A man retired. He wanted to use his retirement money wisely, so it would last, and decided to buy a home and a few acres in. The modest farmhouse had been vacant for 15yrs.; the owner and wife both had died, and there were no heirs. The house was sold to pay taxes. There had been several lookers, but the large barn had steel doors, and they had been welded shut. Nobody wanted to go to the extra expense to see what was in the barn, and it wasn’t complimentary to the property anyway….. so, nobody made an offer on the place.
The guy bought it at just over half of the property’s worth, moved in, and set about to tear in to the barn….. curiosity was killing him. So, he and his wife bought a generator, and a couple of grinders….. and cut thru the welds.
What was in the barn……………?
Fiat Cabriolet (1200 or 1500), Ford Cortina MKII, Mercedes Benz 180/190.
Pre-war stuff, 1970’s American barges, who knows?
Austin A40 Somerset and endless rows of other cars.
Mini (Cooper?), Datsun Z, Rover P6.
Fiat 508 Balilla Sport, Mini (Cooper) and MG Magnette.
Ford Taunus, Mercedes Benz, BMW 02.
Alfa Bertone, Porsche 356, Mercedes Benz.
Pre-war Austin, Alfa Giulia, BMW 501 V8.
BMW 501 V8
Lancia Aurelia B20.
Porsche 356, Austin Healey Sprite MkII, Volvo PV 544, Ford Y
Lancia Flaminia Zagato.
Alfa Bertone, Giulietta Sprint, crumpled Peugeot 205.
Giulietta Sprint, Giulia Sprint Speciale (SS), Nash Metropolitan.
Alfa Giulia SS.
Mini Cooper MkI.
Austin Mini Cooper S.
Alfasud 1.5, Mercedes, Chevy Master.
Opel GT, Lotus Elan FHC, Lotus Super Seven Series IV, Lotus Elan DHC
Elan +2, DKW 1000 SP
Alfa Giulietta, Lotus Europa, another Lotus Elan FHC, Matra Djet
Alfa 1900 Super Sprint.
Fiat Topolino II, Triumph TR4, Peugeot 202.
Steyr Puch, Austin Healey Sprite MkII.
Interior of Alfa Romeo.
Bristol 404 Saloon, Lancia Flaminia Coupé.
Simca Coupé De Ville.
Unidentified American Car… Comment if you know what..
Interior of Porsche 356.
BMW V8, Formula racers, Chryslers, Mercedes, Austin A30.
Huge collections of cars don’t just happen. Cars are accumulated—sometimes lovingly, sometimes not—by someone with a purpose. I was sure this collection was not assembled by accident; nobody would simply sell an old farm and fail to mention to the new owners the stash of old cars in the barn.
I decided to investigate. I searched the web and ultimately came to an English language dead end at the Mazda Miata Club Norway web site. But I kept going, sending emails in English and hoping that some kind recipient would take a few moments to answer some questions. All indications were that the cars were hidden somewhere in Portugal, so that’s where I focused my investigation.
Through a Cobra buddy, Don Silawski of Washington, DC, I contracted with a Portuguese translator, Clara Dixon. Clara would be my tour guide and try to unearth some of the naked truth regarding this huge stash. Clara also checked the Internet for news stories that may have been written in Portuguese newspapers about the cars. I was beginning to feel like a CIA sleuth…
I must admit that for me, a lifelong barn-finder, a collection this large would be the discovery of a lifetime. My 15-year-old son, Brian, even tried to convince me to hop a flight to Portugal to see if I could actually find the collection myself.
Watch this space
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