Whether it be a sheer accident of fate or an outright hunt, people have unearthed some insane cars that were hidden away in a barn. Ranging from classic vehicles to antique cars worth a fortune, here are the rarest, greatest, and most unexpected vehicles found in barns.
1969 Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona
One of the rarest barn-finds ever, this vehicle is the only roadgoing alloy Daytona made by Ferrari. Just five 365GTB/4 Daytonas were produced, of which four were meant for the track.
This vehicle was acquired by a Japanese car collector in 1980 and was discovered in 2017 after decades of being lost. Even in its barn-state, it fetched €1.8m ($2.04 million) at RM Sotheby’s.
1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe CSX2287
While Shelby built six Daytona Coupes, only five could be tracked ─ until 2001. The last unit of this ultra-rare Ferrari-beating legendary American car was discovered in the garage of a woman named Donna O’Hara after she self-immolated.
In one of the greatest barn finds ever, O’Hara’s locked garage was found to have the CSX2287 that she inherited from her father. It’s valued at over $4 million today!
1967 Porsche 911S
This dusty 1967 Porsche 911S was accidentally discovered by LBI in Philadelphia. Its owner had put it away in a wooden barn after it was rear-ended by a Pontiac Firebird decades ago.
The car was found to have many original components still in place, including rare Fuchs wheels, making it a highly valuable barn find.
1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante
Originally the car of British Racing Drivers’ Club founder Earl Howe and one of only 17 units built, this rare 57S Atalante is probably the barn-find of the decade.
It was found sitting in the garage of British doctor Harold Carr for over 49 years. After Carr’s death, his family auctioned it off unaltered at Bonhams for an insane €3.4 million ($3.85 million) in 2009.
1955 Jaguar XK140 SE Michelotti Coupe
This one-off XK140 SE Michelotti Coupe with a rare C-type engine was found in the collection of a Belgian car enthusiast in 2018.
Jaguar built just three Michelotti XK140 units, and it was the only one to get its unique coachwork. Bonhams sold this rare barn find for €356,500 ($404,000).
1963 Aston Martin DB4 Convertible
Aston Martin built just 70 of these convertibles as the coupe guise was more prevalent for this model. The one seen here was originally owned by an Oxford professor till 1978.
The second owner, however, stored it for unknown reasons. After being discovered, this rare car was sold in its barn-find condition at the 2011 Bonhams auction for £310,000 ($416,000).
1968 Jaguar E-Type S850660
Buried beneath all kinds of junk boxes in Los Angeles, this super-rare Jaguar E-Type is probably the most expensive ‘thing’ ever misplaced.
It famously competed at Sebring in 1963 and was forgotten for decades, until being discovered by Jaguar hunter Terry Larson in 1998. It was auctioned off for a staggering $1.3 million in 2003.
1966 AC Shelby Cobra 427
This 1966 AC Shelby Cobra 427 is part of a $4 million barn find by automative historian Tom Cotter for Hagerty’s YouTube series ‘Barn Find Hunter’.
This Cobra was found with several other collectibles in a North Carolina house set for demolition. It was auctioned off by Gooding & Company in its unrestored state for a staggering $1 million in 2018.
1966 Ferrari 275GTB
This 1966 Ferrari was also part of Tom Cotter’s $4m barn find in North Carolina. One of just a few dozen units built with an alloy body, it was the most precious of the lot and fetched $2.53 million at a Gooding auction in 2018.
In case you’re wondering, Cotter’s NC haul also included a mid-1980s BMW 325iX, a 1978 Morgan Plus 8, and a 1976 Triumph TR6.
1969 Lamborghini Miura P400 S
This Miura P400 S is not a barn find per se as it was never lost, but it’s still worth mentioning considering the fact that it’s an extremely valuable vehicle and it did spend some years in a barn.
This car was put away after its owner’s demise in 2015 and was taken out by his brother 4 years later. RM Sotheby’s sold it unrestored in 2019 for a whopping £1.25 million ($1.68 million).
1981 BMW M1
Found buried under piles of junk in an Italian garage, this matching-numbers M1 is one of just 453 units produced. Besides that, it was never registered and had run for just 7,329 km before being garaged in 1982.
This rare and ultra-low mileage barn find was valued at £380,000 ($510,000) when it was discovered and restored by Mint Classics in 2016 – after a slumber of 34 years!
1955 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing
This 1955 Mercedes 300SL made its way to a Santa Monica garage after its transmission failed and saw the light of the day only after 4 decades when it was found by auto genius Rudi Koniczek in 2011.
Being one of just 29 alloy-bodied units ever built, this rare barn-find car is valued at an estimated £5 million ($6.72 million).
Type 57 Bugatti Cabriolet
This Type 57 Cabriolet was discovered in a Belgian garage along with two other Bugattis and a Citroën – all of which were sitting there for over 60 years.
