Hagerty Video: 1 of 500 Corvair, 150 Mazdas, and one RARE Alfa Jr. | Barn Find Hunter

Posted: 2023-08-22 12:00:09
Author: Hagerty
Junkyards don’t always provide the best barn find episodes because the cars don’t come with stories, but this junkyard is different. Tom stops by an old friend’s place to see some vintage race cars and is surprised by something unusual and out of this world.

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SPECIAL THANKS to Lenn Soderlund who designed the new Barn Find Hunter logo you see featured in this episode. Like you, Lenn is an avid Barn Find Hunter fan who took it upon himself to design a logo and send it to us. We loved it so much we made it the new face of the series.
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– Website: lenn.co

0:00 Intro
1:21 Mazda Miata assortment
2:08 Alfa Jr.
3:08 First Race Car
4:28 Cost to rebuild a Rotary Motor
5:00 Crash at Charlotte Speedway
5:44 Rare Pontiac Sprint 6
7:17 Crazy Corvair Collection
7:49 Lakewood Price & Value’
9:05 Corvair Corsa 140
10:33 1 of 500 Corvair Ultra Van

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Like what you see? Watch our other series including:
Redline Rebuilds | Time-lapse engine rebuilds from start to finish http://bit.ly/RedlineRebuild
Barn Find Hunter | Tom Cotter searches the country for abandoned cars http://bit.ly/BarnFIndHunter
Jason Cammisa on the Icons | The definitive car review
Revelations | Untold Stories About Automotive Legends with Jason Cammisa

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Hagerty Video Transcript

All right here’s a real one we’ll never see on a barn find Hunter we’ve never seen it before we’ll probably never see it again you know you go to you go to hard and you see you know Chrysler K cars and front-wheel drive GM things and crashed up Toyota Camrys and then you

Come to a place like this and it’s filled with cool cars and that’s because of this man Estes I met Estes in 92 when I was doing the pr for the Mazda GTP team and you were a rotary engine builder yes and then when that team

Folded he just kept on doing his own rotary engine so you were an early adopter of rotary engines what got you into them actually I was working at a dealer dealership in Charlotte and they asked all of us who would want to work on the Mazdas and I was the only

One out of 14 or 15 mechanics that was willing so they sent me to the training center and been working with Mazda ever since it was a whole career so I mean I see a bunch of race cars there’s some over here there’s some back here I see

Roll cages all over the place what is it you do here you build race cars we build and maintain race cars we do everything except sit in them and drive them if we could just walk around here because you got cool stuff man sure so Miata is your thing how many do you

Figure you have uh it was probably 75. there’s a hundred RX7 sitting here 100 RX7 yes now which gen first gen first and second no thirds mostly no thirds they’re hard to come by and expensive so these are these like race cars that can be used again or is that history yeah

Actually this was one of my rental cars in the last the last time I rented it my driver blew up the engine and that was about the time I decided to slow down drop an engine in it cleaned it up ready to go so these pretty much parts cars

That are back here pretty much parts cars most of the stuff that I’ve got here was to keep the race cars running you still have that Alpha here the zagato uh yeah let me find it so here’s one of the interesting sports cars that Estes has It’s an Alfa Romeo and I think it was called an alpha Junior this is the body was by zagato which was a rare yeah it was a body company in Italy very rare in the states I think I have two friends that own these Keith Martin at sports

Car market and I think Lowe paddock’s got one uh so they’ll be excited to see this sadly the front end on this thing is is torn up so bad that you’d have to be a pretty good fabricator to rebuild it out of out of uh aluminum I guess

It’s got aluminum Hood maybe aluminum doors but I can see the rest of this is steel but a rare car and so if you’re an apple Enthusiast you should be excited but then know that it was it’s been sold and it’s waiting for the new owner to

Pick it up so day late the dollar short so is that your first race car that’s my first race car let’s go take a look at that so you Corvair the first attempt at welding also so how long have you had this 70 two or three so that’s your first

Welding probably the doors were homemade around a tree or aluminum I made them that was my one of my first attempts at fabrication isn’t that something so you lightweight back then the rule said that you had to have the original uh door hinges so I did they were they

Were uh tie wrapped to the uh roll cage so this was a stock Corvair where did you race it any scca events mostly at Charlotte back in the day there were uh four different scca regions that ran at Charlotte gosh I don’t know five or six

Years I only ran at Charlotte there were so many events that I could you know I could just run at Charlotte and so what’d you do to the Motor Inn was it pretty stock or just modified no it was fully modified for racing last time I

Drove it was at Chimney Rock Hill Climb and would have been in uh 93 92 93. so you drove this thing up for many years yeah yeah wow well you got a lot of old race cars here with a lot of roll cart roll bar tubing on your property yes

Jeez what is what is a rotary motor go for these that they haven’t rebuilt you know too much really probably a minimum of 100 bucks now wow so it wasn’t viable anymore for me to try to keep the Rotary you know as a business so this is more

Rx7s than than most of our viewers will see for the rest of their lives they’re all here on this piece of property jeez my cars you race that one I raced that one crashed it at Charlotte hard and uh the tech guy said well that car

Is the right off and it just so happened that the very next weekend another region was having a race at Charlotte Friday after I’m pulling in with that car in The Tech Guy just shook his head that was a long week you worked a lot of hours I worked a lot of hours

The the problem was that was the illness handling car I I did it to prove a point to The Tech Guy but that car was scary especially in the banking that car was scary and that’s why it got parked let’s look at that Corvair that we saw on the

