Barn Find Hunter: Homemade trucks, hot hatches, and everything in between

The dry weather in the southwestern section of the U.S. is often viewed as the place to go for finding cars. In the latest episode of our Barn Find Hunter video series, Tom Cotter resumes his quest to find interesting cars and ends up at the last exit before entering Mexico. Is the discovery worth the trip?

Just a few miles north of the Mexico border, Tom sets his gaze upon a pair of pickup trucks that were converted using a Volvo and Mercedes as their base. The transformation involved bits of old Fords and restaurant refrigerators, along with a lot of creativity. Although the owner did all the work himself, he is reluctant to call himself a body guy.

Always one to look past the first eye-catching vehicle, Tom is soon roaming through the rest of the hoard of cars. He finds a pair of 1951 Packards, a 1939 Buick, and a 1930 Plymouth that are for sale, but the hunt continues after a friend of the landowner drops by and mentions a second lot down the road.

Tom follows up on the lead and finds himself in a dusty rental lot that contains a complete Dodge Omni GLH, and he takes a moment to reminisce about the early days of the hot hatch. Wandering between hunks of scrap metal, a few shells appear that Tom says are worth saving. Maybe a new home can be found for the El Camino, Plymouth Road Runner, and two MG Midgets. Tom says a 1970 Ford station wagon stands out as an interesting project, based on the three-speed shifter that is poking through the transmission tunnel.

If you’ve been lusting after a 428 four-speed wagon and can repair rust, this is one way to get 75 percent of the experience.