease of registering a car. Yet another, could be related to sophistication of enforcement. There really are a lot of variables.
As for true barn finds, I believe they are pretty well found. At this point, about the best a guy can hope for, is to be the third or fourth owner of a well documented, relatively unmolested car.
It seems that Ford had better sales in some of the other states than at home, Michigan's 1915 Registration total for gasoline cars was 108,102. 44113 Fords, about41%.
I believe a national registration law requiring states to register vehicles had been enacted several years earlier. I also recall from another thread that it took a few years to get states to comply. I do know early on, in the 1900-1906 time frame it was estimated that over 20 percent of all new vehicles were purchased in New York State. However by the mid teens, with improvement of cars and roads, I suspect rural states were seeing a significant increase in cars.
The last article gives a breakdown on the number of cars registered in IA from 1907 through 1914. There's a big surge between 1909 and 1914. Hmmm, why does 1909 stand out in my mind?
My suspicion is "metropolitan" areas had more expensive cars compared with rural states. I would think states with less paved roads and fewer cities would have a higher percentage of Model Ts than states with more industry and urban areas.. Just speculation on my part.
In the cities there was transportation, first horse cars, then electric streetcars, so many city folks did not have reason to own a car. We were in an agrarian society, and farmers tended to be better off than many city factory workers. Farmers also had a great need to be able to travel to town and to other farms, so car purchasing being higher in the rural areas makes sense.
As to where are the Barn finds today--in a Barn, of course!
More likely to be in an area where change has not occurred to a great extent. My '16 was found in a barn in the middle of Sacramento! The widow still had a fair piece of land from the earlier days, and her house and barn was not visible from the road. We were the first to open the main barn doors in a decade!
inside, the body waited retrieval (the car had been disassembled around 1960 and abandoned--the owner bought a Model A---OH! The tragedy!
Any car with dust on it is a "barn find" if you believe everything you read on Ebay.
When I was a kid, I really wanted to find a 50 year old aeroplane in some old farmer's barn, now I am an old farmer with a 75 year old aeroplane in my barn. What goes around comes around
Derek has a good point. Everybody has a different definition of barn find.
A while back, a local fellow became the second owner of a '14 Touring that had been driven for a short time, then stored in a garage on a family farm for over 70 years. The unmolested original car had only 3,400 miles on it. With a little cleaning and preservation work, it was ready to drive on tours. That is a barn find!
Three years ago, I bought a '27 Coupe that had been 99% restored and then parked in a storage unit for '17 years. It had a half inch of dust on it when I pulled it form it's resting place. I cleaned it up and had it running in a matter of days. I do not consider that one a barn find. It was agood deal, but nothing special.
In August, I purchased a remarkably well preserved '08 Maxwell that has a pretty well documented history and had been sitting in storage for over 15 years. It is likely, the most original LC Maxwell remaining in the world. But, I do not consider it a barn find.
To answer the question posed by the title of this post; if I knew of any "Rip Van Winkle" model K's or brass era T's, do you think I'm going to post their whereabouts on the forum? Not if I can afford them.
The secret to getting a "barn find" is very simple.
Look where others are not looking.
Want to find a specific era of car ? ..... drive one !
The easily found cars have already been found. But the ones deeply hidden are found by working it backwards .... lure out those
who know about them by making yours seen. Can't tell you how many leads I've gotten over the years when people come up to talk
to me about my car.
Good point. A friend had his 11 T at a car show a few years ago, and a fellow came up to him and asked about the brass windshield. He said he had a few like it at home, had been his father's.
Needless to say, the friend ended up with three or four brass windshields, and a few other brass items.
Getting on the road to haul parts to Oklahoma (cylinder jugs for boring), dropping a radiator off in Kansas then on to Dodge City for work, soooooo,
A quick note on "barn finds." I suppose like many things, the term has different meanings to each of us. Maybe todays barn find is different than it was forty or fifty years ago. Now a barn find may just mean a chassis left in a tree break on an abandoned farm site. Years ago I think the term indicated a mostly complete, original car, unmolested and protected for the most part from the elements.
The odds of those of kind of cars remaining are probably slim to none (although probably still out there, just rare). Today's barn find may be the car that was stored or forgotten forty or fifty years ago, even thought it may have been restored once (or more).
I guess it doesn't matter when it goes "in the barn."
Maybe I'll find something in western Kansas later today.........
And Jerry, if you're reading this, I have your radiator too. I'll try to call later this a.m., or call my cell when you get a chance.
Rob's parts delivery service
For what it is worth, just tonight, on the AACA forum, is a discussion of a fellow that owns a few Kissel automobiles just pulled out a 1923 Kissel Gold Bug from the barn it has been in since 1954. How much of a "find" it is may be open to debate. Apparently many Kissel owners across the land have known of the car for quite awhile. However, the past owner had only recently decided to let it go.
The car will require major restoration. Someone had begun butchering the car before it was parked, but most of the correct parts are still with it. The car also suffers from poor storage damage.
But what a deal! How wonderful that would be to pull a Kissel Gold Bug out of its 60 year tomb. What an opportunity! It would be almost as fantastic as pulling a forgotten Ford K 6-40 roadster out of a good old barn!
For those interested, I hope the link works.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
There is not ever going to be a lack of "barn finds". I know of a collection where the owner / collector died 40 years ago. The cars were restored in the 1940's - 1950's, including many desirable Ford / Lincoln products from 1907 - 1935. After sitting in pole barns for nearly 60 years the cars all look like original unrestored cars to the average uninformed person.
One day the widow will pass away and the estate sale will happen.
