The first few times I heard about a “barn find”, it was a case of someone finding something highly desirable that had been stored for years, with the owner of the barn generally not really knowing the real value of what they had. Sometimes the barn owner didn’t even know the car was there (if you believe all the stories).
In other words, the Barn Find story was as much about the fortunate nature of the transaction as it was about finding an old car that had been reasonably preserved.
That’s the way I look at it, anyway.
Road and Track reported on a “barn find” today. It’s the story of a genuine Ford GT40 that hasn’t been driven since 1977.
Here’s the rub:
Shaughnessy said that after a year-long bidding war, he recently took possession of GT40 CSX1067 from its previous owner, a retired fire fighter who owned the car since 1975. According to The Gentleman Racer, the GT40 sat idle since 1977 due to engine troubles, and health problems prevented that owner from getting too far into the necessary repairs.
When we asked what Shaughnessy paid for the car, he would only concede that it was “very expensive.”
Now, I think it’s great that a genuine hero car of a bygone era might be made to run again. That’s fantastic. But it lacks the magic of a real barn find story to me. If it was picked up for $10K the buyer knew what it was and seller didn’t, then that’s a little bit of magic (unless you’re the seller, of course).
This story, aside from the potential resurrection of a once-great car, is just an old car in poor condition being bought for a bucket load of money.
If you were inclined to be a little more cruel, you could say that the former owner has profited from his base-level neglect of a car that he should have looked after (and as far as I’m concerned, the more prominent the car, the greater the responsibility to be a conscientious owner).
What do you reckon? I concede that I may have the barn find thing all wrong, but if that’s the case then it takes the lustre off the whole scenario for me, personally.
Although it was ‘expensive’, I hope it was bought at a significant discount to what someone would pay for a similar car in good condition. That wasn’t the case for the Mercedes gullwing sold recently, though I’m a bit less conflicted about that one.