If you tell Tom Cotter, “Don’t expect to find any more cars in Midland, Texas, because they’re all gone,” be prepared to be proven wrong. In the newest episode of Barn Find Hunter, Tom heads back to rattlesnake country to show you just what can be found just by driving around and looking.
The first stop is to check out the shell of a Ford Torino at the end of a driveway. The stripped-out hulk leads to a conversation with the car’s owner, Ron, who opens the garage door and reveals a 1970 Dodge Charger. Solid sheet metal, 727 Torqueflite transmission, air conditioning, and a set of Cragar mag wheels make for a great start to a cruiser muscle car.
While out for lunch, Tom’s Woodie Wagon catches the attention of a local and sparks up conversation about old cars, and the man points him down a dirt road. Soon enough a Ford Falcon Ranchero catches Tom’s eye, and he decides it is worth a look around.
Project cars await. First is a ’57 Thunderbird drag car with a fiberglass shell draped over a fabricated chassis. The next building houses a hot-rodded Pontiac that is set up with a two-key start in order to thwart any attempts to steal the car. Out back sits a VW Type 1 that seems to be a Beetle only in shape and front suspension; a small-block Ford engine sits mid-ship under a fiberglass front end, with a sheetmetal firewall protruding way back into the interior.
The final project that peaks Tom’s interest is a Chevrolet Blazer with mismatched-color body panels. A small-block V-8 settled in the engine compartment and a registration showing it was last on the road in 2010 makes it a good tow vehicle or unique cruiser.
It just goes to show that cars are indeed out there, even when they’re “all gone.” It just takes time and determination. As Tom says, “happy hunting.”