Hemi's on the Farm: Part Five (the final part), The Hemi's in the Barn
The owner walked over to the old barn. A big lock held the door shut. He told me how someone had broken into the barn in 1995 and stolen some parts including the intake to his 426 Hemi Hillborn injection. But they couldn't haul everything, so they threw some of what they took in the ditch and took off. So the owner decided to board the barn up. He hadn't been in since 1995!
Finally the lock gave way and the old door opened after more then a decade and the first thing you saw was piles of parts on the floor. I saw a Hemi 4-speed, big block intake, a bell housing and some other miscellaneous parts right by the door. But once my eyes adjusted to the low light in the barn and looked up did the real shock set in. The place was full of 426 Hemi's.
I couldn't speak, and the owner could tell. There was Hemi's sitting on stands, just covered in dust. The first one was nothing special from what I could tell, just a bare block. But the second one was something special. It was from what I could tell a 1968 or 1969 NASCAR Hemi engine with original intake, carb and air cleaner. The rest is up for debate.
Further in was another 426 Hemi, this one with a complete blower assembly on top of it. This one had never been run. Just assembled and then left all those years ago. The owner had a thing for blowers as he had collected many over the years.
There was Hemi parts all over the place. Another block on the floor. Hemi 18-spline 4-speed transmissions. Intakes, Carbs, valve covers. He even had some odd ball stuff like some Hi-po 273 small block stuff in the mix. In the corner was even a complete 413 with long ram intake sitting there.
Going further back we found some more NASCAR stuff. Including a set of original valve covers, two 3-barrel carbs and even a very early magnesium 426 Hemi single carb intake. Some uber rare stuff!
We walked around the corner and there was a 65 Dodge Coronet. Not a Max Wedge or Altered Wheelbase car, but a solid base for one. The owner told me to follow him to something cool. At this point I looked down to see a skeleton of a cat! Let me tell you I screamed like a little girl. The owner laughed and moved the skeleton. Then he moved a old tarp and underneath was a nearly complete 1969 426 Hemi. It looked as though it was plucked from a car and put on the floor and left there. It was that clean. I couldn't believe it.
I made one more pass through the barn, see if I was missing a Picasso or anything else. Founds some Ducati Motorcycle engines though! We made our way out to the yard. My mind still reeling from the shock of seeing it all. The owner couldn't believe that I was so interested in old cars and parts covered in dust. As we took a drive in my Challenger I explained to him that it was because it is unique and special. I could go see a dozen 69 Chargers fully restored and beautiful. But you have an extremely rare car (and parts) in untouched condition for decades. That makes them very cool.
Time was then against me, and I told my new friend I would talk to him soon. And I thanked him over and over for letting me view his incredible collection. He thanked me for the ride in the car and for my enthusiasm towards his collection. We parted on good terms and I took off for Dubuque. The entire ride there I was in a constant state of shock, just trying to go over in my mind what had occurred. And still to this day I can not believe that such a cool and awesome exists, untouched by time.