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Spotting And Restoring The Best Muscle Car Barn Finds

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By Mark Weisseg

Who doesn’t love a barn find? In the so called old days we did not give this much thought. It was just a car or cars parked in a barn rotting away. If we had guessed say twenty five years ago this would be the rage we could have filled up a parking lot.

The problem is, the word has been out for some time that these car rarities are still out there in barns, fields and any other place you may think you would find a used and abandoned muscle car. However, the takeaway is that these vehicles are still out there, it’s just a matter of looking, keep looking…. and….keep looking.

It’s one thing finding a rarity, it’s another thing bringing it back to life. Many moons ago I went to a body shop where they acid dipped the cars before prepping them for body work. It was tedious and dangerous. Today we have portable blasters that can remove your paint in an hour. It’s still just the beginning of a big project but the time saved is amazing. To get that body down to the bare metal is the plan. Then you can decide if you need a new panel or if some welding is needed. In most cases you will be buying a fender or quarter panel or possibly a floor plan. But, all those parts are available today and the task is much easier.

What was a day of bondo is now a day of clearly seeing exactly what you need to do. I have a barn find on my radar and I know already it needs a floor and trunk pan. But, once cut out I can install the new pieces, weld them in and start my body work. It’s so much easier today than it was years ago. So, do not shy away from rust. It can be fixed. It will be a lot of hard work but you will be way ahead with new pieces.

Heck, we would sand or grind it down in the old days and slap putty all over it. Sand it, prime it, paint it, and in a year it started to show up again. Grrrrrrrr. Today, if you plan and prep right those days are over. Gee, I love technology.

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