A “barn find” story always warms my cockles.
In fact, I thought I’d struck gold once myself. On a random drive through my city I spotted a split-window Corvette, rusting, rotted, and sitting outside under a group of pine trees. While I briefly fantasized about picking up that car, storing it in my garage and restoring it to the luster it once had, my dreams were shattered when I discovered the “Spokane Split-Window” is pretty well known already thanks to being discovered by Google’s Streetview a number of years ago. The owner, for whatever reason, has no intention of selling.
Even if I did rescue the old car, I’m guessing it has reached the point of being un-restorable. Too bad, because I could be up to the owner’s house and have the car loaded up and safely in my garage within an hour.
While I prefer the kind of story where a random passer-by finds a rare, valuable forgotten classic and buys it for cheap, the kind where a rich celebrity buys a forgotten classic for a quarter-million dollars is pretty nice, too.
Add some mystery to the equation and things get fun.
As all of these classic-find stories go, the car was purchased new and given to a kid who went off to war. He returned from his call of duty and thoroughly enjoyed the car, adding a few modifications and taking it to the drag strip. At a quarter-mile at a time, the car accumulated just over 9,000 original miles when the owner died from cancer at just 32 years old. The grief-stricken parents stored the car in their garage over the next 30-some years and turned down all would-be suitors looking to score a deal on the muscle car.
Well, after both parents passed away, the car was released to the hounds by way of an auction house. As you might expect, a mostly-stock ’68 GT500KR fastback with under 10,000 miles on the clock proved to be a hot item, selling for about $250,000 in all of 75 seconds.
Who bought it? That remains a mystery. People present at the auction seem to think Jay Leno was the guy writing the check, which would make sense considering his penchant for pony cars. I just hope whoever bought the car enjoys it as much as the young man who owned it first.
Have you ever come close to finding a collectible classic car?