The 10 Greatest Barn Finds Ever

The 10 Greatest Barn Finds Ever

Written By: John Linden

Could you imagine walking into an old barn and discovering a classic car worth millions just rusting away? As unbelievable as it sounds these incredibly rare finds are more common than you think. Let’s take a look at the 10 greatest barn finds ever!

A collection of 1980s performance vehicles tucked away into a barn

A collection of 1980s performance vehicles tucked away into a barn

A British barn revealed that it held more than just dust and spider webs. When this barn was cracked open it revealed the most iconic performance vehicles the ‘80s had to offer— one Ford RS200, two BMW E30 M3 Sports Evos, and a Mercedes 190E Cosworth Evolution II – all simply sitting in a barn just waiting to be rediscovered.

The forgotten Lamborghini

The forgotten Lamborghini

Aristotle Socrates Onassis was a Greek-American businessman who assembled the world’s largest privately owned shipping fleet and gained prestige for being one of the richest men in the world during his lifetime.

Onassis was a lover of music and was so taken with the work of StamatisKokotas AKA Greek Elvis that he bought the performer a 1969 Lamborghini Miura S. For a time Stamatisseemed to enjoy driving the vehicle, but eventually the engine died and he did the only sensible thing any rich entertainer would do – park it at the Athens Hilton and let it sit for three decades!

The Lamborghini was eventually towed away to be auctioned off, though it has been a struggle to find the abandoned vehicle a new home.

The invaluable junkyard collection

The invaluable junkyard collection

The Mercedes-Benz 500k is one of the most iconic and historic Mercedes of all time, and one was found buried deep within a junkyard in South central LA. It wasn’t alone, however. It was accompanied by one of two IsoGrifoSpyders, a couple of BMW 502s and 507s, two prewar Maybachs, six or so Lamborghini Miuras, and one of 29 Mercedes Gullwings. 

It’s hard to believe that such a valuable collection would just be found rusting away, but it certainly goes to show you – you never know what you’ll find at the junkyard!

An insurance scam that leads to a buried Dino 246 GTS

An insurance scam that leads to a buried Dino 246 GTS

This classic car wasn’t simply “discovered” – it was unearthed. The 1974 Dino 246 GTS isn’t the most impressive vehicle out there, but its backstory, and the way it was discovered was just too juicy to pass up.

Back in December 1974, the owner of the Dino hired a couple of goons to steal his ride so that he could collect the insurance money. Originally the Dino was supposed to be chopped up for parts and sunk into the ocean, but instead, it ended up buried in someone’s yard. 

Despite being buried for over 4 years, the Dino was eventually restored in 1978 by its new owner Brad Howard.

The million dollar Ferrari 166MM

The million dollar Ferrari 166MM

This particular find was stashed away in someone’s backyard in Arizona for over 50 years before a collector from the bay area came along to claim it. When all was said and done the Ferrari 166M was valued at $1 million!

The build of a lifetime courtesy of eBay

The build of a lifetime courtesy of eBay

A young man looking for a scale model of a BMW M1 on eBay would never have thought that he would make a legendary find – a set of original BMW M1 body panels! The body panels, which the young man paid 2,000 Euros for, were located in a barn near Munich.

Not only were the body panels genuine, but they were also once attached to a March M1 that raced at Le Mans in 1980. Somehow BMW found out about this fantastic find and offered to support the young man in his effort to rebuild the BMW M1.

The Ferrari 250 GTO that was treated like a lawn ornament

The Ferrari 250 GTO that was treated like a lawn ornament

Imagine visiting a town in Ohio to find a Ferrari 250 GTO rusting away in a grass field in the middle of town. Everyone in town and even Ferrari enthusiasts acknowledges it’s there, but no one lifts a finger to restore this classic.

This is the case for a Ferrari 250 GTO that sat in a grass field from 1972 to 1986 before the owner finally gave up all hope of restoring the vehicle to its former glory. The classic sits there to this day.

The $4.4 million Bugatti

The $4.4 million Bugatti

An untouched Bugatti Type 57 Atalantes (one of only 17 built) was discovered in an old garage in the UK. It turns out the vehicle had been tucked away from prying eyes for nearly 50 years. Initially, the classic belonged to the original president of the British Racing Drivers Club, Earl Howe. After a series of transactions, the Type 57 eventually fell into the lap of Dr. Harold Carr.

The vehicle was driven for a couple of years before it was tucked away into a garage in 1960 and never heard from again. That is until Dr. Carr passed away in 2007 and left the classic to his family who put the vehicle up for auction. The estimated going price – nearly $4.4 million!

The uncovered Citroen 2 CV Prototypes

The uncovered Citroen 2 CV Prototypes

The 2 CV wasn’t impressive by any means (in fact it was pretty terrible), but it played an integral role in putting Europe on wheels during the WWII era. This vehicle was so important to the Europeans (to the French auto industry particularly) that they had to hide away the original prototypes from the invading Nazis and their subsequent occupation. In 1995 a number of 2 CV Prototypes were found in a barn at the Bureau d’Etudes at Ferte-Vidame.

The missing 6th Shelby Daytona Coupe

The missing 6th Shelby Daytona Coupe

Depending on whom you ask the Shelby Daytona Coupe was considered to be the most memorable and greatest American sports racing car of all time. Only six models were manufactured, and for decades on end, the whereabouts of just five models were known.

That was until a woman named Donna O’Hara discovered that the car her father had purchased for a measly $5,000 which she had inherited was the missing sixth car! This was such a rare find that some say that the missing 6th Shelby Daytona Coupe was the greatest barn find in car collecting history!

Final thoughts

It’s amazing what an old barn or garage might be hiding. These are the 10 greatest finds in car collecting history. If you’ve inherited an old garage or barn that hasn’t been opened in a few decades than perhaps it’s time you cracked it open – you might find a gem waiting for you within.

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