In a round about way, my Bugeye "Sprytly" was a result of my barnwatching.
I had a ten-year sabatical from British cars. I was into early-sixties Ford
musclecars during that time. In my previous employment, I would have to
drive from Lancaster, California to Bakersfield a couple of times a month.
The most enjoyable way was to use the backroads, and go through Tehachapi.
There are hardly any trees until Tehachapi, and it's mostly grassland.
Very, VERY dry. Plenty of snakes too. There are lots of alfalfa and onion
farms out there. Parked around the farmhouses were every manner of old
American vehicle; trucks, cars, camp trailers (yes, vintage Airstreams),
tractors... More often the cars were four-doors, unfortunately. I would
park (descretely) by the roadside and use my binoculars to see what was
there. You should be careful in this area because people who live there
don't want to be observed or bothered for various reasons. I located a rust
free '64 Galaxie fastback with a big block in it. Cash deal, I haul it
away, bug-bomb it to kill all the black widows and brown recluses, get it
running nice again, sell it, and I used the money to buy Sprytly. One day,
that Galaxie might be worth more than my Sprite, but it doesn't matter to
me- I'm back to British for good. I've had my fill of big engines, poor gas
mileage, soft suspensions, etc. If you are into that kind of iron and live
in the Los Angeles area, check it yourself. You could make some money
buying and selling that stuff, but be careful.
From Charles Christ [mailto:cfchrist at earthlink.net]
Sent: Tuesday, July 18, 2000 12:00 AM
Subject: cars in / behind barns
my bugeye came from behind a barn 26 years ago(with a small tree growing up
through the passenger side floor). here in eastern pennsylvania there are a
lot of small farms and extremly sentimental/conservative people who have
saved all types of vehicles in storage sheds, attached home type garages and
barns. it is nothing to hear a story about an extremly neat old car being
found within 50 miles of here. unfortunatly a local giant in the poultry
business has been buying up old farms as they become available for growing
feed for the business and as the properties have been bought after a while
they tear down the farm houses and all existing structures for reduced
taxes(and in some cases liability). now the operation posess so much land
they are developing industrial parks and subdivisions where once stood
beautiful country farms. so the available "barns" are slowly going the way
of the do do bird around here(sad). but in the small pennsylvania dutch
towns in back alley garages that in some cases were carrige sheds converted
into automobile garages still are undiscovered gems dating back to rubber
and gas shortages of world war two. my neighbor comes across these from
time to time and they(garages) are literal time capsules when opened!
porcelan signs, gas pumps(globe type), tools etc. . so believe me there
are still a lot of undiscovered gems out there! unfortunatly not all cool
sports models from foregin countries but none the less, serious car junkies
with a sharp eye will still find a special gem from time to time out there
so keep the faith baby and do not give up the search!!!!
they're out there!