Barn Find Hunter: Denny’s trove of American classics

You didn’t think Tom Cotter’s barn-find adventures in Michigan were over, did you? Far from it. In this latest episode of Barn Find Hunter, Tom finally heeds advice from several people and goes to visit Denny, “the guy with all the old cars.” Those tips proved to be both useful and the understatement of the year, as Denny’s collection is both large and impressive, spanning several different marques and automotive eras. Fords, Chevys, Oldsmobiles, Mercurys—they’re all at Tom’s fingertips. Under a few layers of dust, of course.

The find begins in Denny’s garage with a 1963 Buick Riviera with a 401-cubic-inch nailhead engine that he was ready to ignore in favor of other cars. And surprise—it actually runs, too! It’s an Arizona car, and Denny says he’ll even sell it for about $3500.

Soon Tom goes to the next garage, where he finds a ’51 Ford, a ’64 Chevy Impala, and a ‘63 Ford Falcon with a 260-cu-in V-8 that Denny is willing to part with for $5000. In a flash Tom is on to a new building, where he becomes positively giddy at the sight of a ’64 Ford Ranchero, which Denny will sell for $13,500 (it also runs). Then there’s a ’46 Ford, an Oldsmobile Cutlass, a ’41 Studebaker with a rebuilt motor, a ’40 Chevy coupe, another Buick Riviera, a ’56 Chevy Bel Air two-door hardtop (with no floor), and a ’56 Bel Air four-door (with no motor).

Oh, you thought that was all? It’s on to a newer building, where Tom marvels at a ’41 Ford panel van that he observes has all the makings of a good street-rodder. Of course, there’s a Mercury Cougar with a 428 Cobra Jet, and it runs well, too. Sitting next to it is a beautiful small-block-powered Chevy with a great restoration, as well as a chrome-covered ’58 Buick purchased from a GM executive.

If this guy has four more buildings he isn’t telling us about, we wouldn’t be shocked in the least.