Hagerty Video: 10 Barn finds on ONE street: VW & Land Rover Heaven | Barn Find Hunter

Posted: 2023-03-21 12:00:27
Author: Hagerty
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Episode 134

In this episode of “Barn Find Hunter,” Tom visits four young gentlemen who are all best friends as well as neighbors. Anyone into cars can understand how this is car enthusiast heaven! If someone is missing a 10mm socket they can go next door and borrow one for a friend. If it’s a late night and you have to fix your ride for a rally the next day, you’re never short a helping hand. Tune in and follow along as Tom tours you through their Volkswagen, Lotus, and Land Rover collection.

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.
– Instagram @lennjamin
– Website: lenn.co

0:00 Intro
0:50 1975 Dodge D100
1:24 Lotus Europa
4:34 1966 VW Beetle Lowrider
6:10 1965 VW Beetle
7:20 1984 Land Rover
9:05 1969 Land Rover
10:00 1959 Land Rover
11:20 1966 Split Window Bus
13:34 1963 Split Window truck
14:25 Ride Along
16:05 Tom ran out of gas
16:50 Outro

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Like what you see? Watch our other series including:
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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

– There are some neighborhoods that just get it right. You know, you see car people that live amongst other people, like, they’re not car people and they kind of they’re always like the odd man out. Bobby. (hands whooshing) Bobby Lotus, as we call him lives in a neighborhood

Where he’s friends with the next door neighbor, and the next door neighbor, and the next door neighbor. And if somebody’s missing a 10-millimeter socket he can borrow one from anywhere of those houses because everybody’s got toolboxes and their own automotive interests and they’re all best friends. So what a cool deal.

How’d this work out? – Well, as far as both of my neighbors go I’ve known one of them for most of my life and then that led to the next one, led to the next one. A lot of people start up skateboarding, my age, you know, skateboarding, riding BMX.

Eventually it comes, like, mini bikes (coughs) which I have a problem with. And then it gets to Dirt Bikes, or full-size motorcycles or and then it comes to cars. So that’s how I met Connor. Connor’s the last guy you’ll see today, but- – [Tom] So let’s, we’re right here, let’s talk about this.

So what the heck is this doing here? – [Bobby] So I bought this last night. (Tom chuckles) This is a 1975 Dodge D 100. I have a ’96 Toyota that I drive all the time, it’s my daily, but I wanted something a little bit older to haul my mini bikes and motorcycles with.

– [Tom] And so how did you find it? – [Bobby] Marketplace. I’ve wanted a Ramcharger for a while but couldn’t really find a Ramcharger that was close enough, not rusty enough and within my budget. But this was, and as soon as I saw the first picture

Of the yellow truck and it was original paint, had to have it. – So nothing in my mind could be more contrasting than have this truck here and have that car there. – [Bobby] So this car is one of the first few models of Lotus Production Cars outside of, like, their race equipment.

This is a 1967 Lotus Europa S1A. It’s one of the first 500 cars produced. You can make a few noticeable distinctions between this and the later model cars being that it has one-piece glued in plexiglass windows here. It also doesn’t have front indicator lights, which you would normally see down here

On all the other models. It also has- – [Tom] This wouldn’t have worked well with toll booths in the United States. – Toll booths… Going to get fast food now, very inconvenient. – That’s true, I bet. ’cause these windows don’t go up or down, these are fixed.

This was based off, what was it an R26 or something like that? The race car version of this? – [Bobby] It’s Type 47 I believe is what it’s called. – [Tom] Okay, Type 47 that’s it, yes. – [Bobby] I’ve had this since I was 12 years old.

My dad has been a British car mechanic since he was 14 and he’s now retired in his sixties. But we bought this when I was 12 out of a field outside of Columbia, South Carolina. It hadn’t been on the road since I believe 1988 or ’89

And it didn’t look anything like this, I can tell you that. I had a good friend named Dennis do all the body work where I helped doing what I could ’cause I’m not a fiberglass man. My father rebuilt a drive train and then we all worked together on the brakes and suspension.

– [Tom] These came with two different drive trains, right? – So the early model cars like this one here have actually Renault engine and gearbox from just a boring four-door sedan but later models after they took off in popularity. It wasn’t just to sell cars. I actually had the Lotus-Ford Twin Cam engine

With dual Weber carburetors. – [Tom] Can we see it? – [Bobby] Sure. – [Tom] So this is just a pushrod for cylinder motor? – [Bobby] Yes, sir, it is. (Tom clears throat) Normally it would’ve had a single barrel Solex carburetor with a Banjo air filter, but finding the parts for the original French motor are very difficult.

So it has a Weber downdraft carburetor that I put on just for ease of driving. – So what happened down here? – Actually, funny story. So my father and I were working on it and we were replacing the battery. For a long time we thought it had a drain issue

With something electrical keeping, you know, draining the battery if I wasn’t driving it once a week. Turns out that wasn’t the case. The battery was bad, but when we’re replacing it he had it set on a towel right here, stepped back, fumbled bounced off the ground and punched a hole in the fiberglass

After we had it painted. – Just afterwards. So yeah, hate to see it. – It looks like Wimbledon White. – Correct. – It looks like Ford- – ‘Cause a lot Lotus and Ford shared a lot of commonalities. I think Lotus calls it Sirius White but it’s pretty much- – Yeah, yeah, yeah.

