Are barn find 356s still out there? - Rennlist Discussion Forums



Are barn find 356s still out there?

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Old 12-05-2016, 03:11 PM   #1
HistoryBuff
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Default Are barn find 356s still out there?

I came back to the 356 world only recently (one time owned a '59 Convertible D) and know the market has changed drastically. My question is: are there still "barn find" 356 bargains to be found?

With certain rare models of sports cars, most of them have been found. But if you look at any marque, it’s hard for a Register owner to say they’ve achieved 100%. In tracking down how many still exist, it's a numbers game—how many were originally made, how many were crashed and written off, how many burned out, how many rusted away. One that is almost useless to beat the bushes for is, say, a Mercedes 300SL gullwing coupe, of which they made only about 1,400. Oh, there might be one still in Cuba, but for the most part they have been found. And let’s say Lusso 250GT Ferraris. Roughly 350 made and only one or two are still in a barn,undiscovered.
To hope that there is a still a desirable model, you have to go out there and look at cars built in more sizable numbers. That’s where the 356 offers some hope:
Porsche made over 70,000. So that means a lot of cars were shipped out, to dozens of countries, and even though many rusted away and were not fixed for lack of spare panels or welding expertise at that time, some of them are still in barns, still sitting on blocks, so I think it’s not just an idle dream that you could find one
The biggest problem you will have is finding a bargain price is finding hat seller who doesn’t keep track of current prices, and who, once you approach them, doesn’t pull out his i-phone and say “Now, let’s see what R & M or Gooding sold that same model for last year at Pebble or Amelia.” Once they do that, your goose is cooked.
But they don’t all do that. Only a few months ago I went to Supercar Sunday in Agoura and a couple in their '70s was in a 356A or B and had no clue what was happening in the 356 market. The fact is that not everybody knows how to look things up on a computer, not everyone thinks of an old car as worth anything (say far-off relatives that inherit a home with a garage full of cars), and some people have other problems in life that force them to sell, like divorce, illness, military duty, student loans incurred by their children, incarceration, etc. etc. If you search hard enough, you will not always be dealing with a paid-up member of the 356 Registry, sometimes you’ll find the present owner is just someone willing to take the first solid offer for that rusty-looking odd bathtub-shaped car in the garage.
So, in short, I gave up long ago on V12 Ferraris , 300SL Mercedes, etc. as "all being found" but can we say that about 356s?
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Old 12-05-2016, 05:05 PM   #2
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Well I just ran into that a month ago. Born in Dec '55 pre-A Speedster that has been cocooned for 30+ years, long time family thing,... and even though the owners wife initially had no idea, it took them all of about 30 seconds to google search & voila! almost instantly it was north of $100k. And it'll require another $75k+ to get into some semblance of shape. And it was never even marketed to the public. Just word of mouth.
It's 2017 now...
Good luck!!
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Old 12-06-2016, 03:55 AM   #3
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A couple years ago I was driving down the hill from my house, saw a convertible D on a trailer, stopped and talked to the buyer, clearly a pro from up north. Very original and clean car, I think it probably sat in a neighbor's garage for decades. Asked him what he paid, he said $30+K or something, dawned on me later that he absolutely stole the damn thing. Yeh, I think they are still out there, but prolly hard to find unless you're looking closely every day and ready to jump on the occasional but rare steals. Methinks that car was worth at least $100K at the time.
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Old 12-06-2016, 01:03 PM   #4
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I thought I saw Rod Emory post one they uncovered in a garage in Compton, CA this past week.
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Old 12-06-2016, 01:33 PM   #5
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Default Bad neighborhoods have nice cars too

I haven't looked that Emory find up yet but among the places to look for a car that was popular 40-50 years ago is neighborhoods that have changed a lot like the one he found that car in. Gary Wales found a pre-war French Talbot Lago in Compton--it had been given to a gardener by a wealthy man after it rolled down the driveway and killed his wife. Gary heard about it and tracked it down even though the tip was 20 years old.
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Old 12-06-2016, 01:47 PM   #6
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Deals are still out there. All of our 356 cars were purchased via word-of-mouth. Two were barn finds and one stuck away in a garage on jack-stands with a rebuilt engine in near perfect shape with only several K miles on it.

The barn finds required travel to see them and return trips to trailer them home. The garage find was local and drove it home.

We are still in the hunt.
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Old 12-07-2016, 09:41 AM   #7
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I get to disappoint several folks a year asking about my parked 356...

Only once did I have to get very insistent that no, it isn't for sale, and if you aren't off my land in 35.6 seconds I've got other old German hardware to introduce to you....
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Old 12-10-2016, 09:13 AM   #8
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On IG there is profile full of barn find 356s and not only.

Here is the link: https://www.instagram.com/unobtaniuminc/
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Old 12-13-2016, 01:20 AM   #9
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Not all are found in a barn.....

some have sat in an open field for 30 years, maybe more.
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Old 12-13-2016, 11:17 PM   #10
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they are still out there
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Old 12-14-2016, 03:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrgreenjeans View Post
Not all are found in a barn.....

some have sat in an open field for 30 years, maybe more.
Yes, you're right...but some are still out there.

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Old 12-16-2016, 09:30 AM   #12
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I think there is always going to be stuff around. My friend just found a very early 911 in an old shack.

When I was little, I thought every dilapidated shack had an old car in it (really, I did). I thought it was just part of the definition.

With the introduction of driverless cars and a millenial generation that is against owning anything, there could be a whole new generation of field ornaments.
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Old 12-18-2016, 11:35 AM   #13
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I guess if you knew if there were barn finds out there it wouldn't be much of "barn find" would it?
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Old 02-25-2017, 06:14 AM   #14
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Everybody wants to find a bargain. But think about this. If you find a bargain, that means the seller is making a gift to you. Perhaps he or she is doing that with eyes wide open, but probably not. It means you are taking advantage of someone who is less informed than you.

What if the shoe were on the other foot? Is it so unthinkable to pay a fair price?
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Old 02-26-2017, 03:14 PM   #15
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Just because its a barn find doesn't mean that its a bargin. Most are now informed and realize they have something, if there are family members involved then somebody's been watch cable and/or surfing the net.. so, "well I saw one sell on the Mecum auction for etc..." so now we have a place to dicker from!
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