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Major Barn Find - Need Some Help With Pricing and Ideas for Owner


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On a recent turkey hunting trip we stumbled onto a barn full of early cars. We were able to buy a ton of automobilia (ebay user: sonett97) that I'm slowly sorting through. But with the cars, the owner's son has been dinking around on the internet and has overly inflated pricing ideas. I'm involved to help him out and get them into the right hands. He has a broker trying to pressure him with contracts and telling him that the owner is responsible for shipping them to an auction site 900 miles away, etc. So he's stressed from that pressure.

I'm not in it for financial gain - it's super fun to find this stuff and be a part of the process. They have not run in 20+ years and were stored in a metal barn, so one has to assume they need to be gone through completely. I think most, other than the Flint, have original paint. Most are very complete and several have boxfuls of extra parts in the back seats. So toss me your rough numbers on values. I'd love to see someone just buy the whole collection and arrive at a price that is fair to both parties. I didn't spend much time taking photos with my phone, because he was so far off on pricing that I just wasn't interested. Here are the ones that I took though and here is the list:

1909 Buick Model F

1914 Jeffery

1925 Flint

1913 Imperial (one of three known to exist supposedly)

1916 Paterson

1911 Chalmers

1918 American LaFrance firetruck

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The Buick Model F is probably one of the best cars there, very nice two cylinder car. One in similar or a little better shape just sold at auction for around $30,000. I think you'd find a buyer for that one in the $25-35K range, all depending on actual condition...will it run, is it complete, is the leather usable, are tires good, those kind of things.

Edited by trimacar (see edit history)
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Holy cow! Sonett, did you find all that stuff on ebay at this place? Those are some great items, good pictures and reasonable no reserve prices. There are at least two things I want and maybe five. I'm sorry Friday's make some people grumpy but what a great find. Some of those cars are pretty great, I hope the collection goes to go hands. If you can, I'd love to hear more as well. Great stories allow the working class to live vicariously monday through Friday, help us out !! If you go back I sure would love to see more pics.

Was there any other Herrf Brooks automobilia. The only Herff Brooks known to exist sat in a trailer at our car barn for many years in the eighties and is now in South Carolina. It would be great to find enough pieces to get it back together It's rediscovery was "barn find " legend back in the day and it was really cool to see this hubcap.

Edited by sambarn (see edit history)
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Thanks everyone for your comments. It was the coolest opportunity that I've ever had. So a little more on the story to keep trulyvintage from getting any more cranky and cynical. We've been hunting turkeys for years with our bows. We hunt hard in the morning and late afternoon, which leaves plenty of time to knock on doors. I have lots of other stories from some great finds, piles of guns, western memorabilia, fossils, etc. So last spring we heard that this woman's mother had just died and she had a barn full of all sorts of things. We called her, unfortunately it was two days after she died. So a buddy and I kept talking about just heading out (10 hour drive), not just for this deal, but we had leads on all sorts of other stuff. BTW, there are acres and acres of 1940s,50s, and 60s cars. We have contacts to try to snag some of those out of there next spring. What amazes us is that the locals knew this was all there, but we were the first to have the doors opened up to us. It was incredible. We left behind so much stuff too. We packed my buddies new Grand Caravan as well as a Uhaul trailer. So I apologize if my Ebay comment offended anyone, that was never my purpose. We have things that have never been available in a really long time. I'd like to find a home for these cars, maybe score a little finders fee, and help the owner liquidate the property since he lives in another state. I've had similar experiences, but I'd call this close to a once in a lifetime deal. I'm a newbie on this forum because I've never really been into cars that this services, but you'll find me on many other automotive forums. Sonett97 might be a clue for some of you astute car guys. None of this is a scam, I have several qualified buyers that I'm just going to give the owner and he can make his own decision. I have no idea how this Chicago broker got involved, it could be as simple as he was a native of the area or had family members. So please trulyvintage, have an adult beverage and relax.

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I just posted a set of eight spark plugs on Ebay and there was an Autolite F-11 plug in there. I know that's not a T-11, but I'll change that listing and pull it if you want it. I think that I only have two DB screw on hubcaps, one is aluminum and the other steel I believe. I have a little spreadsheet that I sort of marked sizes and I marked those both medium sized. That doesn't mean anything to anyone but me, but I can't remember the thread size. I'll dig them out of the box of 85 that they're in and let you know.

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Hi Sambarn,

That's just the start of it and yep, it all came from the same place. I didn't find any other Herrf Brooks items. That's cool that you had one in your car barn, I'm still waiting for this cap to take off on Ebay. I turned down an offer of $250, which might be dumb, but I know that they're can't be many of them in the world and I wanted to let it ride on the auction. We'll see. Thanks!

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Jim we do turkey hunt up this way.

And lots of it.....

Met my wife on the southside of Des Moines years ago. Some folks have no idea how plentiful the game and fish are in those parts of the country...

Barn finds like this do exist and are very real even in the cornbelt.

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Great find , you'll make a lot of people happy. It's nice to get some of this old stuff recirculated.

I'm aware of the effort involved , it doesn't always equal the monetary reward.

But it's great when you hook up someone with that long elusive piece.

Good luck on your adventure.

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I noticed 2 Mitchell hubcaps in your photos. These are not the same 2 that are on ebay. Could you measure them? This is important as the fronts and backs are different sizes as are the back caps for the different models. I could probably use a good rear cap but I've already bought the wrong one once so I'd like to try not to do it again.

The important measurement is the diameter of the threaded portion.

Thanks, Joe Puleo

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The 1916 Paterson is a pretty rare car - only 983 were manufactured for that year. Is it a Model 4-32 or Model 6-42? According to the Standard Catalog, 1916 Patersons were valued at approximately $6,000-$7,000 for a car in "good" condition back in 1996, so have values increased since then? It would be interesting to see how much it actually sells for.

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