* This story was sent to me by Nick Z. and is a great reminder to always be on the lookout, you just never know where this stuff will pop up! *
I am primarily a Ford guy, I have been for years now. I regularly look far and wide for that perfect car or truck. But sometimes the most thrilling finds are right under your nose where you’d least expect it.
That was the case with this find that was within walking distance of my old house. About 15 years ago I was out walking the dog when I saw a pristinely restored 34 Ford coupe being loaded onto an enclosed semi car carrier (the ones you see outside of high-end car shows transporting multi-million-dollar cars). This house where the coupe was coming from was an older home, very unassuming with many “lean-to” sheds on the property. I’d passed by every day going to and from work and I’d never given this property much attention before, other than I knew it was the home of an older gentleman who owned a Studebaker Hawk. Never did I think there would be a whole cache of old Ford cars stored in those lean-to barns and in the garage attached to the home. Now my attention was suddenly piqued by the prospect of more old Ford iron being held within these barns and garages, however as the car was being loaded I couldn’t find the owner around anywhere. I vowed to come back another day and see if I could find someone around to talk to about the other cars on the property.
A few days later, I did eventually find the older gentleman and he was willing to talk to me about the cars he had. He named off a few cars that were locked away and we arranged a time to meet and view all the cars. It turns out that mister Studebaker was also an old Ford guy and in the 1970s and 1980s he had gone about gathering up early Fords he could affordably purchase back then and hid them away as future projects. However, he had now come to the realization that he would never get around to finishing them all. As you can imagine, I’m like a kid waiting for Christmas at this point.
I get there at the arranged time and day and we look into the barns to find about 10 cars and various parts packed into these lean-to sheds so tightly that you could barely see in there or walk between them. Still, my enthusiasm was running high as I can see three or four Shoebox Fords and some Fat Fender Fords and enough parts to build another car or two. We started airing up tires and pulling the cars and parts out to see what I could see.
I eventually made a deal and purchased one of the cars, a 1941 Ford Tudor Sedan hot rod (as it was the only car he had that I could afford at the time), I also purchased some flathead speed equipment, an engine and assorted other parts. I came back a couple times and helped him clean out piles of items he was ready to part with. (He kept all his engine parts in barrels of motor oil so it wouldn’t rust up, haha!) I was also able to talk with the gentleman while we cleaned up the property and he shared stories about his first car (a Studebaker) and his love of cars growing up in the northeast in the 1950s. Making connections and bonding with fellow car guys is a big part of what this car hobby is all about.
So keep looking around your neighborhood as you never know when that next honey hole will be lurking right under your nose!