Classic cars are such treasures that you would think that every single one would be treated to special storage conditions by their owners. Well, maybe in an ideal world. In the real world, these cars get abandoned or lost, or buried, for varying reasons. However, some get lucky enough to be rediscovered and accorded the respectful treatment that they deserve. In this article, we examine 5 such barn finds. They include:
Ferrari Dino 246 GTS
Top of our list of greatest barn finds of all time is this Ferrari Dino 246 GTS. One of the greatest sports cars of the time, nearly 1,300 units were built and sold between 1967 and 1974. Weighing 2,426 Ibs, the car could reach top speeds of around 148 mph, going from 0 to 50 mph in only 5.5 seconds.
This particular car was reported stolen by the owner, sometime in the 1970s, in Los Angeles. The case confounded authorities who couldn’t figure out how such a rare, high-end car could suddenly become untraceable. In 1978, children playing in a yard uncovered the vehicle, after becoming attracted by a metallic sheen poking out of the ground. It turned out that the owner had buried it, as part of an insurance scam. Thankfully, the car was not beyond restoration and was quickly returned to top conditions.
Supercars cost a fortune, and to many people who buy them, they are considered precious objects. However, for yet others who are wealthy enough, each car is just another in an extensive collection, that they can afford to leave in barns. Such is the story of this Lamborghini Miura.
Produced between 1966 and 1973, the Miura was the first supercar to have a mid-engined two-seater design. Boasting a 430-HP V-12 engine, the Miura was the fastest sports car when it was released. It could go from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.7 seconds and could reach a top speed of 280 km/h.
So, understandably, it generated significant buzz when it was discovered in a barn in France alongside dozens of other vehicles – the collection of a French man, Henry Ruggieri. The car was quickly brought back to its former glory and sold at auction for 560,000 Euros.
Even when supercar owners treat their vehicles with better care than the owner of that Lamborghini Miura, they still grow old and the cars can fall into disrepair. This is the story of a Mercedes-Benz that was found in an abandoned garage in America. The original owner of the vehicle had grown old and was committed to palliative care. In his absence, the car was left in a state of disrepair for an extended number of years. It was home to rodents, and a dog; all of whose droppings had accumulated on the floor and seats of the car.
Michael Potiker found it peaking out from under its cover, contacted the original owner’s estate, and negotiated a purchase. Apart from the desecration of its insides by various animals and years of collected dust, the car was pretty much unspoiled. He was able to return the car to top shape pretty quickly.
Weighing nearly 1,200 kg, the Mercedes-Benz 190SL could reach top speeds of 107 mph, powered by a 4-cylinder, 104 hp engine.
1969 Dodge Charger Daytona
Dodge cars are already an important piece of the American auto industry – both historically and presently. But the Dodge Charger Daytona holds an even more special place in history as one of the rarest cars ever built in America (only 503 were ever made), and also one of the best cars built by Dodge.
Unfortunately, none of this was enough to prevent this particular unit from being forgotten in a barn somewhere in Alabama. No one knows why, but apparently, not long after it was bought in 1974, the owner safely parked this car inside that barn. Although it was pretty much protected from inclement weather, rats got the better of its upholstery. After it was discovered, it was restored and sold at auction for $90,000.
1968 Ford Mustang GT “Bullitt”
It is one of the three cars popularly known as muscle cars, alongside the Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Camaro. The Ford Mustang is yet another iconic American car, and its status is reinforced by its frequent appearance in Hollywood movies.
This particular unit was used in a movie – Steve McQueen’s “Bullitt”. One of the most well-known car movies of the period, it depicted the Ford Mustang in several car chases on the roads of San Francisco.
As is usually the norm, 2 identical Mustangs were bought for the movie – one was to be used as an inanimate stunt double. This one was sold when filming ended and found its way to a Mexican scrapyard where it was uncovered decades later in an almost unrecognizable condition.
Classic cars are precious things to own. However, not everyone may be as lucky as Michael Potiker to just find one abandoned in a garage around the corner. If you want to get your hands on one, you might want to browse the catalog on the Dyler website; they have some hot rods for sale.