Adventures of the Automotive Archaeologist.
I travel around looking for Barn Finds. I'll go in farmer's fields, junkyards, barns trying to find those elusive cars in barns. Because you never know what you are going to find. The best Barn Find might be just a barn away.
I left my new friend and headed towards the Daytona nose. Just a few hours behind schedule, I did not thing my friend would mind since he hadn't yet to call me back. And by the time I had gotten out there I had yet to hear from him, so I made my way to Steve's house to see his collection. I wasn't able to see the whole thing last time, since he wasn't there when I went by. But this time I pulled into his driveway and him and a friend were sitting outside just chatting away.
He was more the happy to throw the covers off of everything, unfortunately he couldn't move anything around. His son had recently had some... difficulties with a Ford Torino GT and rolled it in a ditch. 390 car and fairly rare for what it was.
Steve went over every car with me, allowed me to shoot anything I wanted. He told me all about how he was so into NASCAR and wanted what he saw on Sunday, and then went and bought on Monday. Over the decades he had amassed quite a collection of cars that were homoligated for the street so they could drive them in NASCAR.
The barn was full of cars, but his favorites were the Fords and the Mercury's. That is what he had the most of.
One of the cooler cars in the collection was a matching set of Lee Roy and Cale Yarborough Mercury Cyclone Spoiler's. Supposedly one style was made for East of the Mississippi and the other for the West.
There were a few other project cars sitting around for a rainy day, mostly just old Torinos. All were solid cars, still able to be restored eventually.
Even had a 70's Cougar in there.
Out of this massive collection of incredibly awesome cars, there was one that really spoke to me. And not because it is the only Mopar in the collection, but because Steve bought the car brand new in 1970. he said he saw the Superbirds and Daytonas beating everything in sight, so he had to have one. Walked into the dealership and got the one off the showroom floor. Not a big Hemi Superbird, but a 440-6 Superbird with a 4-speed! You can not go wrong with it. The car is mostly original, he hasn't done much with the car, preferring to drive his other cars more often. So it sat for most of its life with only 83,000 miles on the clock.
I hung around with Steve and his friend for a bit longer. We talked about everything from the weather to the cars we loved to drive. Steve mentioned about my Challenger how much fun it was driving in it the last time I was out that way. How he hadn't gone that fast in a car in a while. I told him I was more then happy to take him for a ride around in the car.
With daylight slowly fading, and the cat wanted to go to bed and close the door. So I parted company with Steve and told him the next time I was by I would stop in and we can grab a bite to eat. I made my way back to my friends house not far from there. He was home and with company. His company was very nice and invited me to their place about 45 minutes away to show me their collection of barn finds. So off we went, on another adventure.
Unfortunately two weeks after I visited Steve he passed away quietly in his sleep. Timing for once was on my side you could say, that I was able to spend the time I did with him. I was fortunate to have met him and spend the time I did with him. That's why I did not hide his name from this blog, so people would know that he was a good man and was more then generous in his ability to share his passion for cars. He died too young.
I wish the rest of his family a peaceful and long life.