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Lost and found race cars

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  • Lost and found race cars

    Carl's thread about the Malloy car got me to thinking. In some of the Roadster books they talk of finding such and such car hanging in the rafters of a barn in podunk Indiana. Many times the tinwork is also in the same barn.

    How did these guys (barn owners) end up with the cars, and when a stranger came knocking, how did they know what to sell them for?

    Anybody have any insight on this?
    ...---...

  • #2
    Great question - and a fascinating subject, as far as I'm concerned. The vintage sprint car thread over at H.A.M.B. has some good stuff about old race cars (as I'm sure that many of you already know), although I don't immediately recall any stories about finding old abandoned cars. I'll be very interested to see if anyone here at TF has any stories to tell.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by cheeseczar View Post
      How did these guys (barn owners) end up with the cars, and when a stranger came knocking, how did they know what to sell them for?

      Anybody have any insight on this?
      Most of the barn owner and race car stories that I've heard involve people who were more collectors than anything else. They simply picked up an old car and stuck it in their barn. These people are generally not mechanics or restorers themselves so the cars basically just sit there until somebody who is a restorer finds out about it and comes looking. Most of these old cars were picked up for next to nothing and they generally don't sell for as much as you might think because they often are in terrible shape and are missing most of their parts. Very few old race cars are found intact. You are basically building a completely new car from whatever is left of a barn find. Many old restored "real" race cars are basically new builds using period parts.

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      • #4
        We had to have the fuel tank altered on our midget. So we took it to a company called Reliable Welding, outside Chicago. They had an old Federal Engineering roadster sitting against a wall. It looked more like an old Kurtis version.

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        • #5
          That is one of my wildest dreams, to find an old race car in an abandoned barn, a la "Super Speedway".
          So long, and thanks for all the fish!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by cheeseczar View Post
            Carl's thread about the Malloy car got me to thinking. In some of the Roadster books they talk of finding such and such car hanging in the rafters of a barn in podunk Indiana. Many times the tinwork is also in the same barn.

            How did these guys (barn owners) end up with the cars, and when a stranger came knocking, how did they know what to sell them for?

            Anybody have any insight on this?
            No insight, but "barn finds" are far from limited to Indiana. There have been former speedway cars found all over the U.S. - and beyond. One of the Indy Studebaker's of the 30's wound up in South Africa.
            "Versions of a story that are more tidy, compact, and camera-ready should generally be viewed as historically suspect." - Jackson Landers

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            • #7
              One regret I have now is that we owned a rail frame V8-60 midget. We cannabalized it for some parts. Sat for a while in the garage, then just junked it. Woe is me!!! But, I still have the air pump for fuel pressure in the basement, somewhere.

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