Way here okay today’s sponsor is Consumer Cellular they’ve reached to out to us because they they dig barn finds but they also dig born fine people like you they know the money that you save each month on your cellular plan you could invest in your barn find new Wheels tires rebuild that motor

It’s a no-brainer so to save money for your next project car check out the link in the description below that’s a super rare Le Mans convertible really yeah I bought this as a I bought this as a parts car from the GTO but this is a factory Sprint six

Overhead cam yeah and they converted it to an automatic but it was it still has the pedals in it I don’t know if it was a factory three speed or four speed I need to do the history search on it Jay Leonard’s got one of these really and he’s got the

High performance version with a four barrel dual exhaust how do you ever use suspension that’s what this is they still got the six in there yeah all right here’s a real one we’ll never see on barn find Hunter we’ve never seen it before we’ll probably never see it again overhead cam

Six cylinder four barrel carburetor they made them in a in a standard version which maybe is what this is and a high performance version with like also to trick that parts that Jay Leno has been searching for one and finally found a one owner car wow isn’t that

Something that’s a rare Beast pretty cool yeah we came to Estes yard because I knew there were a lot of Mazdas what I didn’t know there was going to be any corvairs I don’t know if in barn find Hunter over the nine years we’ve been shooting the program if we’ve ever seen

Almost every example of a Corvair in one spot we have an early edition that happens to be a wagon a later Edition which happens to be a convertible with a stick shift we have a two-door hardtop and we have a van I guess what we’re missing here is

The pickup truck version of the van and a four door but you know what not not bad in all the years of barn find Hunter we’re probably only seeing one more Lakewood station wagon and I thought well because it’s here and it seems to be a pretty sound shape

Maybe we should see what a car like this is worth so we got on that the Hagerty price guide and looked up this the VIN number and the VIN number tells us it’s a 1961 Corvair very early car I think maybe the second year mature if you’re a Corvair person don’t

Send me hate mail uh it’s got 145 cubic inch engine 80 horsepower one a two one barrel carburetors and it’s got an automatic on the dashboard so in Concourse condition if this car were perfect thank you be worth twenty thousand nine hundred dollars one step down and number two excellent

Addition sixteen thousand three hundred in good condition nine grand and number four Fair forty five hundred this is below Fair because even fare is a running car I you know Estes says this one runs but if you could pick this up for a couple of grand get it up on jack

Stands in your garage clean it out clean all that vegetation inside there out I bet this would not be a terribly expensive restoration to uh to pull off and you know what you don’t need to put new paint job on and stuff just clean

This up wax it up and enjoy it as is this one is a late model cover and this is the hot rod if you were looking for a a performance Corvair you’d get the second generation which is what this is and all those weird handling characteristics were taken care of by

Then sadly this is the car that Ralph Nader uh put it into they had all those problems solved this one is a Corsa a Corsa had the big motor not the turbocharged motor has 140 horsepower motor this one’s got a wooden steering wheel Factory option it’s got a manual

Gearbox with an optional wooden shift knob and if you come back here this one though has been modified it’s got one big four barrel Carter AFB carburetor on there somebody’s adapted it on here so this was a high performance car I don’t know what the horsepower is now

These cars did quite well in scca road racing the the Achilles on this was this fan belt that this fan belt went from being on this plane to making a couple of turns to turn this engine fan to keep the engine cool air-cooled motor [Applause] it always turned out that corvairs might

Be leading an e-production race and near the end that fan belt would break and the Porsches would win now since then Corvair has been modified so you don’t have this convoluted fan belt style now they have a more traditional type of cooling fan but back in the day this

Probably could have won a national championship if that belt hadn’t been here all right so what the heck am I looking at this is a 66 Corvair Ultra van this is actually a manufactured vehicle yes they manufactured 530 something they had Corvair powertrains well you know directly from GM so GM didn’t make

This GM did not make this it was made by an independent company but the ultravan is the only non-chevrolet manufactured vehicle that the Corsa Club of America recognizes as a Corvair you’ve got a Corvair engine it’s got a Corvair dashboard Corvair steering wheel I don’t know if it’s got

A Corvette front end on it does not this one this one has got the um 140 engine in it doesn’t look like well yeah it does it’s all it’s it’s the motor’s inside the further and that’s a generator wow huh so it’s all aluminum bodies you can see

All aluminum the guy that designed it was a uh aircraft engineer for the military when he came out uh he decided to to build these things and they Loosely resemble of airplane fuselage so this had a bedroom a kitchen living area what do you think the horsepower was on

This thing well it’s 140 140. I wonder how the standard was a 110 that had two carburetors this one does have the High Performance Engine and I wonder what how fast you go down the road with one of these I’ve never actually driven one of these yet

Probably not too fast I love it it would be a great restoration project wow it will be restored it that’s that’s not that’s not uh I’ll get around to it story it will be restored I just wasn’t ready for the project but

I knew if I didn’t get it I get it yep I get it now I love it on barn find Hunter I don’t pursue junkyards if I don’t know if you’re aware of that very rarely do we visit a junkyard because junkyards have no stories people have stories cars in their garage

Junkyards it’s just inventory but places like this are going away I mean that’s I-85 one of the busiest traveled roads in the United States we’re within just a few feet of the interstate this land is going to become so valuable that somebody’s going to come along and

Offer us this money and he’s going to sell it and all these cars will be scrapped it’s it’s probably important to visit places like this if for no other reason than to kind of just pay respect to the cars that are here maybe take photos that you can you know

Show your friends and maybe blow them up and make artwork for your Den out of them or something but uh you know I don’t care for junkyards but once in a while you just have to do it