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My barn find

Posted By Tom Letourneau #27060, Sunday, January 14, 2018

In all the years I've been doing Barn Find photos and articles for two magazines here in the States and one in the UK, I am here to tell you that the following has to be my best find ever. As it almost always is, it ain't just the find – it's the story that goes with it!

Wayne Carini of the TV Show Chasing Classic Cars Fame would have a field day here. Maybe even those two Brits that do the show Wheeler Dealers, too. It’s worth at least a one-hour show.

I went with my best friend, John DeWaele, up to Quebec to pick it up my barn find. I rented a six-foot-wide trailer from U-Haul, as I could not find one anywhere! The trailer had to be wide as my find and its sidecar were 68 inches wide.

After an almost seven-hour drive to west of Montreal and driving down an almost half-mile-long driveway into the Quebec woods, I backed the trailer up to the garage door where my find had been stored for 38 years. We opened the door, pushed my find out into the fresh air it had not seen in decades, dropped the ramp down... and the damn thing would not fit! Pay close attention to the rig and to the rear of the trailer and tell me WHY it would not fit - and why we had to turn around and head back after blowing about $500 on the trip.

Fellow Canadian Alfa Romeo Club member Alex Csank, a native of Hungary and retired NATO serviceman, told me of the rig, a 1972 BMW R 75/5 with a custom made sidecar from England. Alex, a Ural owner sent me pictures of the BMW. He told me it belonged to an elderly, disabled friend of his. The rig had been sitting for something like 38 years and only had approximately 12,000 miles on it. I bought it sight unseen.

Alex met us just off Canadian Highway A40 and guided us to his friend's place on hundreds of acres off in the wilderness. Under the guy’s humongous home was a garage where the BMW was located. Next to it was a 1957 T-Bird. Next to that, a 1970 Olds Black on Black on Black 442 convertible. Next to that a beautiful 1927 Rolls Royce. Outside under a canvas-covered storage unit was a 1964 Mustang and two circa 1932 Fords.

In another large Quonset-style metal storage unit were some other vehicles, including a 1947 MG TC. The entire side of that building was filled with old motorcycles piled on top of one another. Another building had a few more vehicles, including a Willys Jeepster that was being restored.

All in all, I could not get pictures of all of these vehicles as there were so many, and they were all so close together you could not move. One I really wanted to see was a 1979 Mercedes 300SEL. Unfortunately, it was crammed in a corner with a car cover on it.

We were told there was a fully collapsed barn further in the woods. The barn's roof now sat on approximately 20 Ford Model A and Model T cars. John and I believed them and passed on the muddy walk to see the Fords.

After the tour of the property, and realizing that there was no way that my find was going home with me, John and I decided to do an overnighter and head home down through Rouses Point, New York, and then island-hop our way across the many beautiful islands at the northern tip of Lake Champlain to get home.

The very next Saturday, loaded with photos, I drove down to Rogues Island’s longtime BMW dealer, Razee Motorcycles of North Kingstown, to show Gordon Razee and others my find.

Tags:  Airheads  Barn  Green  Sidecar 

Permalink | Comments (4)

Comments on this post...

Roger W. Wiles says...
Posted Monday, January 15, 2018
I hope you found a way to get the rig jhome.
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Gino Fortunato says...
Posted Monday, January 15, 2018
quite the story. If I understand correctly, you could not get the rig on the trailer because of the way the trailer turns in. i.e. the area where the pins are in the photo
Permalink to this Comment }

Larry J. Kraus says...
Posted Monday, January 15, 2018
I've always assumed sidecars could be detached from the bike.
Permalink to this Comment }

Jeff Williams says...
Posted Monday, January 15, 2018
Great Find! Let get some more of those motorcycle pics!
Permalink to this Comment }

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