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Over 300 Classic Muscle Cars Found in Barn In Texas Desert

Source: Hemmings

Many car collectors have places where they store some of their old finds or project vehicles. Barns are a typical place to find these cars, with a few stuffed under tarps and canvas in a corner. However, this barn find by Jason, the owner of Southern Bush Motorsports, is more than anyone would expect. Let’s dive into what he found.

Somewhere in the Desert

Jason was working near the Texas desert when the hint of a potential muscle car site came to him. It was a few years ago, so his memory of the exact locations is a bit hazy. All he remembers is getting a call from someone about a vast number of cars somewhere in the desert.

Source: YouTube/Southern Bush Motorsports

Based on how rumors go, he was sure “a huge amount” was maybe a dozen. Still, a dozen muscle cars, even in terrible condition, could be a treasure for the right car collector. He decided to investigate.

Taking the Time to Investigate

At the time of the call, he was working near the rumored barn location, so he took the time to check it out. He can’t recall the date he went to see the collection, but he knows it was several years ago.

Source: YouTube/Southern Bush Motorsports

He arrived at the barn, thinking it was just a regular barn. The owner’s daughter told him she would let him get access to the barn, but only if he took off his shoes and entered only in his socks. He thought it was a strange request, but he agreed as he had thick socks on.

The Motherlode of Cars

When he opened the barn up, it was one of the most massive collections of vehicles from the muscle-car era he had ever encountered. The owner’s daughter confirmed that inside the barn were 302 cars stuffed inside the barn.

Source: YouTube/Southern Bush Motorsports

The cars were packed like sardines inside the barn, with very little space for anyone to move around. Jason knew he would take a while to go through the barn and figure out what the conditions of the cars were worth, but this was the most significant find he’d ever run into.

Two Days of Cataloging

What Jason thought might have been an evening of work to record and check the dozen or so cars he expected to encounter turned into a two-day affair. It was grueling, but he was committed.

Source: YouTube/Southern Bush Motorsports

Throughout the next two days, Jason pored over the cars, taking note of each model and the condition they were in. Unsurprisingly, many cars were caked in dust and grime from being stored in a barn for so long.

Taking The Precautions He Needed To

It’s no small feat to go through 302 cars and check what’s wrong with them or if they would be salvageable. For a single person to do it in a couple of days is a massive feat in itself.

Source: YouTube/Southern Bush Motorsports

However, Jason was careful to let people know where he was. It could get really hot inside a barn with that many vehicles out in the Texas desert. He made sure someone was checking in with him often and that he was drinking enough water to beat the heat.

What Are Car Collectors?

Car collectors are commonplace around the US. You’ll find them in any vintage car show you go to, and they’re usually looking for new cars to buy. Some collectors focus on certain eras and designs of vehicles, such as muscle cars.

Source: Flickr/Jimmy Smith

These aficionados meticulously acquire classic cars, rare models, and vintage gems, creating curated displays that showcase the evolution of automotive engineering and aesthetics.

Why Do Car Collectors Buy Cars?

Collectors have several reasons for buying cars. Those with a lot of money might focus on a particular car brand or era. Most hobbyists buy them for restoration or to rebuild them as a hobby car.

Source: Flickr/Jimmy Smith

A few collectors buy the cars because of nostalgia or because they love how those cars from a different era look. Others buy them because they want to restore them to their former glory, and they’ve always dreamed of owning a muscle car.

Resale Value As Parts

Another reason collectors may buy older cars is because they contain valuable parts. Some of those parts are no longer available on the open market, so finding a vehicle with those working parts allows for a much higher resale value.

Source: Flickr/Francisco Anzola

For car manufacturers that are still around, owners can get rare parts from the dealership, but the price would be astronomical. Buying them secondhand from someone else is far more cost-effective. If the car manufacturer has closed down, the only way to get rare parts is by salvaging an old car.

Valuing a Car Collection

Being in this business for a while has taught Jason a lot about valuing car collections, but even so, this one was a challenge. The rarity and desirability of individual cars within the collection contribute significantly to its overall value. The condition of the vehicles, ranging from restoration quality to originality, plays a crucial role.

Source: Flickr/Dan Thornton

Historical significance, including a car’s racing pedigree or celebrity ownership, can elevate its worth. For example, some of these were first-edition cars of a well-known brand. Appraisers and experts often use market trends, auction results, and the prevailing demand for specific models to determine the overall value of a car collection.