With original components intact, this matching numbers Cabriolet was one of nine units produced and was sold for €500,000 ($566,000) by Artcurial in 2019.
1958 Aston Martin DB Mk III
This rare Aston Martin DB Mk III was discovered from a Pennsylvania garage in 2009. It had been resting there for over 30 years.
Though there have been several other barn finds for this vehicle, none was found in a better shape. With all original components intact, Bonhams auctioned it off for £104,540 ($140,000) in 2015.
Land-Speed Record BMW M1
This rare barn-find car was used by Harald Ertl to set a land-speed record for an LPG-fueled car while working alongside British Petroleum in 1981. The Austrian racing driver hit 301.4 kmph (187.3 mph) and set a new record.
It’s strange how a record-breaking car fell off the radar – but it did. The one-off Bimmer somehow got ‘lost’ in 1993 and was discovered after a quarter-century in 2018.
1969 ‘Aristotle Onassis’ Lamborghini Miura P400S
This 1969 Miura P400S had been sitting in the car park of Greece’s Hilton Athens hotel for over 30 years – and was extricated in 2012 during its reconstruction.
It was gifted by Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis to ex-singer and rally car driver Stamatis Kokotas. Kokotas left the car for some repair but it’s not clear how it remained there for decades.
1963 Shelby 289 ‘Cobra in the Barn’
This rare barn-find has an interesting story. It sat with cattle for 24 years in an Indianapolis barn owned by Scottish chemist Bryan Molloy, known for inventing the world’s leading antidepressant Prozac.
Just a month after this car was discovered and taken out, the barn burnt down. After being through a couple of owners, it ended up with famed barn-finder Tom Cotter, who featured it in his book, The Cobra In The Barn’s cover.
1962 Ferrari 250 ‘GTO in the Field’
This Ferrari 250 GTO was found rotting in a grass field in Ohio, with windows open and tires flat. It stayed there from 1972 to 1986, until the owner gave up all hopes of restoring it.
The vehicle had seen better days too. It was extensively raced on the Goodwood track for the first 2 years of its life. Thankfully, it was rescued from its absurd parking spot and was eventually restored by Concours.
1958 Porsche 356 ‘Super’ Speedster
This 1958 Porsche 356 ‘Super’ Speedster was a rare barn find for a number of reasons. For starters, it was found with all original components intact and had unique coachwork by Reutter.
Despite being all rusty from inside out, this drop-top was auctioned off in its unaltered condition for $307,500 in 2018.
Mercedes-Benz 300SL ‘Gullwing’ in Cuban Garden
When automotive photographer Piotr Degler heard the rumors of a Mercedes-Benz 300SL ‘Gullwing’ abandoned in Cuba, he traveled to the island country on a mission to locate it.
After weeks of searching, he finally discovered this rare car under a banana tree in the most dilapidated condition possible in one of the greatest barn finds ever!
1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider
This ultra-rare Ferrari Spider (left) was found beneath a pile of magazines and old books from the family home of French entrepreneur Roger Baillon, who made a failed attempt at building a museum of classic cars in the 1950s.
Baillon’s collection was one of the rarest and most valuable barn finds ever! Just the Ferrari fetched a staggering €16.3m ($18.5m) at a 2015 Artcurial auction.
1956 Maserati A6G Gran Sport Bertlinetta Frua
Seen beside a Ferrari, this rare Maserati was also part of the massive barn find at Roger Baillon’s property in the rural west of France in 2014.
Artcurial found more than 60 collector cars in Baillon’s family home and outbuildings. After restoration, this A6G Gran Sport was valued at around $1.2 million.
First Production Land Rover JUE 477
Even though a prototype and 48 pre-production units were launched before it, the JUE 477 was the first unit built for public use. In fact, it’s often hailed as the first-ever Land Rover.
Made in 1948, this icon of Land Rover history was lost for decades with absolutely no traces of any kind – but was discovered from a Northumberland barn after 50 years of slumber.
1964 Porsche 901
Porsche 911 lineup was originally called ‘901’ before they changed it due to a copyright claim by Peugeot. However, the German automaker had rolled out 82 901s before that.
Being one of them, the 901 shown here is an ultra-rare barn find. Despite being all smashed up when it was found in a Brandenburg barn, Porsche still bought it for €107,000 ($121,000).
1925 Hispano Suiza H6B Cabriolet Par Million Guiet
The Hispano Suiza H6B is one of the most historically significant vehicles of the Spanish automaker. It was designed by Swiss engineer and automotive icon Mark Birkigt with his patented four-wheel braking system.
Considered one of the finest rides back in the 20s, it’s highly valued by collectors. The one seen here is worth $337,000 in unrestored condition.
