Hershey this year was interesting. There were a fair number more of cars identified as "Fresh Barn Finds."
I was wondering how long (period of Time) does a vehicle have to be parked in a barn to be a Barn Find?
I would say one day in a barn and you find it, it's a barn find!
It depends on who's doing the defining!
I see the same Amish guys at just about every farm auction where they buy up alot of old kitchen utensils, furniture and tools.
Then they take them back to their farm and put them out for sale on a table in the yard as genuine "Amish Antiques".
People have different definitions of 'barn finds'.
When people started using computers and social media the defintions have really changed.
A real barn find used to be a vehicle that was left on a farm or somewhere in the country and just forgot about. Some were left so long that the roof of the structure just fell in.
It was an unrestored car that was left as is and found long years later.
Occasionally there appears on this forum and other media a car that was partially repaired or restored and left for a few years or so then is advertised as a 'barn find'.
That's not a barn find.
This is one of those tough ones.
On the one hand, words and phrases are supposed to MEAN something. Using them improperly not only runs dangerously close to lying, it also proudly displays the user's ignorance.
On the other hand, language, by its very nature MUST be fluid, and change with the times to reflect changing needs and realities.
"Barn find" is a relatively modern phrase. Beginning pretty much in the antique automobile hobby during the 1960s, to differentiate the common antiques that were bought from collectors and garages or been restored maybe even more than once, from the recent discoveries that were then being found in out-of-the-way barns. The phrase, at that time, was never intended to be for older restorations that sat in a local garage for a few years or even a decade or two after the previous owner got too old or simply lost interest in enjoying the car. It certainly was never meant to mean any car that was basically "restored". A "barn find" specifically meant a car that had lived its life, served some amount of its purpose, and then in some state of still original as the factory sent it out into the world, sat, awaiting a new life as a cherished historic artifact.
Yes. It is a difficult question. Some day, a "barn find" may NEED to mean an old restoration, that perhaps lost favor in the hobby, or was greedily held onto past its prime, and found its way into a less than great storage place to wait out a future unknown. In the '60s and '70s, when the phrase came into prominent hobby use? A "barn find" was almost always a pre WWII car, one that had sat in that barn for a couple decades at least. I figure using "barn find" for restored cars shouldn't happen for a couple more decades at least. And given that the average car of the '10s or '20s had a useful life of about five to seven years (on average), and cars of the recent decades are mostly running twenty to thirty years? Nothing newer than 1965 should be considered a barn find even today.
Some of that is just my opinion. For whatever that is worth.
It used to be as Wayne describes. Now apparently it means anything that has sat long enough to get dusty.
I would consider my TT cab as a barn find. It was buried in the corner of a long out of use barn and full of old horse harness, straw, and animal crap. The chassis was probably turned into a tractor when the truck's useful life was up in the '30's or '40's by my great great uncle. Who knows why the cab was saved and I can only imagine that it was in much better shape going in than when we pulled it out in 1990. The pictures of the barn are from the time that the truck was probably in use. I like to think that the vehicle to the left of the tractor is my TT but it is just too grainy to tell for sure.
Ooh, Justin, that's an early little four cylinder Avery with the round rad? Nice. :-)
Barn finds: I'd like to think I have a couple but no. Too young, they are. 25 years doesn't count.
A TT I wait for? A broken down shed laying partly on the TT's roof, mashing the rotted-off spokes down into the floor and exposing the wood cab for goodness knows how long? Nope. Not allowed.
I think Barney is a real "Barn Find" being found in a barn on a ranch where it had served many years, although it was modified over the years with an earlier windshield frame, gas tank and an old icebox doorskin for a turtledeck lid. Didn't take long to get him to run too!
OT barn find
I purchased a 1987 Corvette convertible last year.It had been stored in a shed in Colorado for 20 years. It only has 74,000 miles. The top was left down and the interior was toast. The mold was growing in the carpet.
So is this classified as a "true barn find"?????
BCG, Yeah, that is a tough one.
I sometimes wonder about the Paige my dad bought in 1967. It had sat outside the barn for twenty years before he got it. I still can't decide whether it should be called a barn find or not. It really isn't anymore. If it ever was?
Well, there IS the "outside Survivor" category too, although those usually require major work to bring back "alive." My '16 Dodge Bros is such a "find" having spent decades abandoned in a field next to a '22 DB. That car is a bit farther along than mine with its chassis almost finished.
It's not as bad as it looks, the back half of the body is sitting upside down in the foreground.
