Barn Finds


It’s every auto enthusiast’s dream. You hear about an “old car” that’s been in someone’s garage for years and you get invited to take a look at it. After you arrive, you open the barn doors and in the corner there’s a dusty tarp covering something large. You can see tires under the tarp and then the excitement starts – this is likely a car forgotten for decades. After you remove all the boxes and other objects off the top of the heap, you pull the tarp off and there it is: an unrestored, rare vintage automobile.

Auto enthusiasts call this a Barn Find. Sometimes these long forgotten cars are found in garages, sheds and storage units but the term Barn Find still is used. According to Kims No Bull of Laurel, MS, a Chrysler, Jeep, Chevrolet, Toyota, Nissan dealer, a valuable Barn Find is a peak experience for car people. It’s the car collector’s equivalent to an archaeologist unearthing some ancient crypt that no one has ever known about. In the last several years, some fantastic barn finds have been discovered and we would like to share the top three large collections with you.

The Baillon Collection

The most outstanding barn find ever is arguably the Baillon Collection. Roger Baillon, was the head of a French transport company and in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s he put a large quantity of exotic cars into various sheds on his property in Western France. The collection was found just a couple of years ago and the cars were auctioned. Most notable was a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider that sold for a record $18.5 million, a ’56 Maserati A6G that went for $2.2 million, and a ’49 Talbot-Lago T26 that fetched $1.9 million – all contributing to an overall take of $28.5 million.

The Lambrecht Collection

It started in 1958 when Chevy dealer Ray Lambrecht was left with new cars from the previous model year at his dealership in Nebraska. Rather than blow them out at a discount, he put them in storage in the hope that they’d appreciate in value. By the time Lambrecht closed his business in 1996, he had amassed some 500 cars in like new condition. At the auction, a ’58 Cameo pickup with 1.3 miles on the odometer sold for $140,000, a ’64 Impala with 11 miles went for $97,500, and a ’78 Corvette with 4 miles went for $80,000 – contributing to $2.8 million total in sales.

The Porche (sic) Foreign Auto Collection

In the scrap yard out back behind Porche (sic) Foreign Auto on South Alameda Street in Los Angeles, a large collection of rare cars was discovered in 2010. Some of the cars were being stripped for parts but some were intact. In particular there were of rare Porsche 911s, a handful of Lamborghini Miuras, a rare Horch roadster once owned by Eva Braun, and a rather unique Mercedes 500K. This car was built in 1935 for Benz’s legendary Silver Arrow grand prix racer Rudolf Caraccioa. It is valued at some $10-$15 million dollars.


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