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This is a story from one of our original members from "back in the day"–Terry B. He lives outside of our area now, but we keep in touch. I think our members would enjoy hearing about the trials he went through trying to obtain a couple of collector cars. - Lanny N.

Barn Find story pictureA couple years ago my father in law (Larry) told me he had seen an old Buick convertible in a barn in Lovelock Nevada. When the owner showed it to him he offered $500 for it but the owner said it wasn't enough so he went on. A few weeks ago we were going to Park City Utah for a family vacation and stopped in Lovelock to stay the night in Larry's hotel, while there I asked him to bring me out and show me the Buick… so he did. As we walked into the barn there was a '56 Chevy pickup with an inch of dust on it and Larry said it was for sale as well.  The Buick ('54 Special) was in the back corner of the barn under a bunch of stuff, the top was down, the windshield, taillights and a wing window had been damaged by kids but the car was straight and solid, everything was there (or in the trunk). I asked Larry to take me to the owner's home to make an offer.

Barn Find story pictureI met the owner and his wife (they had 5 or 6 big ranches, thousands of acres); they were in their 80's and really nice folks. We visited for a while and I told him I was interested in the barn cars… he said make me an offer. I offered him 3,000 for the pair, he told me he had to discuss the offer with his brother and asked me to call him the next day. We were up early and drove on to Park City arriving there late afternoon. After moving into the hotel I made the call and was told that my offer was accepted. I immediately called Larry and asked him to drop off the $3,000 and get a bill of sale… so he did.

The next few days were a little rough, I was trying to arrange a car hauler or rent a trailer, everyone was busy and the trailers were out because of Hot August Nights at the same time I was in the doghouse for doing a car deal when I was supposed to be on vacation with my family. Towards the last couple days of vacation I was able to schedule a car hauler out of Fernley but he had no winch to pull the cars on with. We drove home from Park City (getting home at 10:30pm) I loaded everything in my pickup I was going to need to make the cars roll and load up on the hauler. Then I slept till 4am, got up and drove to Fernley to meet the hauler and went on to prep the cars. After I knew the cars would roll and load I was going to call the hauler and have him come do the pick-up.

Barn Find story pictureWhen I got to the ranch the foreman met me with a crew and cleared the barn, I had the '56 ready to go first. One of the ranch hands went to get a tractor and I got in the truck. Next thing I knew… everyone was gone and someone was standing in front of the pickup, it was the owner's son, Walter. I could see Walter wasn't a happy camper so I stepped out of the pickup to talk. He looked at me and said "I wasn't taking these cars anywhere" so I let him know I had bought the cars from his dad, the sale was cleared with the uncle and his mother and that there was a car hauler in Fernley waiting for my call or maybe even on his way. I explained I now own the cars and they were on their way to California.

At this point Walter's attitude changed, he started to back step a little and asked if I was only to take one car and sell him the other which would I take? I told him the Buick and that if I sold him the '56 he would have to deliver the Buick to my house as part of the deal, he agreed. I called and canceled the car hauler, we pulled the '54 out of the barn (first time since early 70's), I had to pull two wheels off and take them to town for tires while he went to get the trailer. While in town I stopped by to repay Larry the $3K and Walter showed up at the hotel. Walter told me he didn't want me to take either car and wanted to offer $6K for me to just drive home without. I told him I would meet him back at the ranch to discuss it with him.

We met back at the car and he told me about all his childhood memories playing and sometimes standing on the seat driving the car when he couldn't reach the petals, it was part of his family and he didn't want to loose it. He considered them his and knew they should stay there. I explained in current condition that Buick was worth at least 8 to 10K in my yard and the '56 would easily bring in 2 to 3K. In the end I didn't want hard feelings between Larry and Walter's family and didn't want Walter to feel he had lost out of part of his inheritance… so I took the 6K and drove back to California… making and loosing money at the same time.


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