The “Barn Find” No One Can Buy


You know you’ve dreamed about it. Like every true car guy or gal, you fantasize about driving through a city or cruising down a rural road, looking out the window and seeing a neglected classic car, forgotten, just waiting for you to take home.

“Barn finds,” as they are known, are legendary. In my town there’s an infamous numbers-matching 1963 Corvette split window that’s been decaying under some pine trees on a run-down lot since 1975. The owner has received plenty of offers, but for some reason refuses to sell.

Now, there’s another local vehicle getting the attention of car aficionados. Once again, the owners want nothing to do with it.

A TV station here ran a story about a 1966 Volkswagen Microbus 21-window that’s getting a lot of attention. For those who don’t know any better, the old van is just another eyesore on a road where concrete blocks are as common under cars as tires.

The educated, though, see a vehicle that could be worth up to $100,000 when fully restored.

According to the story, the owners received at least six knocks on the door each day from people asking if the car is for sale. It’s not, which is the reason for the sign in the image above.

The van is parked outside the home of Lashley and Debra, who store the van there while waiting for their son Rod, to replace the engine.

The bus is their son’s dream vehicle. The couple saw it on the side of the road 25 years ago and bought it for a mere $1,700. For the first 20 years it was with their son in Olympia.

So the van was a barn find two and a half decades ago, but today it’s just someone’s project. And yet it sits, grabbing the attention of eager passers-by who hope they’ve stumbled on the barn find of their lives.

One man even came to the door with $47,000 in cash, which the family promptly refused.

Clearly, these people know what they have and intend to enjoy owning such a desirable piece of automotive history.

If you owned this Volkswagen van, would you sell it for $47,000 cash?


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  1. What’s the latest on the bus since this article was written? Please advise.

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