Wild 81-car barn find in France spans Miura, Corvette, old tractor
Finding dilapidated cars in barns (or other enclosed structures) isn’t just an American phenomenon. An auction house in France has just listed a catalog of 81 cars it plans to sell on January 20.
The eclectic mix of cars features a Jaguar E-Type, Porsche 356 pre-A, C3 Chevrolet Corvette, and a Lamborghini Miura P400 amongst the buffet of various nameplates from around the globe. The conditions of the cars range from decent to almost-fully-one-with-the-earth, but here are a few of the highlights:
Series 1 Jaguar E-Type coupe
An early flat-floor example of one of Britain’s most beloved sports cars (and also left-hand drive), this Series 1 coupe is painted a lovely shade of gold beneath the thick layer of dirt and dust. Translating the ad from French with Google Translate isn’t an exact science, but it appears the coupe has had some body repair and is missing the center console. The description also states the car was originally sold in Paris. In average condition a ’61 E-Type holds a value of $159,000, making this one worth saving.
Porsche 356 Pre-A
The listing for this early Porsche coupe includes “Corrosion importante. Très incomplete.” Which even I can get the gist of without understanding French. It’s rough and incomplete—the photos make that pretty clear. But this red shell is from the dawn of the Porsche brand and is an iconic shape and blue-chip player in the classic car world. Even a #4-condition (Fair) example is valued at $54,000—vraiment.
C3-generation Chevrolet Corvette
A non-chrome-bumper C3 Corvette wouldn’t draw much attention at most auctions, but there has to be a good story around how a white 1981 coupe somehow found its way to France. The third generation is not the most desireable Vette but still doesn’t seem to garner the hate of the C4 it preceded, and it gets to stand proud for helping the iconic sports car weather the oil crisis in the 1970s. The owner of this group of cars seemed to have disparate tastes but bad storage habits. This Corvette epitomizes both. A broken windshield and enough moss to make it look two-tone certainly aren’t helping drive up the price, though.
Lamborghini Miura P400
The highest estimate of the auction, this 1968 Miura is could sell for between $455,000 and $683,000. This might seem absurd upon first glance, but when compared to a #2 (excellent) condition value of $880,000, one could argue that there’s a good chance to get in under the low estimate. The Miura arguably perfected the design of the mid-engine layout, combining supercar performance with gorgeous Bertone styling. It’s a timeless classic and an everlasting jewel of sports car design. The photos show a car in rough condition, but a second glance shows it to be fairly complete and the body in not-so-bad shape.
If you are in the market for a barn find and don’t mind going to southwestern France to pick one up, you’ll have to act fast. The auction is in two days. There’s also a bunch of assorted parts and other trinkets if that’s more your style. Or maybe you just really like big old Citroen vans, and don’t mind visiting an oddly large number of Oldsmobile Toronados. You can find further details from the auction house here.