Is anyone else tired of this " barn find" nonsense? Something cannot be "found" unless it is lost or forgotten. If you walk into a suburban garage and turn on the fluorescent lights to check out a car that hasn't been driven since 1988 when grandpa went fruit loops, and there is not a hay loft or farm animals involved, it's just an old car waiting for the next caretaker. Someone knew where it was the whole time, and now they want to assign extra value to it by putting it in the same category as the legends of people "finding" Duesenbergs and 289 Shelby Cobras. I mean no disrespect to any particular individual, but give us a break and call it what it is, an old car needing a new owner.
My father gathered the original parts to an HWM single seat race car in the mid 60's. He tracked down the original 2 litre Alta supercharged motor that had been removed and bought new tyres etc... It sat in the back of the workshop in our service station until he decided to sell it in 1982. It was later described as a 'barn find' in the media. That irked me, because it was never lost! He saved a historic racecar, but that was the credit he got. I'm hearing you Erik!
People should always include pictures of "the barn". I've always wanted a barn find, so at this moment, my car is uncovered and I'm letting dust collect on it.
A true barn find is probably something that you don't want. The cab for my TT was a true barn find. It took all afternoon to dig it out from 50 years of old straw, horse harness, raccoon crap, and mouse nests. In the end it was a really smelly and rusted out old Ford. The old side curtains still smell like the barn 25 years later. And yes, I have a picture of the barn which is now long gone.
Always fun. How many of us know where the barn is now and what is in it (Read family). Don't bother until and unwanted passing occurs. Is that a barn find? It is still enjoyable to visit the barn and think of possibilities..... the great race, parades, fun of restoration, delivering free Christmas trees, a museum, etc.
Erik, The rarest Model T would be the Dr.s Coupe barn find!
Several of mine were barn finds - stands to reason since they're tractors. I got this one about 5 years ago from under a barn - where it had sat since the early 70s. Had to be winched out. As Justin said, no one wanted her - besides me and the scrapper (who was the next in line if I didn't take her):
This one was a "shed find" (until it was removed from the shed to make room for other things) - shed is in the background:
I kinda think we're splitting hairs here. "Barn find" is typically used to describe a vehicle that has been stored out of the weather for a prolonged period, then "found" by a collector. In virtually all cases, someone knew that it was there. Do we really care whether it was found in a barn, a garage, a warehouse, or a shipping container?
Tim - you're absolutely correct. The "find" component always involves an heir who wants something gone. Usually the "something" is a complete surprise & mystery to the heir. The two pictures I posted above had heirs involved.
the expression "barn find" has puzzled me too ...if it doesn't have a dirt floor and mice and snakes ,it isn't a barn ...always an optimist ...gene french
Gee I bet a lot of us have a car stuck in the back corner of a building that perhaps less than a dozen people know about. I have a couple that have not moved in 15-20 years. Since they are not T's I won't bother to mention what they are.
Erik, I suppose the term is misused. I had always hoped to find one but settled on building the coupe I would love to have found in a Barn. Several people have asked me if I found it in an old barn. It is tempting to tell them I did and make up a story. There is just something magical about the phrase to some folks.
Rich - of all the Ts I have seen over the years - in person, in pictures (including my own), your coupe is one of my three favorites. Otis and Henry Petrino's TT are my other two. Probably in that order as well.
Best of all is when the "barn find" "Doctor's coupe" is a "classic" Ford. I love my T's, but no Ford (or Chebby or Plymouth) is a classic.
I found this in a shed after the owner showed it to me. It had been stored well until he lost that location and the poor little car ended up here. He was loosing this location and I saved the car. I am now facing the loss of some storage and this one will have to go.
Surely a "Barn Find" is if you find a barn. This is pretty rare because people don't usually lose barns round here!
Good to talk with you ...
That is exactly what Mary Anne in Andover should have bought.
I sent her an email & left voice mail messages with her.
Hope you two can get together.
Also puzzled by the phrase "garage sale." Every time I go to one no one will sell me the garage!
OK, I think two of my Ts can be really called "Barn Finds" as 1) they WERE in a Barn on a farm/ranch 2)Only the Barn owners knew about them, 3) they were pretty much in the back of the barn, mostly forgotten about.
#1, my '26 Tudor; last driven (as a joke) in the county fair stock car race in (hmm, I forget the entire story; I think I have the year right) 1956. Afterwards they pulled the engine, no one remembers why. In the meantime someone stole the radiator shell and the mice ate up all the cloth parts. Car was finally moved when someone ran a farm implement into the back panel and dented it. The only family member who wanted it was going to hot-rod it. The family patriarch said, "NO WAY!" and asked if I wanted it, as he knew I wouldn't do that to it! Still has "00" painted on the door from the race.
On the trailer, leaving the farm, still covered in dirt & dust (note the "00").