In your country there should be loads left and there are still great finds out here in Australia but are hard to find as anything near a road or can be seen from the road has been worked over or just taken away by collectors or the scrap metal companies. In the last 12 months I have found two WW2 jeeps in hay sheds and they were covered with hay till I dragged them out, a pair of early 1960's F100 pick ups behind the buildings on a farm which I hope to get and a 1958 or 59 caddie convertible in a shed with a 1890's buggy sitting on top of it and a few more that are 20 miles from were I live but no one has made a move on them in many years, there are large amounts a vehicles hidden on the properties well off the road and google earth works well on them as I sit here till 2 in the morning working each area over with good results.
I have found this past year that every time I'm out on the "open road" I get a strong urge to stop in at every place that has a barn just to look inside and see if there's any surprises. Someday I'm actually gonna do it!
When first introduced to the public in 1908, the Model T revolutionized the means people could travel from their homes to other geographic areas. (With some research the following statement could be applied to other cars.) The car narrowed the distance between farms and cities, east coat from the west coast. Although there were a large number produced to accomplish a change in personal transportation the survival rate is small. Over the 19 years of production of the Model T Ford, the survival rate is estimated to be 3% per 35 years after production. It is estimated (2010) that there are 200,000 Model Ts of all body styles still surviving (http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/147456.hyml?1277497256, Lu, 2006). This number would represent both operating and static. In 1948 a R. L. Polk survey indicated that there were 49,869 Model Ts registered in the 48 states (McCalley, 1994:461-473, Casey, 2008:117). As an example an Model T with VIN 6,071,252 is estimated as being one of 5,940 surviving from the 197,988 built in 1922 (Lu, 2006, McCalley,1994:464).
Each year this number gets smaller. The toll is accidents, neglect, unreasonable zoning laws requiring the cars to be removed from view and over seas sales. To locate a vehicle through a DMV is almost impossible as early registrations, unlike land deeds and early warrant, are destroyed either by policy or accident.
I find a couple every time I go in my barn, and I think, "I hope I live long enough to put this thing together."
Thank you for the well thought out and referenced post! Interesting information. There are at least 23 Model K of 960 to 1000 produced, or about 2.5% survival. I don't know how many NRS survive, but the same percent should mean around 400.
Steve, I thought you were going to say every day you are happy just to find your barn.
Just went by the Arkansas City exit....
A model T finding a new home overseas, does not belong in the category where you have put them.
Those T's that go overseas are loved and fussed over as much as those who remain here in the States. In fact I will bet that one of the first things done to them is that they are registered
in a registry for antique autos.
Respectfully and my opinion only and probably not
a view of the MTFCA.
"If there are any "barn finds" left, where are they?"
Have you tried looking in the barn?
Seriously though, the modern day barn finds seem to be cars built/restored in the '50's and '60's and parked in the '60's and '70's. Some of them are actually shed finds, garage finds, and under the tree finds.
Here's one. 1916 Willys oveeland model 83 35hp, electric start, lots of nice accessories, 2nd owner , odometer shows 16k and the car looks it. Owner would like 14k OBO It's about 10 minutes from me, in a barn, of course.
As "Burger in Spokane" explained, you drive your model T to events and talk to the local folks. I found my last barn find by walking on the sidewalk next to my T. A local started talking to me and soon I was preparing to go look in his barn at a T touring and other parts. The 24 touring was rough, but it followed me home on my trailer along with some spare wheels etc.
Almost all my T's I found by driving a T to open a conversation about cars. Most of them could be called "Barn Finds"
Some "barn finds" require a lot to convince the elderly owner or owners to part with it. I have been trying to buy a nice 1926 four door made in Canada for about 5 years, no luck yet (RHD and in a good dry barn)
I don't know about cars residing in barns, but cars that have been parked and more or less forgotten are still out there. Worn out, older restorations, abandoned projects, inherited and those with owners who no longer have interest, etc. seem to waiting to be stumble across.
I think as the population gets older, more will come to light. No longer able to deal with the car.
As previously mentioned, driving an old car gets conversations started. I have been invited many times to check out "the old car I have". Most are stuff I am not interested in, but it's amazing how much there is around.
A couple of times I did find a car I ended up buying. 61 Ranchero parked for many years. Retired flower car at a funeral home. And a 64 Galaxie XL parked since 1965.
They're still out there.
Hey Tim...that's not one of Dick Suhr's cars, is it? Just wonderin'
The other Tim
Hi Tim, No, sure isn't. Just a local farmer had it hidden away. Never been for sale until today. Google; 1916 Willys Overland model 83 to learn all about them, and if anyone is interested, I'll be glad to share the owners phone number Tmorsher@icloud.com
I've heard of a possible barn (or maybe back 40) T up in my area but I'm a little scared to chase it down as I couldn't leave it there but don't have the room to bring it home.
A third Tim.
This whole "Tim" thing has gotta stop !
Three of my five longest time closest friends are named "Dan". Sometimes gets confusing, however nicknames are often used.
I gotta start getting out to my own little barn and get back to working on my cars. Otherwise they may have to become barn finds.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
I think I will change my name to ---- Tim so I can be part of a group
Burger...ha ha! Does look like we're takin' over, doesn't it? LOL
Terry is common here, too. Maybe it's the T that gets them started.
I know where there is a TT, a Roadster and a touring and parts. The owner died three months ago. The cars are simply sitting waiting for the heirs of the estate to have an auction and they are in no hurry. The heirs are my in-laws which will not give anyone a first chance. Also has 28 Chrysler Imperial I would give my eye teeth to own.
This is my barn find 22 Touring cutoff. My Grandfather parked it in a woodshed on the family farm in 1942. It's been in the family since new.
We you could go social with the barn finds. On the facebook there is a page known as https://www.facebook.com/usabarnfinds
Share your finds with others in a most social manner.