How To Find And Buy Classic, Neglected Cars On The Cheap

Three guys went on crazy journey to find 1,000 rusted classics in the new book Barn Find Road Trip.

We’ve all seen those overly hyped and cleverly edited reality shows where the intrepid host “finds” a classic car lost in a rural barn, and then chisels the rube who owns it on a bargain buy. It must be true or it wouldn’t be on TV, right?

If you want to eyeball classic rides, we’ll take Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee over those fake shows any day. But if you’re interested in ogling real old cars lying in wait for discovery and purchase by savvy collectors,Barn Find Road Trip is a book worthy of your attention.

The $35 hardcover is packed with great photos depicting a three-week drive through the southeast, when author Tom Cotter and his buddies Michael Alan Ross and Brian Barr located more than 1,000 rusting classics awaiting restoration.

They found cars in barns, in forests, in fields and in restoration shops where they’d been overlooked. They talked with owners and determined whether the cars were available for sale, and mapped out locations where interested readers could actually buy some classic rides on the cheap.

The book also serves as a template for the aspiring restorer who just doesn’t  know where to start in locating a neglected jalopy in need of some serious TLC. But most likely, the book will thrill readers by proxy, because the couch is a lot more comfortable place to be with this book, rather than out in the garage with rust flaking off the underside of an 80-year-old car and into your eyes. Because that’s just unsanitary.

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Photos by Michael Alan Ross