The Barn Find Hunter proves gold is in the plains, not the hills

The plains often get dismissed as fly-over country, but Tom is out to prove that great things are happening in the wide-open spaces of Kansas. He is continuing his trip from Midland, Texas, to McPherson, Kansas, and this is the final leg of the trip. As he crosses through Kansas, he sees the range—both literal and figurative—that the classic car hobby has to offer.

Tom and the wagon have already covered hundreds of miles, but this is a man who is insatiable when it comes to talking about the cars in yards, barns, fields, and storage units. The 1962 Ford Country Sedan wagon has been a good partner this trip, rumbling along without so much as a hiccup. Tom is looking forward to handing the keys off to the students at McPherson College; but first, he has some cars to find.

The weather has a different plan, though, as Tom talks with a farmer in Dodge City about his custom panel truck before the sky opens and unleashes a midwestern spring storm on the crew. Tom decides to pack it in and attempt a run north out of the storm, aiming to escape the hail set to fall from the clouds.

The dash to McPherson pays off. Tom’s first stop in the Kansas town is a shop to drop off the wagon for safe storage for a few days. Then, he hops in with the camera crew to venture across town where students of McPherson’s automotive restoration program work on their personal projects. It’s a goldmine of stories—everything from piecing together a custom bosozoku Datsun 510 to building a Sebring-style Bugeye Sprite for a mother. These young car lovers are taking the skills from the classroom and applying them to an even wider range of metal than the professors could imagine.

McPherson is a happy place for Tom. The halls and quad brim with potential and enthusiasm for the vintage cars we all love so dearly... which is why he is heading home without the wagon he worked to rescue. It is going to the program to become a parts runner and project on which the students can hone their skills before entering the classic car workforce.

This will be the wagon that keeps on working, even when it isn’t.