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2023-06-14 19:09:03

How Classic Cars Are Found And Restored _ Cars Insider

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My name is Tom Cotter and I'm the host of the barn .

Find hunting .

You know , a barn find , it's defined as a , as a , a forgotten , ignored and neglected car , whether it be in a barn or a field , a car port a garage , a warehouse .

And I don't like to have leads .

I like to develop leads on the ground .

Go drive down the road .

Kind of get a feel for the town .

What I look for is not necessarily the hardware , the car , it's the story that that hardware , uh develops into .

We're riding around looking for cars in a kind of a commercial area in Midland , Texas .

And there's a field full of mostly Fords .

The owner , uh , Tom Cross who owns a swimming pool business , that's his private little empire of cars .

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He goes and drags them home , you know , and they've been there for 2030 years and we just started to walk through , look at them and I saw that car and then we kept walking away and I came back to that car and we walked further further and looked at this car , this car and it came back to that car and that's how we found that wagon .

I got compound .

I got ragged and I start buffing out this fender and I said this car doesn't want to die .

Dust is a big deal out there .

Wind blows endlessly .

So the good news is there's very little humidity so , uh , cars don't rust away .

But even if a car is completely closed up , the windows are closed .

Dirt is gonna go in there after 30 years , lots of dirt goes in there .

It was the body that got me because it was in such good shape .

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Not perfect , but the original paint , it doesn't look , it didn't look like it had ever been hit or retouched or anything like that , taking off all that old red oxidized paint with a buffer and you get this red all over it .

It did not let me down .

That little patch led to a fender , led to the whole car .

We put together a work team of mcpherson college students from mcpherson Kansas that restoration school .

And uh we went over the winter , we worked on it over the quarter of a quarter of a year .

Tom Cross and all his friends got involved , gave us engine transmission rear end , his friends rebuilt it .

He had a local hot rod club donate parts and time towards the project because it was going to a worthy cause .

So we had really , it was like building a car from the ground up if you can imagine like building a hot rod , you start with a body and a chassis and then you've got to add all the components .

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We had to do that because even though there was a front end there , it had drum brakes , it needed tie right ends , ball joints .

So we rebuilt the front end and put disc brakes on it and the wiring the brake lines , the fuel system , fuel tank , the glass , I mean , everything had to be at least looked at if not restored or replaced .

They put disc brakes on it .

And we built the 390 we built the transmission , we put Mexican blankets as seat covers and I got to polish the entire car , not just the one fender , they put cool wheels on it , cool tires .

It was a much bigger project than I realized that day when I first polished a little bit of a fender , but little by little it came together and a year later we drove it from Midland Texas to mcpherson , Kansas and , uh , presented it to the school as a , a parts chasing vehicle .

And , uh , it's still there today .

And interestingly the things we didn't quite finish the way we wanted to .

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Students at the school have totally reupholstered it , new headliners door panels , sea covers to factory specs as part of the graduation project .

So , you know , from Cradle to grave , we were kind of in charge of that car and it was one of the most rewarding episodes I can remember .


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