Daytona in the Barn: After the Barns
We sat at the table and watched the people trip over themselves walking past the Superbird, and people taking pictures. It is always fun having a cool car. Scott showed me where the old Canton Train Station was with old Whitcomb engine, and then drove me past the old International Plant where they built International Vehicles. I guess after International left there years ago and it was a used tire storage place and started on fire, went on burning for something like a week.
In Canton there were a few cars that Shad knew of, so we cruised by there, and at the same time visited his 73 Duster. He had models and car parts, a little bit of everything. I wish I had a storage space to put my parts; I'd have a lot more room in my garage to work on my crap!
The road back to Peoria was a long one, so we were talking about the stuff that we knew about. Shad then dropped another bombshell, there was some Barracudas sitting in front of a barn on the way home. So we did what any expedition would do, we went on the hunt! And we found them, two late model E-Body Barracudas. The one was well beyond help; the second was not too bad. We were running a little later then we would have liked, so I snapped so me pictures from the road and we did a U-Turn and headed back to the main road.
There wasn't anything else on the way back other then a 73/74 Duster that was in a driveway. It was drivable it looked like, and had been moved recently from what Shad had said. Scott took us all the way back to Shad's home, where I attempted to burn the pictures we had taken that day to some CD's we had bought. But I was late in learning my laptop doesn't have a CD burner. I felt bad, but there wasn't anything more I could do. Scott had to get home, but Shad still wanted a ride in my Challenger, so we big Scott a warm farewell and he departed in his incredible Superbird.
Shad and I though jumped into the Challenger and decided to continue the hunt! He knew of a Valiant sitting for sale nearby. So we made our way to the Valiant. It looked clean from the outside, but I could see the waves in the quarter panel and for the $1,250 asking price, it wasn't worth it I thought. That's when Shad dropped another bombshell, there was a guy nearby that had two Challenger Convertibles supposedly stashed away. So we went to find them!
I was pointed down the road where the Challengers were supposed to exist at, and what do we find, a Challenger being parted out in the backyard! I was pointed the wrong way on the street, so I went down to the end and turned around, see some cool old RamChargers and a Chevy Apache.
Coming around, I parked in front of the house and went to knock on the door. The owner’s dogs began barking and he came to the door. He said he did a double take when realizing a 09 B5 R/T Classic was outside his home as he had just purchased a 09 Challenger R/T as well! He showed us his beautiful new Silver 09 Challenger with sunroof and 6-speed (almost wish I had bought one). Then he invited us to his garage.
In the driveway of the garage was a 71 Challenger that had been hit hard at one time, and he was stripping that car for parts for the others in his garage.
He opened the garage door and the stories had been true, there was two Challenger Convertibles sitting in his garage, a 70 and 71. No crazy R/T or big engine cars, but still! You don't find one Challenger Convertible usually and here was two project ones sitting in one spot!
Both were a little rough, but the guy had the ability and time to do it. You could see that he had recently been working on the cars, so I wasn't worried that they would just sit and rot away. Shad and I went over those cars for an hour almost, talking with the owner and playing with the two dogs he had there. It was a really nice stop and I was more then happy to have found these cars, I though that this was the cherry at the top of the cake that the day had turned out to be.
Well I was wrong, Shad and I said goodbye to our new friend and headed out. He knew of one more cool car in the area that he thought I might like looking at. It turned out to be a 67-69 Barracuda Convertible, red with a white top. Had a big old dent in the driver side fender and the window was down. But it looked like a really nice project car. Shad said it had been sitting there for a long time, so the interior must be a wreck now after having the window down for so long.
By then it was getting late, and we headed back to Shad's home. I said goodbye to my new friend and I started to head back to Bloomington, but I had one more stop to make, Roanoke, IL.
In Roanoke there is a big Dodge dealership that was famous for the owner being a big fan of Vipers and Muscle Cars, so I had to stop. Unfortunately I was about a half hour to late for them to be open. But I did see some cool Vipers from the showroom and a few Challengers they had out front. Next door I was able to see a incredible Dodge Truck drag truck made out of a 80's Dodge truck and made up to look like a Little Red Express. I would love to have seen that thing run down the track! And there was a late 70's Dart out back that looked like a nice little project. Across the street from the Dodge Truck I could see a row of old Mopars, a 70 Challenger, Dart, 66/67 Charger and a few others. The cars were on private property so I didn’t go and take a look at them.
That was it. I had to get back to Bloomington, I had been adventuring for the entire day. I traveled where I had never been before, seen cars that were just myth and legend. This was the best expedition I had been on yet. It was all because of good people. I wish I had been down there for better reasons. I hope that those who read this can be inspired by this and follow up on those stories they hear of a car in a barn (if you don’t want to, pass them onto me then!).
Ryan’s Cars in Barns Pictures