Hidden Automotive Treasures Unearthed From Facebook

The term “Barn Find” has almost become cliché, losing much of its meaning to a simple marketing ploy used by folks who find the value in inch-thick dust, a thin coat of rust, and wrinkled white-walls. But, people have been unearthing cars from barns, backyards, and even basements, ever since other folks have begun squirreling them away for various reasons.

Of course, we all dream of finding that diamond in the rough and bringing it back to perfection. That's exactly what Allen Pitt did with this 1956 Ford F100.

They say even a blind-squirrel finds a nut once in a while, but we all probably know that one guy who just seems to have a knack for dowsing out long-forgotten treasures buried deep under decades of dust and unwanted flotsam. Sometimes, we envy him, other times we almost hate him! Either way, even with the wide-spread emergence of “barn finds,” thanks to the internet, social media, or other avenues of communication, we’ve always contended that all the gold hasn’t yet been mined when it comes to automotive treasures.

For many of these finds, their first ride is usually thanks to a flatbed trailer. Some are closer to turning a wheel on their own power, while others may have long ago given up on such a hopeful endeavor.

That fact was driven home recently by a post we put up on our Facebook page a few days ago. In the post, we simply asked for folks to chime in and show us what they’ve come across, and drug home recently. The number of responses surprised even us, and the scope of what is still “out there” was quite interesting.

Sometimes the car can be the recipient of a little wash and polish, such as Dennis Moss' early Ford F100. Other times, a complete re-do may be in order to bring the vehicle up to code. Such was the case with Paul Campbell's 1961 Chevy Apache, which he painted Rock Orange.

We’ve all heard the joking about there being more 1969 Camaro Z/28s than GM ever produced, and while the uber-rare variants make for a larger payday, they are not always the best finds. Still, we can’t help but be a little envious of this guy, who shined some light for the first time in decades on this Boss Nine (Boss 429-powered) Mustang in Germany!

A truly amazing find for sure. But, our Facebook post shows there is still some hope for us mere mortals as well. Many of our friends on FB posted images of their latest acquisitions. A couple posted videos as well, but when it comes to Fb stuff, I guess you could say that we’re carburetor guys living in an EFI world. We would have loved to embed the videos here, but you can still head over to the Fb page and listen to them if you’d like.

Limiting “Lot Rot”

Some folks sent some information about their finds, while others simply attached a photo. We’ll try to identify each vehicle as best we can. What surprised us was the scope of vehicles that were found. There were a LOT of different manufacturers back in the day, and the makes and models are shown here highlight the variety that we enjoyed back in the day.

How about Gilles Dupras' 1938 Pontiac, Scott Connors' early Plymouth, or even what appears to be just an old, dusty hearse, submitted by Billy Torrez. For those more interested in hauling the living, there is always Claudia Sayers' 1936 2-door Ford sedan.

But also, the condition of the various cars illustrates while “Lot Rot” is a real issue when cars are stored for long periods of time, HOW they were stored is also quite important. The underlying theme in most instances is to “preserve” the car, but sometimes the means used to do so are quite questionable or have the direct opposite result of the intended storage. A case in point was the brand-new 1957 Plymouth Belvedere that was buried in the lawn of the Tulsa, Oklahoma city courthouse. The car was left there for 50 years and the new owner of the car was chosen by the person who most closely guessed the population of Tulsa when the car was exhumed 50 years later.

Not all storages go as planned. This brand-new '57 Belvedere was buried in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was gone, but not forgotten, for 50 years, when it was dug up to find that water had infiltrated the car's sarcophagus repeatedly. We'll leave you to decide how "lucky" the lucky winner was when they were awarded the car.

As the next 50 years passed, the bomb-shelter-worthy crypt that kept the Chrysler from prying eyes also limited the horrific treatment the low-mile beauty was being subjected to during its slumber. Much like many attempts at putting away that adored auto for another day, the means of storage could have more severe effects on the car’s condition than the occasional use by driving the car around the block once in a while. Either way, the end result of the Tulsa Chrysler, and many other similar cars, is what we have to work with today. Check out the video below to see how it all went down with the well-meaning folks in Tulsa and the car they were greeted with when the vault was finally opened.

We’re happy to report that many of the folks who submitted photos of their recent finds have fared much better than the car that was buried in the Oklahoma countryside. Some of them were found in nice condition, while others were brought back to better than new. It is evident that a few cars simply needed a good scrubbing, some new fluids, a tune-up, and an introduction to today’s fuel to become a running, driving automobile. Others, you’ll see, needed a bit more.

Photo gallery

VIEW FULL GALLERY >

Either way, here are a few cars that our Rod Authority readers have submitted as their most recent “barn-finds.” If YOU have recently unearthed a jewel (no matter how rough), feel free to share it below in the comments section. We know there are more cars scattered throughout the countryside and there are more lucky folks than those who replied to our post. Post a picture or video of your recent score and be sure to fill us in a little bit about the car and how you came to find it. Sometimes, the story is as precious as the jewel and we’d love to hear it and bet our readers would too!

About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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