Then there's Barney;
(as I found him)
I didn't actually see him in the barn, the guy I bought it from retrieved it: he sells farm equipment and gets into places most folks don't. This was in the back of a Barn on a huge ranch in Nevada; it was their "ditch car" as it was used to drive the irrigation ditches; was small enough that it could straddle the ditches apparently. The lack of wear on the spring shackles, etc. seems to agree with the story.
While the tires would still hold air, at least one rear tire had the optional "visible cord" feature!
When cleaning out all the varmint skeletons, leaves, etc. I discovered the body wood is very dry-rotted, so I'll have to redo that before I destroy the nice sheet metal by using it without solid supports!
Now if someone were to run across my upper garage and find this view, they'd think they'd found some "Barn Fresh" cars (how they'd explain the new tires, I dunno. . .) (actually they're not sitting like this now, being inside the "barns") But I thought it was a neat pic to include).
Now my '16 also came out of a barn, but it was in pieces, having had a restoration started in around 1960 and abandoned shortly after dis-assembly.
Inside the barn!
Anything left for so long as to collect a heavy layer of dust or develop a patina
counts to me as a "find" of the barn-like nature. The "find" is ME discovering it,
the "barn" part being constituted by the neglected status and the time-accumulated
Is it an actual chicken coop, hay barn, milking parlor ? Who the hell cares ? It's
a cool car shoved into a forgotten place and I am thrilled to see it sitting there !
I truly believe ALL Americans need to see a year of combat or service in a 3rd
World country to get a handle on what IS and IS NOT a problem, or worth b!tching
about. The semantic dance over the term "barn find" certainly isn't one of them.
And the lack of gratitude for living in a world where wonderful discoveries are to be
had is pathetic. No wonder so much of the rest of the world thinks Americans are
lazy, whining spoiled brats.
Walk the walk.
Howdy, Steve. You're probably right. No Ford, Chebby or Plymouth is a "classic". But the 1933 Plymouth Sport Coupe I owned years ago sure was classy. I'm talking Klasse with a capital K and an e on the end.
Re-reading my post above has me thinking it may sound scolding to some. I do
not mean it that way. It is more about humility, gratitude, and finding joy in all the
things we are SO blessed to have as a normal part of our lives. MOST of the world
has a much rougher go in life. The key to happiness is being grateful for all we have.
Being consumed by all we do not, or the annoyances life tosses us kills the joy in
A barn find is finding some type of unrestored old car in a barn that was left and pretty much forgotten about.
The usual signs are flat and rotten tires, full of rat $%^&*, maybe a broken window or two and possibly under a leaking roof.
A barn find is NOT a car that was stored after it was restored in one way or another, driven for a while and then parked for 10-20 years in someones surburban home garage.
Its pretty simple to differentiate between the two.
I just need to FIND an affordable BARN. I had to give up my 40 x 20 barn built on my parent's property when my Mother died. Since then, I've been having to rent and its eating me out of house and home. Its too bad that I don't live in the Hot Springs, AR area. On the internet there is an acre of land with a metal building, large enough to accommodate two Motor coachs inside and two outside under covered awnings for sale by a bank all for $35,000.00, but I don't live there.
I do agree with you and am compelled to "join the choir" by stating that more people need to develop an Attitude of Gratitude. Be thankful for what you have. There are many aspects of my own life which I wish were better, But, those and many others could be a Whole Lot Worse. I am thankful for what I have and I thank those who have served this country. Bill
While I have not been it the military and serviced overseas, I did build a plant for a couple of guys in Mexico back in the 8o's. Although I could look out the back of that plant and almost see the US, it was like I was on another planet. We do not know what we have till we are on the outside looking in. I love every day here in the USA. Dan
Well in 1997 vintage ford I had located the second rip van wrinkle model T true barn find put up in the barn in 1936 and untouched until 1995.
Although I have sold the the 1936 plate is in my collection and 36 title isays in the state museum and last I know the car was in California
"Richard Gould" bought this car from me and I know he sold it but yes the barn find term has been overused and miss used
" Attitude Of Gratitude "
I rather like that Bill ..
Burger, on reading part of your first posting I was a little chapped about being called on bitching about the barn find thing. After reading the rest of it and then your second posting, I thought about the time I pulled my TT dump truck out of its shed and brought it home in 1985. It didn't matter if it was a "find" or not, just that it was mine and I would be its master, come what may. Now, 31 years later, it is still my favorite and I am thankful for being its steward for so long.
Bob, I saw that car and it was amazing. Richard G was a good caretaker for it.
And we don't have barns here in Australia, we have sheds. So, "shed find"?
A couple of Aussie 'Shed Finds' from many many years ago.
Here is the shed-
And, after much work to open the doors, here is what I found inside-
The TT that I acquired sitting where I first saw it.
Do parts count? I find parts in my barn that I have lost all the time. Seriously I personally pulled my 25 coupe and 25 TT out of barns. My 13 came out of a barn but I bought it at auction does that count? My 26 touring came from a junkyard, junkyard car? My 24 body came from a field, field car?
