6 Amazing Corvette Barn Finds

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Can you believe these old Corvettes haven’t seen the light of day?  These stories go to show you that one man’s trash is another man’s Corvette treasure.

1. 1971 Corvette “The General” drag racer and Corvette tow car

tow car

The story is still unfolding on this one, but it appears to be an aluminum ZL1 427 cubic inch, dual quad, tunnel ram big block powered modified production drag racer from the early 1970s. It is just about 100% intact, with spare aluminum block, extra 427 crank, rods, pistons and everything. The heavy-duty solid rear axle and home built wheelie bars are there, too. They had sat in a suburban garage next to each other and been covered in clutter for 40 years until the original owner died in 2014. You can follow along as more comes to light on the thread on CorvetteForums.com


2. 1959 Corvette fuelie, walled up in an actual barn


You probably remember this one from a few years ago. Technically this wasn’t really a find because the buyer knew where it was the whole time.  It was bought new in California and driven back to South Carolina a few years later by the original owner, who is the father of the recent buyer. It ended up being sold to a family friend in the early 1960s, and damaged in a fender bender in 1969. Then, still damaged, it was walled up in a barn because the owner got tired of people knocking on his door asking if he would sell it. There it sat for more than 40 years until the guy passed away and his estate was liquidated, including the more than 20 cars around the property. The original owners sons teamed up to buy a bunch of them, just to get their dad’s Vette back.


3. One of 300 1954 Corvettes in Pennant Blue 

Baby Blue

In 1953 and 1954, almost all the Corvettes were white, and there are only about 4,000 of those all together. For some reason, four 1954 Vettes are reported to have been painted black, and four were painted black, but since there was no trim tag on C1 cars listing the paint code, these can be faked by anyone doing a total restoration. The Pennant Blue cars, however, had a unique beige interior, while every other car had red, making them a bit easier to authenticate. Several of them have popped up recently, but this one is complete with the remains of the interior intact. Unfortunately, all we have are the eBay pictures and auction information, with no shot of it as it was found. Still, it supposedly has been sitting since 1968 until it was sold on eBay in 2015 for nearly $35,000.


4. 1960 Corvette Briggs Cunningham Le Mans Racer


This car, estimated to be worth in the mid-7-figure range once restored, was once listed on Craigslist for less than $1,000 by an owner in Florida who obviously had no idea what he had. Even once it was found, there was a long court battle between the new owners, and an old drag racer who had had it stolen from his driveway in the mid-1970s. Finally, in 2015, it was settled in court, with a valuation of $2.5 million and a 3-way ownership. This could simultaneously be both the most amazing barn find, and the best cautionary tail about not getting a title on a car. The insane thing about this find is that it included only about 30% of the car, missing the original body, motor, transmission and more. But, having the VIN stamped on the frame, steering column and a few other places, there is no doubt that this is at least the skeleton of the 1960 ‘Vette that Briggs Cunningham raced at Le Mans.


5. Two 1957 Corvettes and a 1963, came with the house


Sometimes, when you buy an old house you get some extra added stuff that was forgotten in the attic, basement or garage. In the case of this Milwaukee man, he first spotted the corner of a Corvette peaking out of a junk-filled garage, talked to the owner and ended up with a house, 2 garages, and 3 Corvettes. None of them perfect, and the 2nd 57 most likely only usable as a parts car, all 3 of them had been sitting since at least the early 1970s.


6. 36 Corvette VH1 Contest/Peter Max collection

Peter Max

This is surely a strange one because it is not as if these cars were ever really lost or misplaced. VH1, the cable TV channel, had a contest in 1988 and awarded a lucky guy 36 Corvettes, one from each year. Pop art painter Peter Max decided he must have these cars for some project, and bought them from the winner. For the next 25 years, all of the cars were stored in various parking garages in the New York City area, with the artist not moving forward on the project, except to paint some color samples on a few of them. The cars actually received news coverage several times as they were moved from one garage to another inside of the New York City area. Finally in 2014, the owner of one of the garages, along with a partner, bought all of them outright from Mr. Max and started the cleanup and auction of them.


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Bryan Wood is a longtime car and motorcycle enthusiast who writes for Harley-Davidson Forums and Corvette Forum, among other auto sites. Plus, he runs his own blog, Pilez & Driverz.

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