Monday, August 07, 2017

Motor City Barnfinds, by Tom Cotter (author of Cobra in the Barn) host of the Hagerty Youtube series Barn Find Hunter, book review

by the numbers
197 pages of content
at least one photo per page... lots of photos.

1st impression, if you like watching the Hagerty Barn Find series on you tube, 23 videos so far you'll love this.
A bit slower paced, so it's the same enjoyable experience, just drawn out longer with more detail.

The last book I read from Tom Cotter was "Cuba's Car Culture" and this is just as good, with the same enjoyable writing style, and thoroughness.

There simply isn't much else to say about it, other than some of the cars with be familiar to you already because they were covered in the video

so, you'll recognize the one of one 428 stick shift station wagon, and the collection of Alex Attard.

and those two videos are about 1/3rd of the book.

Between watching the videos, and reading the book, you'll get a lot more from both sources. A better view on video, and a better write up in the book.

Things I learned,

the Pontiac Grand Ville, an early 70's land yacht with a 455. It was the flagship of Pontiac yachts, and bumped the Bonneville down a notch. They made less than 200 of the convertibles in 1974. I've never heard of the Grand Ville before.

In 1953 Buick built Skylarks on Roadmaster chassis, but in 1954, they built the Skylark on the Century chassis

When driving back to their hotel one day, they spotted a grill in a business building window, and found that the owner parked the truck inside the building in 1969. Never touched it again.
1936 Chevy dualie, with 42 k miles, nearly restored, but he lost interest in it, and just left it sitting there, inside the building.

When he bought it, the brakes were shot, so he drove it home only using the emergency brakes. After all that trouble, and work to fix it up, it's been siting for nearly 48 years. It still looks new, just with a layer of dust. The owner is now 86, and tired, and is ready for it to find a new home for 15 thou. Original engine and trans.

Stories like that are all through this book, it's what the Barn Find Hunter series is all about. Stumbling across vehicles that are for sale, and simply not getting any advertising to make them sell.

A good surprise in the next to last chapter is a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Ellena, the Geneva show car... which has been in one family since 1971, and not driven since the 70s. They've simply been storing it since then. Inherited cars can be that way, no matter how cool, or collectible. They need expensive upkeep, or repairs, and instead, are ignored in storage. 

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