A Priceless Barn Find
…may be just around the corner from where you’re sitting as you read this. Proof of such finds, as well as some stories that put the occasional “right place, right time” story to absolute shame will have you turning the pages of Tom Cotter’s book The Cobra in the Barn — Great Stories of Automotive Archaeology with what seems to be never-ending excitement.
This is, of course, the all-new paperback version of Cotter’s book, originally released as a hard-cover in 2005, and the first of his “In the Barn” series (which also includes Hemi in the Barn, Vincent in the Barn, and the forthcoming Corvette in the Barn). The book takes the approach of the classic bench racing topic of that one rare, hidden or forgotten gem that someone always seems to find in the back of a barn, or tucked behind years of junk in a garage, and backs up the exciting premise with true stories of such finds!
From stories of pure chance finds, like the ’40 Ford Woody found when a hunter sought refuge from the rain, to tales of utter compulsion and persistence (years of phone calls and visits simply to purchase a long-term project), and everything in-between, the book is a true page-turner, no matter what your automotive tastes. From cars found literally around the corner, to travels almost around the globe, you’ll find yourself wrapped-up in the cars, people and stories.
Like so many of the people featured in the book, I can certainly agree that there’s a thrill in the chase, and occasionally, we learn that once the prize has been captured, it’s simply on to the next hidden treasure… While for others, the cars and their stories become a part of their lives and heirlooms in the process. This was the first automotive book I’ve had in the studio that just grabbed and fascinated everyone who happened to pick it up! Even my wife read the book, cover-to-cover, and has made it a point to seek out the other titles in the series.
As the press release states, “Author Tom Cotter uses his engaging writing style in telling the tales of found Cobras, a rare Delehaye found disassembled in Czechoslovakia that eventually won Best in Show at Pebble Beach, a Ferrari racer found in a California woodchip pile, and several more. Cotter traces the early histories of the cars, how they were discovered, and where they are today.” I’d like to add that the book also stresses the importance of research, and the struggle for some to decide between restoration or updating and personalizing these finds… And having the ability to learn from others with just a simple flip of a page make this book a treasure all its own!
The Cobra in the Barn
Great Stories of Automotive Archaeology