Tom Cotter is back in the Nashville area and he’s singing a familiar tune: where can I find some classic cars? Just outside the city, the Barn Find Hunter passes a partially covered car that catches his eye, and it proves to be the beginning of an eventful day in Tennessee.
The car that Tom spied, a black BMW, is owned by Bill, a longtime car guy who explains that he drove the car until the transmission began acting up. Nearby there’s also a couple of Pontiac Firebird Trans Ams. Tom asks if they’re for sale.
“Everything’s for sale,” Bill says, repeating an old adage. “There was a time (when) you’d come by and ask me that and I’d say ‘no.’”
The short stop, Tom says, proves that “if you’re driving down the road and you see one car, that may mean there are other cars hidden around the property.”
Soon it’s time to follow up on another car that caught Tom’s attention the day before, a yellow Henry J gasser that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We meet AJ, who shares ownership with his dad, who says there are about 80 cars on the property, and 62 or 63 are registered. His father drove the yellow Henry J in high school. Tom spots another Henry J, along with a dune buggy that AJ says has “maybe seen two miles since we got it 12 years ago. We can’t seem to get it running right.”
Oh, but there’s more. Lots and lots more. Among the dozens of cars parked on the property is a 1955 Chevy gasser with a 350-cubic-inch V-8 bored to 360. Tom asks the same question he asked Bill at the previous stop: Would they ever sell any of the cars? AJ chuckles before answering.
“No,” he admits. “We buy ’em, wash ’em, clean ’em, and drive ’em. We want to restore ’em, but we won’t ever do it.”
As Tom walks through the rows and rows of automobiles, he marvels at how eclectic the collection is. There’s a 1965 Chevrolet El Camino, a Plymouth Duster, a ’57 Chevy four-door, a ’64 Ford Comet, a ’65 Ford Mustang, a Dodge Dart, a ’57 Chevy Be Air wagon, a Range Rover, a Ford Torino, and more.
“We like ’em all,” AJ says. “Anything we can get our hands on, we’ll get it.”
Tom is impressed. “Places like this are rare,” he says. “If you’re lucky enough to meet the owners, maybe you’ll get a tour … It’s like a little museum.”
Of course, you’ll never know until you get out there and look.
As Tom says, “Happy hunting.”
— Jeff Peek