Being a racer himself, Barn Find Hunter Tom Cotter will always make a detour to talk race cars—even if the vehicle is one enthusiasts like to make jokes about. Despite the cracks, the Ford Pinto is a chassis that racers have loved for decades across motorsports. The last time Barn Find Hunter took a trip to Florida, Tom took a trip just south of Jacksonville to visit a shop chock full of unlikely vintage speed.
Tom has some experience of his own racing a Pinto and he admits that he is a big fan of the vintage economy car. When he was wheeling one, he bought a lot of his parts from a guy by the name of Racer Walsh. Now Tom is closing the loop a bit by visiting the shop of Racer Walsh’s son, Brian. The purple-and-gold two-door was raced by the elder Walsh for years before being sold. Years later, the car was rediscovered and Brian spent time prepping its return to the track. After his father passed, Brian mounted a small billet urn to the roll cage. In a way, his father is still turning laps in the Pinto.
The rest of the cars in the shop are of relatively low dollar value, but they’re more than worth their metal in fascinating stories. Brian makes a point to try and save Pintos and other less-known racers, especially ones with good history. One of the best parts of the classic car hobby that there is seemingly something for everyone. It is fun to get excited about Cobras and Ferraris, but humble vehicles can be just as compelling and significant when a story is there. It just goes to show that just about everything is interesting if you dig deep enough. Tom is really good at digging, as we’ve seen, so be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel to receive notification with each video that goes live. You won’t want to miss out on whatever he finds next.