Muscle Car Review - - Con­tents - Drew Hardin mcreview@sbc­global.net

When­ever we do a barn find is­sue like this one, in­vari­ably I will hear a com­ment about the mag­a­zine to the ef­fect of, “Wow! You’d think all those cars would have been found by now.”

Nope. Far from it. We didn’t have room in this is­sue to run all the found-mus­cle sto­ries that came our way over the past few months. And that’s just in this mag­a­zine. Coin­ci­den­tally, we are also pro­duc­ing a barn find is­sue of my other mag­a­zine, Hot Rod Deluxe. That niche of the hobby is still find­ing his­toric old hot rods too, like the 1932 road­ster that will be on the cover. Yep, much like the Yenko Chev­elle on this cover, that is­sue will fea­ture the Holy Grail of hot rod­ding, a Deuce road­ster that had been molder­ing in a North­ern Cal­i­for­nia barn (yes, a lit­eral barn find) since 1955.

Why does this trend show no signs of slow­ing? A few things are at work here.

First is the ob­vi­ous al­lure of buried trea­sure, the idea that any­one who’s ob­ser­vant and alert (and lucky) enough will stum­ble across a ne­glected piece of au­to­mo­tive his­tory just wait­ing for a new lease on life.

Se­cond is a cer­tain amount of push from the other side of the equa­tion. With all the mag­a­zine sto­ries, books, and TV shows de­voted to “pickin’s” of all kinds, just about any­one with an at­tic, garage, or stor­age unit full of old stuff be­lieves he or she may be sit­ting on a small for­tune. A ver­sion of that very thing hap­pened to me. While clean­ing out some clos­ets, I came across a box of WWII mem­o­ra­bilia that had been col­lect­ing dust for years—medals, a cou­ple hel­mets, small stuff. A quick in­ter­net search turned up an out­fit that would sell th­ese things on­line for me. Even af­ter pay­ing their com­mis­sion, I wound up with nearly $1,000. So now you can be­lieve I’m tak­ing a closer look around the house to see what other “junk” might be worth some­thing to the right buyer.

Cor­re­lated to the “this may be worth some­thing” no­tion is a broad­en­ing of what we con­sider barn finds. The lit­eral term still ap­plies (see Hot Rod Deluxe’s July 2018 is­sue), but it has also grown to in­clude those cars hi­ber­nat­ing any­where else you could park one. A lot of what we’re see­ing th­ese days are cars that aren’t real finds but just sub­jects of long-term stor­age, typ­i­cally in some­one’s garage. They’re still dusty, musty time cap­sules, but not nec­es­sar­ily for­got­ten.

In fact, as is the case with the Yenko Chev­elle on our cover and the 427-pow­ered Cougar GT-E that Jerry Heasley writes about in this month’s Rare Finds, th­ese cars aren’t for­got­ten at all. They’re beloved by their own­ers but have, for var­i­ous rea­sons, sat ne­glected for years, if not decades.

This is the kind of “find” we’re see­ing more and more th­ese days, and it will be the kind that fu­els our pas­sion for hid­den gems for years to come. Why? Be­cause time marches on. Be­cause those for­tu­nate enough to have lived through the hey­day of clas­sic mus­cle are in their 60s, 70s, maybe even 80s now, and the “someday” they were wait­ing for to fix up the car in the garage is prov­ing elu­sive.

Bur­nice Ro­bie, who with her hus­band Turner bought the Rare Finds Cougar when it was new in 1968, put it this way: “I’m 80 and he’s 85. What are we gonna do with it?”

What they did was find some­one who will love and ap­pre­ci­ate the car as much as they did. This sce­nario will repeat it­self over and over as th­ese mus­cle car own­ers come to the hard re­al­iza­tion that they aren’t get­ting any younger and the car in the garage isn’t, ei­ther. If their kids, or some other fam­ily mem­ber, doesn’t want it, they’ll have to find a good home for it.

So now’s the time, folks. Be alert to pos­si­bil­i­ties. Talk to friends, friends of friends, your par­ents’ friends. Ask about that car un­der the cover in the garage, or what­ever hap­pened to your grandpa’s old fill-in-the-blank.

Do it gen­tly, re­spect­fully, with­out vi­o­lat­ing their pri­vacy or seem­ing like you want to take ad­van­tage. Be­cause that’s not what this is about. You read this mag­a­zine be­cause you love th­ese cars, and that makes you the most qual­i­fied to pro­vide them with that good home, the new lease on life. Not some flip­per out for the quick buck.

When you make the find, we’d love to hear about it.

“They’ll have to find a good home for it”

n De­spite its con­di­tion, this wasn’t some lost or for­got­ten car. The op­po­site was true. It was so beloved by its owner that he re­fused to sell it.

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