Caddys, convertibles, and other classics at VanDerBrink’s latest sale.
50-car barn find in Pennsylvania is a dusty gold mine of Detroit iron
Most people would be thrilled to discover just one cool car in a barn, but every now and then somebody hits the dusty, dirt-covered jackpot. That’s certainly the case for Matt Murray, who runs the YouTube channel Iron Trap Garage. Murray is based in Pennsylvania, and he got a tip about a shocking collection of about 50 cars not too far from him that have been tucked away in a handful of large buildings—in some cases, hidden for decades. What he found was a once-in-a-lifetime treasure trove of American metal.
The variety of cars he found is dizzying, with vintages ranging from 1930s street rods to Mustangs, Corvettes, fin cars, and much more. Sorting through these rides could not have been easy, however. Each building is packed wall-to-wall with cars and piles of accumulated junk. That said, several cars are in solid condition given their age and how long it’s been since they were on the road. And for many of the vehicles, owner Larry Schroll kept extensive records and an absolutely delightful collection of in-period snapshots. Schroll passed away in 2018, leaving behind a lifetime’s worth of cars he’d been collecting since he was young.
Iron Trap Garage will be releasing a handful of videos digging into this collection before the cars are sold at estate sales throughout 2020. The first batch of about 10 cars will be going to auction in April, so Murray provides a walkthrough of some of Schroll’s marquee highlights.
The tour starts with a red 1965 Ford Mustang, which is fully loaded with a 289-cubic-inch V-8, factory air conditioning, power steering, and disc brakes. Schroll bought the pony car in 1982, drove it for a bit and then parked it just as you see it here. (You’ll notice that’s something of a theme with this group of cars). The interior is in very respectable condition, all things considered, and the red-on-red color scheme pops even when covered in barn grime.
Next up is another beauty in red—a ’54 Corvette, specifically in rare Sportsman Red and one of just 100 examples from that year painted as such. Schroll picked up the ’Vette in 1969, and it still has its 1968 inspection sticker. It was briefly parked outside, but for the bulk of its slumber the C1 was parked indoors. For the early Corvette fan, this car might be a bit sacrilegious given its small-block V-8 swap. If you’re not choosy, and don’t miss the Blue Flame six-cylinder, this could be the early ’Vette for you.
Sticking with the red theme but moving over to the Ford side of things, Murray’s next stop, in a secondary building, is a ’55 Thunderbird that Schroll claimed in 1986. It has less than 80,000 miles and looks absolutely dynamite inside with gorgeous red and white upholstery. The dashboard is in mint condition and all the carpet looks excellent, too.
Yes, another red Corvette is part of this gaggle of dusty American vehicles. In this case, it’s a 1973 model with aftermarket wheels. Schroll kept extremely detailed records of this car, including old photos; we’re talking every fill-up from when he bought the car in 1977 to when he stopped driving it in 1978. It’s not clear exactly why Schroll stopped driving these vehicles, which he seems to have purchased used and then briefly enjoyed before storing long-term. In this particular case, perhaps he gave up on it after tinkering with the center console and never putting it back together.
If you’re tired of red cars… good news! The fifth stop on this adventure is an outlier—a 1979 Ford Ranchero GT. It shows under 50,000 miles, and unlike a lot of Rancheros which were used and abused in the intended fashion, the bed of this example is remarkably unmarred. The interior, too, is in respectable condition given the car’s age.
Now that you’ve had a rest from the sea of red, we’re back with another red Mustang. This particular pony, however, is a fascinating Grande model replete with wood trim throughout the interior. It’s… not to everyone’s taste. Nonetheless, the car is in great shape and comes with a stack of original paperwork and a 351 V-8 engine. And if you’re the sentimental type, Schroll kept a photo from the day he brought it home, towed back to his house by—fight back the tears, please—a Ford F-150. Now that’s keepin’ it in the family.
Beyond Murray’s picks, however, is an exhaustive list of interesting vehicles that appeal to many different tastes. Some of them include a second-gen Buick Riviera, 1937 Ford, 1962 Plymouth Valiant, 1960 Chrysler Windsor, early Corvair coupe, 1930 Ford Model A, Mark IV Lincoln Continental, 1959 Dodge Royal, 1961 Mercury Comet, a pair of VW Beetles, and plenty more.
Stay tuned for future episodes from Murray and Iron Trap Garage, and as our own Barn Find Hunter Tom Cotter often says, happy hunting.