You guys are lucky....everytime someone contacts me about a "old car in the shed", when I get there the building is already down on top of it....
I found my 1925 Indiana in a barn where it had been since 1942 or before. Took me 32 years to restore the thing because a lot of parts were missing and I didn't have another truck to go by when looking for parts. Not all barn finds are what you would like to find or even complete.
Mike's post reminded me of back around 1970 I was looking for a Model A for a friend, and ran across two "barn finds"; One was in an old lumber camp area known as LaMoine. the Highway had been built over the main area back around 1956 on a large fill (still is), on the east side was a small house and behind it, out in the open was a 29 Model A sport coupe, rotting into the ground. I was restoring a '30 sport coupe, so was looking for any original trim pieces, but all the ones there were wrong for my car. However, over on the west side were still a few homes and barns/sheds. In one shed we found (with permission) a '32 Chevrolet coupe, blue (I still remember!)but the shed roof had been collapsed by snow loads, and the cowl was kinked a bit under both sided of the windshield. Well, it wasn't a Ford and it had lots of wood body construction, so we left it. Otherwise it was completely intact!
A little farther north was an old railroad watering stop and gandy dancer crew station, Flume Creek. There in a garage was a '28 Chevy Landuette sedan--again, not a Ford! I wonder what happened to these three cars, the Model A area is completely under the highway now, but the other two areas are still around, though I've not ever been back.
I have Never seen a true barn find ever but I have a 29 that one of the model a owners in the club told me about and I bought a few months later.. The best model a mechanics (I) have ever seen. Told me about a doctor around Chattanooga tn had a 29 sedan that wouldn't run he was gonna see what he could do for the car because the doc wanted rid of it. He worked on it in a falling down barn and it had not been out in 55 years. He did the brakes, cArb, some suspension stuff and new wiring. It looks like it just rolled out with it 60 year old paint and rusty original wheels and center caps but hits the road perfect. My wife want to take it to the rod run this fall I pigeon forge tnx this September and I assume we will. Probably gonna powder coat the wheels and do tires and be lug nuts just for a little cleaner look an some safety. And I have a newer radiator I will stick on just because sometimes ur in traffic for a hour at a time. But really barn find not me!!Tim
I have been in a building this year with over 20 of them ....
This should quality for a BARN find.
Looks like a BARN and has lots of old cars covered in DUST/MICE FECES.
And lots of PARTS.
WOW Freighter Jim,
I really like that last photo. Judging by the width of the fenders, that looks like an early Wide Track 1916. That would fit in my barn.
25 Indiana I found in 1980 in loft of a barn and spent 32 years looking for parts to restore. First drive was in 2012.
13 Touring after I hauled it home. Sat someplace (barn?) with 1928 plates still on it. Looks like it could have been sitting in a barn or for 88 years and is now in my (pole) barn.
Thank You for all the pics. Fellas.
I find mine in the barn every morning!
There is a guy a bit west of us that has a barn off a pretty major thoroughfare. He had an Edsel sticking nose out of it for a couple years, and a T tractor conversion and I believe a TT tow truck in the yard too. I always wondered if it was just for the 'stigma' of saying it was 'found in a barn'. ;)
When I build my shop, I called it "agriculture storage building" for permit reasons. Does that make all my stuff agriculture storage building finds? Dan
Terry, no law says you have to live in Tejas. But if you move to Arkinsaw, better do it before the Lone Star State secedes and The Donald puts up his wall along the Red River.
If you don't like the term, you don't have to use it! A quote from Hillary, what difference does it make? The bottom line is, you got a car you like, and it's going to make you happy!
I always wondered about that saying Barn Find, Im sure the barn knew it was there all the time.
Will, true, a grammar-correct version would be "Found (abandoned/forgotten) in Barn."
Sometimes what one finds is only an ASO (Automobile Shaped Object); although some of those ASOs have been resurrected! My '16 DB was a "found in backyard under weeds" and although it's not back together yet, it has come a ways towards resurrection! I once help find and retrieve a 1917 Pullman touring from out in the woods east of McCloud, California (south of the train nameplace "Hambone" for those who want real trivia!) Nope, don't know where it is now, ended up near Ukiah last I knew (1973).
My T lives in a barn, so if someone didn't know it was there and opened the door, it would truly be a "barn find".
I found my 22 in a basement
Okay, so it's not a "Barn Find" but, I just bought a model t that was in storage at an opera company for the last 15 years. It has a lot of aftermarket and other parts. But, I'm going to make it a daily drive not a trailer diva. I really like the whiskey still in the back of it.
Get that still operating & you can have a rally any day of the year ...
Still refer to Nellie as a 'barn find'.
Didn't see it in a barn, but at Chickasha, as it arrived fresh to the swap meet from somewhere that was likely a barn.
Being dry and with mostly good wood, had to be stored in a barn, some hay was still in the bed!
To keep the barn look, carry around with me, my buddy.... Vincent vanGoat in the wood bed.
From a thread from 2012...