Four "million-dollar barnfinds" go to auction this week
There's something about a "barn find" that tickles the public's imagination. Hence, it was very exciting to find that there are not one, but three, or maybe even four, million dollar barnfinds going to auction this week, and one of them is the barnfind made famous by Tom Cotter's first book, The Cobra in the Barn.
THE Cobra in the barn
This car was featured on the cover of The Cobra in the Barn (inset bottom center), as well as being the focus of a chapter within the book detailing its history, retrieval and subsequent restoration, a process undertaken by Cotter and his partner Jim Maxwell that returned it to its original white over red color combination, while retaining as much of its originality as possible.
Prior to being found in the barn, the 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra was the property of Scottish chemist Dr. Bryan B. Molloy, one of the team that developed Prozac.
The car will be sold by RM-Sothebys at the official Amelia Island auction on March 10, 2018 and is estimated to sell for between US$1,000,000 to $1,200,000
1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Long Nose Alloy
Estimate: $2,500,000 to $3,250,000
Ferrari built just 453 examples of the 275 GTB, of which 205 were built with the more desirable (aka expensive) revised long-nose body style. Of the long-nose bodies, only 80 cars were built with lightweight aluminum coachwork. Purchased second hand in 1982, the car was used sparingly until the owner's friend and mechanic, the only person he trusted to work on his prized sports cars, passed away unexpectedly.
The owner placed an advert in the newspaper for this car which read: "Classic silver with blue interior. Fresh engine and clutch. Engine compartment and mechanicals all gone through. A beautiful driving car. Early paint and interior very clean. $665,000."
It didn't sell, and has remained parked ever since. It has just 13,207 original kilometers (8,206 mi) on the odometer. The full story can be found in the auction description.
1967 Shelby 427 Cobra
Estimate: $1,000,000 to $1,300,000
This Cobra was purchased in 1980 with 13,000 miles (20,921 km) on it for $55,000. In 1991, after just 4,000 further miles (6,437 km), the owner's mechanic died, and rather than entrust the car to someone else, he advertised the car thus: "Fresh, original engine, drivetrain w/ scattershield; wheels beaded; nice Wingfoots; original paint, leather, top, side curtains, tonneau; 17K miles; $425,000." Without solid interest, he decided to keep both cars (see Ferrari above), however they remained parked and unused until earlier this year. The entire story can be found in the official auction description.
1957 Porsche 356 A 1500 GS Carrera Coupe
Estimate: $600,000 to $700,000
The only one of the four barn finds that may not sell for more than a million dollars, though it is certainly as original as the other three, being sold with the matching-numbers engine in pieces and everything intact and seemingly undamaged.