Back in the spring we caught wind of a huge barn find collection coming up for sale. VanDerBrink auctions has done a great job of cornering the market for offering barn-fresh collections over the past few years and this one is remarkable. The Coyote Johnson Collection is scheduled to be auctioned off in a few short weeks from now on September 14 in Red Oak, Iowa. Now that the collection has been cataloged and is up on VanDerBrink’s website, we decided to cruise through the lot list and pick out a few of our favorites.
The collection has a number of Mopars to choose from, so we checked for Hemi cars lurking unnoticed. Sadly, we came up empty-handed; all we could come up with is this 383-equipped Road Runner. That said, the 383 is no slouch. This Road Runner has been slightly upgraded under the hood, has some totally rad turbine-style wheels, and gears are selected via the pistol grip shifter. In B5 Blue, this is an eye-catching car already and should be a head-turner once brought back to life.
When the topic of the Chevelle SS comes up, it is only natural to think of the big-block monsters which dominated the late ’60s and early ’70s. For the first year of the Chevelle SS, a big-block option was not on the table; in fact, it wasn’t until late 1965 that a 396 was available. Before that point, the 327 did all the heavy lifting. This first-year Chevelle SS has what looks like the 250-hp version of the 327 and an automatic transmission (likely a 2-Speed Powerglide). 1964 Chevelles of any type are uncommon to see offered publicly. This car is likely one that serious Chevelle collectors are watching closely.
Chevrolet massively overhauled the Impala for 1965. Not only was the styling changed significantly, but the chassis was completely resigned from the antiquated “X-Frame” to a full perimeter chassis. This vastly improved passenger safety as well as handling because it allowed the body to sit lower. The 1965 Impala was equipped with numerous engine options, which included a mid-year change from the venerable 409 to the all-new 396. This example has the mid-tier 327 under the hood. This car also has the sportier interior including the completely awesome center console with a clock. Unfortunately, the buyer opted to order the vacuum gauge rather than the tach for the dash. Despite being a small-block Impala SS, this car is extremely cool and is very well optioned.
The all-new GTO for 1968 saw a number of improvements over the previous year. Everything about the car’s styling was sleeker and sportier. Under the hood, the standard 400-cubic-inch engine even saw a slight power bump to 350 hp. The 1968 GTO tends to be ignored by casual enthusiasts since it wasn’t available with “The Judge” package, but, aside from a few minor details, these are visually identical cars. This GTO is believed to have been previously restored and appears to be complete. The engine appears to be the standard and quite potent 400. This is definitely a GTO worth getting excited about.
Pontiac fans should be salivating over this one. Finding a Firebird 400 is a special occasion to start with, but 400 Convertibles are exceptionally difficult to find. This 1969 Firebird is believed to be original. While that means that there is bound to be a lot of work ahead to bring this car back to like-new, it is worth the effort. This Firebird 400 Convertible is potentially one of the biggest finds in this collection.
The 1970 Chevelle SS hardly needs any introduction. To many, this car is peak muscle car with the available LS6 454 cranking out 450 hp and trumping anything anyone else was willing to advertise at the time. This car is advertised as an SS with a non-original 454. There is no mention of paperwork to assist with verification of this car being an original 454 car. If it can be snatched up inexpensively enough though, it would be well worth the gamble.
This sweet, Fathom Green Camaro SS looks amazing… especially sitting on those vintage slot wheels. Before anyone gets too excited, this car does have a 350 under the hood. Still, the 350 was good for 300 hp, and that’s not bad considering the Camaro’s 3200lb curb weight. This car has the right look going on and would be an incredibly cool example when brought back to life.
While this collection is mostly GM and Mopar, there are a couple Mustangs for the Ford lovers out there. This is a standard C-code 289 car but it does have a 4-speed manual transmission and is one of the few cars that doesn’t appear to need extensive work to be driven, which is a huge plus.