I guess that is what I should call it. It was bad enough, that it really was not a candidate for preservation. Now, it is about one third restored. Unfortunately, that is worse than if it had been left as was. Don't know if I will ever get to finish it.
Wayne, yours is a LOT farther along than mine! Just do something on it everyday and it will get done. (Do as I say, not as I don't do!)
Criminy! What are you doing up at this hour?
I just spent an hour reading another Pogo book !
David D has a good point about his 'outside survivor'.
They usually are beyond redemption if left to long but not always.
Here in central Texas growing up barn finds were not as plentiful as the outside survivor cars that were on roadsides and in back pastures.
What was frustrating was finding the owner of an outside survivor that was still mostly complete and hear him tell you not for sale. Whats worse is going back later to see it pretty much rotted down.
David D: throw a tarp over that "Abandoned" swing set and you have an instant paint booth!
There are a number of terms that when applied to the automotive hobby do not have a clear meaning. "Barn find," "survivor," and "older restoration" are among them. My '27 T was repainted in the original colors quite a few years back, but has not been restored. I call it a "survivor" as it has been in more-or-less continuous use all of it's life. Some will say that the repaint takes it out of the "survivor" category, but I don't think that one paint job in 90 years would be outside of normal maintenance. It sure as hell isn't a "barn find" though.
GR, those swing sets make dandy places to hang parts for painting!!!
Wayne, I dunno, I wuz just up! Off to the pipe organ shop now. .
This what I what believe a barn find is. The wheels had sunk into the ground 6".
I don't consider our T as a barn find, even though it had been there 40-50 years. The owner knew it was there all the time, the barn was removed from the car by a storm, it became an outside survivor, and a thief stole the radiator for scrap to support whatever habit. So, this one has always been known by someone; in other words, it was never lost to be found.
What a sweet model A Robert! I wish I could fit into those infernal things. :-)
Vehicle is not a "barn find" when found in a barn?
1. Keep it clean - no dust on vehicle.
2. Keep the wheels out of the mud.
Hmmm. Duey, I don't know what it is, but it ain't no Model A Ford . . .
Robert has a late(Wire wheels, instead of disc)'30 Chevrolet 3 window coupe.
Mike your right, I went thru fuel system, changed fluids, new radiator core, tires and brakes. Gently washed the decades of dirt and dust off, and Iím finished. Iíll do nothing more to it, but drive it.
Ed in California, I like the car pictured in your post above. Could you please tell us more about it? It looks like a '13 and reminds me of Otis, the '14 Roadster Pickup that was recently sold.
Its from an older thread here
Ed, Thanks for that link. I wonder where this car is now & certainly hope it wasn't parted out.
Ed your pic of the 13 is the real thing! A real barn find. It looks like it just set inside of a bldg. of some kind and just set. No earlier restoration, no repaint no fix up at all. Just the real thing in all its glory in all its THICK dust.
If you look closely, you will see the gray primer painted back of a '22 touring. I would never call this a barn find as a restoration had been started then stalled. At some point it was transferred from better storage to this dirt floor open shed for several years.
I have always held to the idea (as some have opined above) that a "barn find" vehicle was one which, when taken out of daily service was "put up" or put away in a shed, barn or some out of the way corner. There may or may not have been a plan for returning it to service at some unspecified point in the future. Often it might sit for several decades or longer. The "find" part of it comes from the vehicle's ownership being transferred to someone outside of the family.
My grandfather (Mom's dad) put up on blocks in the barn his '23 TT in 1948. We woke it from its slumber in 1967. It WAS in a barn but was not found as we had not lost it. My two cents worth, Bill.
Would not a real barn find have layers of dried Pigeon goo on the top sides, my 1929 Plymouth did !!!
This came out of a barn complete with dried bird droppings.
I had a gal buy a '68 Volkswagen from me several years ago. Later I saw she had posted a pic of it on some forum or other showing off her 'barn find'. I was at first a little insulted, it hadn't been abandoned or anything, I drove it occasionally and it was a nice driving car when I sold it. Then I thought, well, I did have it stored in one of the old barns (not the new one) so I guess she was technically correct. She did follow the clues (I had given her my address) and find this long lost (no one but me, anybody that knew me, my insurance company and the State of Michigan knew I owned it) antique (1968) car in an old barn (true!). I let it slide.
As far as I'm concerned, I don't care how many people know of a car in a barn(or shed or leanto, etc.), if I didn't know it was there and I found it, even if someone told me it was there, it is a barn find because I found it there. JMHO Dave