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Can we talk about ‘barn find’ cars?

Nope, not a barn. Stop it.

The Austin…

What we have here is a scene that, if he had been born in the age of the automobile, Constable would have been happy to paint. Even with the Landcrab in situ.

But despite there being no possibility of there ever being a Venn diagram with a Constable/car overlap, even he would have been able to identify that the forlorn Austin is, unequivocally, not in a barn. It is in a field. A field is not a barn.

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The Citroen…

On this image from a particularly unfortunate episode of Ground Force, we have a dead Citroen ZX Volcane. Much better than Charlie Dimmock’s nipples, there’s no doubt. There should also be no doubt that this car is a derelict wreck that has not been stored carefully. In fact, the poor old thing was probably stolen and dumped in the woods that in no way resemble a barn, and now even Tommy Walsh couldn’t save it.

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The Lincoln…

This is Sebastian. He is a grade A pint-sized prick. Look at him, standing on that beautiful Lincoln Continental two-door, throwing a rock at it. What a wanker. But even so, he’s not the issue here. The authorities will catch up with Sebastian soon enough. No, the issue here is the Lincoln. It’s in a bad way, but it’s in that way on the side of ’70s U.S street. There is no pasture. There is, then, no barn.

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The Ferrari…

John wanted to build a conservatory. So on an idle Sunday and after consuming far too many cans of Stella, John decided to channel his inner Nick Knowles and make a start on his glorified greenhouse. He didn’t have chance to ponder the fact that conservatories are silly and only ever used twice a year. Why? Because his spade struck something. Unluckily for John, it wasn’t oil. It was in fact a Ferrari Dino. Weird, make no mistake. But it’s also worth noting that under John’s back garden is not in any way similar to a barn. Nuh uh.

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Why is everything a ‘barn find’?

Where does it come from? We’ve owned many a car that has been holed up. We’ve owned many that have been flat-out abandoned. We’ve had cars that came to use in a thick layer of dust and sadness. But we have never, ever had a car that came from an actual barn.

Yet if you go on eBay or wherever, you’ll see no end of cars described as “barn find”. Where are these barns full of old cars? Not 2 Grand is based in Somerset, home of the farmer, and yet we’ve never once seen a car in a barn. In a garage in Southmead, yes. A barn? Not so much.

We’re not disputing the existence of cars in barns. It’s a thing, we know. We’ve seen the pictures and we have the book. But because some cars are found in barns does not mean ALL old cars are found in barns.

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We get it. A barn is far more romantic and whimsical than a concrete garage on a council estate, but that doesn’t mean you get to steal the term. It’s a lie. And it’s a needless one, too. Really.

The only person who is going to buy a ‘barn’ find is a gearhead, a person with a passion for petrol, one of us, basically. If a car has been holed away for ten years, that alone gives us the intrigue and wonder. It could have been in a barn, it could have been under your bed, we don’t care. We’re interested just because it’s not moved some SOMEWHERE for x years.

So sellers, do us a favour. unless your car has Babe, the entire cast of Emmerdale or Jethro within it, don’t call it a barn find. Garage find, unfinished project, car wot ain’t moved for ages m8, whatever, just be honest. Give it a rest with the barn nonsense.

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