When a Texas car collector finally opened the doors to an Austin barn that had been untouched for 40 years, he found five classic pre-World War II American automobiles worth thousands of dollars.
About two years ago, chairman and founder of Motostalggia Auctions, Antonio Brunet, heard about the amazing car collection. Then he helped the owner take the classic cars to auction. And he sold them all for more than $700,000 cash.
“It’s the Holy Grail for a car guy,” Brunet told Hagerty Classic Car Magazine. “Opening the doors, seeing the cars covered in dust, untouched for years … It’s like you’re in a time machine.”
The collection includes:
- 1932 Cadillac 370B V-12 Victoria Convertible which has an estimated value of $285,000-$350,000
- 1933 Cadillac Model 370C V-12 Town Coupe with an estimated value of $55,000-$75,000
- 1938 Cadillac Series 90 V-16 Fleetwood Limo valued at $45,000-$65,000
- 1923 Milburn Electric Model 27L valued at $90,000-$125,000
- 1908 REO Model G Boattail Roadster/Sedan Tonneau valued at $75,000-$95,000
- 1937 Kozy Coach Travel Trailer, twice used, valued at $75,000-$100,000
“I think the main reason why barn finds are so exciting is that most car guys like originality,” Brunet said. “Cars that are 40, 50, 80, 100 years old or more … They’ve transitioned from basic transportation to collectible vehicles. And during that transition, most cars are repaired and modified here and there; they evolve over time. But with a barn find, it’s like time stopped. The cars haven’t changed, other than getting older. They’re just as they were when they were put away, right down to the smell. It’s incredible.”
The car owner, Jack, always planned to fix up the cars. But after he moved to Texas in the 1970s, he never found the time or money. The cars were auctioned off on June 12 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Jack’s cars sold for more than $744,000 at auction.
“He really took the time to put the cars away properly,” Brunet said. “They were on blocks, perfectly spaced, waiting for the day they would be on the road again.”
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