Every once in a while, you get an opportunity that you have to jump at. This opportunity for me happened on Monday when I received an out of the blue phone call from someone a couple miles from me. I was a referral to potentially provide guidance on a “Barn Find.” When I spoke with the person handling the removal of property from a client’s rental home she didn’t tell me much, except that she had a unique vehicle that had to be gone in 4 days. I didn’t expect to end up owning this vehicle, but fate put it in my lap.
I hurried out of the office and made my way downtown near Western Kentucky University. The house was a rental house for fraternity brothers. I am sure the walls of that house can tell many stories! Underneath the house was a sealed-up garage, and had been padlocked many times over to prevent tenants from getting into the garage. The house was partially dilapidated, with the typical college after life. The house was being cleaned up for sale, and all contents had to come out, including the car.
When I arrived, the garage was open. A large A/C unit was blocking the rear of the car, but the distinctive Ferrari rear end and tail lights were glaring at me. My palms got sweaty, my heart was beating and I knew that this was a cool find! The iconic Ferrari 308 GTSi from 1984.
This isn’t one of those perfect Barn Finds that needs nothing, and at first glance it didn’t look too terrible. The rear end was in pretty good shape, the passenger side looked clean. Looking inside I was amazed that the seats, dash, instrument panel, etc was all there and it was nice once you get past the years of dirt, dust and grime.
As I looked at the front my heart sank! The front bumper, lower valance, wheel vent on the front and passenger headlight was missing. Down the driver’s side showed this car was involved in a minor fender bender and just left as it was. This car once was a premier sports car and when everyone sees it they have flashbacks to Magnum PI. This is the car that many of us had posters of on our walls.
I took many pictures and let the lady know I would ask around to see if anyone wanted to buy it. I thought and thought about this car throughout the day, and knew it had to be mine. After talking with several friends who know these cars, my wife, and others I made an offer. Right at 24 hours after seeing the car I can say that I am a Ferrari owner! That is strange to say to be honest.
The car is a 2-owner car with 29,000 miles. It was purchased by the second owner in 1985 and it led a less than perfect life. Late night rides and being put away wet were part of this cars story. After just 12 years of driving, 1997, the owners decided to park it. Many college parties above it and the dust/debris took its toll. Yesterday, 21 years later, the car was given a much-needed bath. This car will take some time to repair. I am not quite sure that that will be under my care, or the next persons. Regardless, she was happy to see the sun, and I am sure she will be excited when she is fired up for the first time in a long time!
These barn finds still exist, and who knows when you may get that call…Will you jump on it?