This Car Collection Was From a Salvage Yard

Jason asked the owner’s daughter about how such a vast car collection came to be. Her answers surprised him but were not completely unheard of in his line of work.

Source: YouTube/Southern Bush Motorsports

The owner has a salvage yard, and cars would be towed there after the owners didn’t meet loan payments or something else. Typically, these cars would stay there since the owners couldn’t afford to pay the towing fees. Over time, the vehicles mounted up bit by bit until they grew to this colossal level.

The Cars Weren’t Super Rare

While some rare cars might have been towed into the salvage yard, there weren’t many inside the barn. People with a Shelby Mustang or a Yanko Camaro would find the money to pay towing fees so it wouldn’t remain languishing in a salvage yard.

Source: YouTube/Southern Bush Motorsports

It was a little disappointing to Jason that he didn’t find some super-rare muscle car in the barn, but it was understandable based on how those cars got there. The sheer number made up for the lack of expensive and rare cars.

Most Car Collectors Don’t Accidentally Get a Collection

This collection is relatively unique as far as car collecting goes. Most car collectors build their collections because of their emotional connection to the cars or the era in which they were manufactured.

Source: YouTube/Southern Bush Motorsports

The feelings connected to these cars usually mean that most collectors have a few dozen of their favorite brands of vehicles. This collection of muscle cars is legitimately an accidental collection of muscle cars that no one would have expected.

A Few First-Generation Ford Mustangs Were Present

Ford’s first-ever Mustang was released in 1964 and quickly became a well-known staple of the era of muscle cars. It was responsible for launching a whole genre of vehicles known as “pony cars.”

Source: Flickr/ Jack Snell

Inside the barn, Jason found several first-generation Mustangs. The first generation came in hardtop, fastback, and convertible versions. Inside the barn were several examples of each of these three types of Ford Mustang.

Several Other Car Types Found

Aside from the Mustangs, Jason uncovered a ton of incredible vehicles. A Mustang Mach 1 Fastback, along with a few Mercury Cougars and C3 Chevy Corvettes, made for an exciting find, even though they were buried under layers of dust.

Source: Flickr/ Jack Snell

A 1964 Chevy Impala and a Chevrolet Nova were also found, alongside a few El Caminos and Chevy Chevelles. The owner clearly likes power, as many of these cars had V8 engines under the hood.

All Original Vehicles

One of the sticking points for collectors is that they prefer cars in their original forms. Since the salvage yard owner didn’t tinker with the vehicles or change anything, they are all in their unrestored original form.

Source: YouTube/Southern Bush Motorsports

Regarding value, this might lead to buyers willing to pay more for these cars. An unrestored vehicle could make for a great project car for a collector and allow them to restore and improve the original vehicle.

The Dream Of Many To Restore An Old Car

These muscle cars aren’t examples of the expensive and sought-after models that collectors will pay millions for. But, it provides some buyers with something that no current dealership can – the potential of owning a dream car from another generation.

Source: Flickr/Marco Verch

Many small project builders and tinkerers like having project cars to work on and spend time around. Some of them even restore them to working condition. These muscle cars provide an affordable way for smaller restorers to find something they’d love working with.

Breathing New Life Into Old Vehicles

Car restoration takes time, Jason explains, and it requires a lot of love and patience. Rebuilding an old car means using your wits and your knowledge of engineering since a lot of these cars don’t have readily available documentation.

Source: Flickr/pyntofmyld

However, the thrill for a restorer comes from getting one of these beauties up and running. Most of them have bodies that could stand the test of time, and they certainly draw attention wherever they go. That alone is reward enough for the guys and gals who spend their time restoring these old cars.

What Will Happen To These Cars?

The family isn’t forthcoming about selling, but they likely will eventually. According to Jason, the collection could range from $100,000 to $200,000 in value, making it an attractive prospect for the owner to cash in.

Source: YouTube/Southern Bush Motorsports

A collection like this doesn’t happen often; the family likely knows how much they’re sitting on. The family states they’d like $1 million for the collection but may eventually have to break down and sell individual vehicles. In any case, it’s a mind-blowing find for any classic car collector.

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Charlotte Clad

Written by Charlotte Clad

Charlotte Clad is a brilliant writer who possesses the remarkable ability to craft content that goes viral and leaves an indelible mark on readers. With an innate passion for storytelling and an unwavering commitment to her craft, Charlotte has consistently pushed the boundaries of creativity to captivate audiences worldwide.

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