1967 Lamborghini Muira
This 1967 Lamborghini Muira came to light after a deep slumber of around 30 years in a long-forgotten New York barn.
It was an all-original vehicle that came out just as it went in – immaculate and rust-free. It even had a Rolling Stones cassette tucked in the car’s stereo. How cool is that?
1969 Dodge Charger Daytona
This matching numbers Dodge Charger Daytona was found rusting in an Alabama barn, with front seats chewed up by animals.
As one of just 503 units that Dodge built to compete in NASCAR, it was an extremely rare barn find and was auctioned off by Mecum for $90,000 in 2016.
1950 Ferrari 166MM Barchetta
This Ferrari is not just one of the earliest models, but also one of the rarest too. Just 25 of these units were built.
The one shown here sat in an Arizona barn for decades before being discovered. Even in a poor and broken state, this rare barn-find car was sold for a whopping $1 million.
1957 Porsche 356 A 1500 GS Carrera Coupe
This 1957 Porsche 356 A 1500 GS Carrera Coupe is the first vehicle to ever have a four-cam engine. It remained with different owners till the 70s, after which it was garaged for the next few decades.
When discovered again, this iconic car went on to fetch a neat $506,000 in 2018.
1968 Ford Mustang Bullitt
Steve McQueen’s 1968 blockbuster ‘Bullitt’ made the Ford Mustang GT one of the most popular muscle cars of the time.
Two Mustangs were used in the movie – one by McQueen himself and the other by his stuntman. The latter was found in a Mexican junkyard after being lost for decades.
This Mercedes-Benz 190SL was discovered when a passer-by caught a glimpse of a bit of chrome visible from under its custom cover as it sat in the garage.
Its owner was in palliative care and getting in touch with the trustee of his estate was quite a task. But fortunately, it was done and the car was restored into an amazing Barchetta cruiser!
1935 Mercedes-Benz 550K ‘Caracciola’
Built for legendary racing driver Rudolf ‘Caracciola’ in 1935, the 550K Caracciola is believed to be one of the most valuable cars in Mercedes’ entire production history.
This one-off vehicle was discovered by writer Michael Mraz to be sitting in an LA ‘junkyard’ with numerous other million-dollar classics. Not much is known about its current state as the owners won’t let anyone in their mysterious collection. But it’s worth anything more than $10 million, that’s for sure.
1968 Lamborghini Miura P400
This Lamborghini Miura P400 is from a whopping 81-car barn-find in France. Spread across several fields and overrun outbuildings, it’s often considered to be one of the biggest barn-finds ever.
The matching numbers Miura was the most valuable of the discovered cars. It was auctioned off for €560,000 ($634,000) by Adam Encheres in 2019.
1953 Porsche 356 Pre-A
The Lamborghini Miura P400 might be the highlight of the huge 81-car French barn find, but it wasn’t the only noteworthy vehicle.
There were many other collectible cars in the haul discovered by Adam Encheres, such as this rusty Porsche 356 Pre-A, that later went on to fetch €48,000 ($53,000) at auction, despite lacking its original engine.
1968 Ford Mustang ‘Hero’ Bullitt
The Mustang driven by Steve McQueen in the 1968 movie ‘Bullitt’ was purchased by Robert Kiernan for $6,000 in 1974. He garaged the car after a breakdown in 1980, where it sat for over 30 years.
Kiernan’s son eventually restored the car with Ford’s help and auctioned it through Mecum for a staggering $3.4 million, making it one of the most expensive barn-finds ever.
1948 Delahaye 135 M Cabriolet Faget-Varnet
This 135 M Cabriolet is yet another rare vehicle to come out from Artcurial’s mega barn haul at collector Roger Baillon’s property.
With Chassis number 800745, it’s one of just six units ever produced and one of the three to survive. Like other cars from Baillon’s barn find, it too was restored to its former glory.
1957 Ferrari 250 GT Ellena
This rare 1957 Ferrari 250 GT Ellena was also discovered by Tom Cotter for Hagerty’s Barn Find Hunter series. Hailed as a highly sought-after version, it had been in the garage for over four decades.
What makes this barn find even special is the fact that it was an all-original unit and had been driven only scarcely.
1953 Horch 830 BL
This rare car was unearthed from the Texas desert after it was abandoned there 40 years prior.
Though it was found rotten to the core, its historical significance is enough to land it in any museum. It is the last vehicle made by Horch, the predecessor of Audi, and therefore holds immense value.
1939 Citroen 2 CV Prototypes
The 2 CVs might not be impressive by any standards, but they sure helped Europe get behind the wheel in the post-WW2 era.
The French probably knew their importance, that’s why they hid the original prototypes from the invading Nazis. And they did it so well that the prototypes were not discovered again until 1995! From a barn!