– The exact same color. – Cool. – Fired up real quick. Might need some of the gum out if she doesn’t start immediately. – Makes good noise. It probably handles like stink. – Yeah. – Okay. So that truck and this Europa. – I also have another… Well, no, I guess we’re representing one continent with Europe, representing another continent with Asia, (Tom chuckles) representing another continent with North America.

And then in my mom’s garage across the way I actually have a ’66 Volkswagen if you’d like to take a look at that. – I’d love to, yeah. Uh, low rider. – Yeah. (chuckles) – Oh. – [Bobby] Yep, so my friend Sam in Tennessee narrowed the beam, took the beam out, took six inches outta the middle, put it back in the car and then we have flipped the springs in the back. Other than that, the car is all stock,

It’s all original body panels, all red, every single thing even though it has been hit and you can kind of see it. Back in the day, they actually beat it back out instead of replacing the panels or repainting it. – [Tom] So that’s a South Carolina car. So ’66? – Yes sir.

– [Tom] So it’s a 40 horse? – It should actually be, I’m not sure. I think so. It’s not the 1300 anymore, I think it’s a 1500 single port but it was the motor that came in the car when I got it. I pulled the motor, we did all the rubber seals,

Rebuilt the carburetor, didn’t replace the clutch, change all the engine 10, it’s upgraded to 12 volt. But other than that, like, I haven’t messed with it very much. – [Tom] So he narrowed the front beam? – [Bobby] Yes, sir. – [Tom] Did you put spindles on it, different spindles on there?

– The spindles are actually flipped as well. – -[Tom] Okay. – [Bobby] The drop spindles in the front. – [Tom] And do you have disc brakes or still drums? – [Bobby] Still drums except for this suspension and the motor, like, it’s all stock drum brakes.

Most of the interior, like the seat covers are original. – [Tom] So do you remember when you paid for this? – [Bobby] When I bought it when I was in college, I wanna say it was, like, 3,500 bucks. – [Tom] Oh, it wasn’t cheap.

– [Bobby] It was not cheap but it was running and driving when I bought it. – [Tom] Okay, okay. – [Bobby] Tagged and insured and just switched it over to my name. – [Tom] Well, this is cool. So would you guide us over to your neighbors?

– All right, let me close this back up real quick. – So I’m leaving Bobby’s house and I’m going to Dallas’s house, which is 50 feet away. Dallas, thanks for getting home from work early. – Yep, thanks for having us. – So this is cool stuff. Yeah, and actually when I drove down this street that’s yours is the one I noticed the most.

– Uh-huh. – I dig it. Let’s start with this. What’s a deal? Is that a daily driver kind of car? – [Dallas] Yeah, this is my daily. When I was in high school I had a ’74 Super Beetle that I drove and I always just wanted an early car

’cause Connor, I met him in high school, he was driving to ’65. So it was always just the style I liked better. And he actually hooked me up with a guy in Tennessee with this one. And we went, me, him and my dad drove to Tennessee December 7th back in 2018 actually.

And picked this up and it wasn’t nothing but the shell and it was a roller, didn’t have an engine, had a transmission, those floorboards are rusted out and me and my dad did all the work to it, got it back on the road and since then I’ve been daily driving it.

– [Tom] So is it at 1200 cc? – [Dallas] No, it’s actually, I put a 1600 cc in it. – [Tom] Oh, yeah. Okay cool. – [Dallas] And drive it just about every day. – Man. – On cold days it starts better than that Diesel, so…

– [Tom] All right, so talk about that Diesel. I mean, you’re at one VW and three Land Rovers. – Yeah, I actually have four Land Rovers. One of ’em at my dad’s house, but… – So, what is that your passion? – Yeah, they’re, since I was in high school

I’ve been looking for a Land Rover just because I don’t know what it is about ’em, but they just gotta look to ’em that I’m a sucker for, so. – [Tom] So these two have the headlights on the fenders and that one’s got the headlights in the middle.

– Yep and the other one. – So that’s the earlier one? – Yep, and the other one I got is earlier one as well. – [Tom] Yeah. If I’m not mistaken, this is an aluminum body, isn’t it? – Yep. – Over a steel shell? – [Dallas] Uh-huh.

– [Tom] So this can look good and the inside could be rotten away? – Yep, the bolt head. So this part right here could be rusted and then the frame obviously could be rusted which is the problem with that ’69 right there on the right.

And the other one it’s just a parts car, but… – [Tom] Wait, so where did you find this one? – [Dallas] This one was in Virginia up towards, almost DC. It was about 40 minutes from Washington DC, and I saw it, Bobby actually sent it to me on Marketplace and I told Connor

’cause he was the only one available to help me ride up there and go get it and we drove up there, looked at it and drove it back home. – So you drove this home? – Yeah. It was about six-hour drive, this took made it about a 10-hour drive. – About 50 miles. – Because it gears so low? – Yup. – Wow, wow. – [Dallas] We’ll go about 55 max, but… – [Tom] So, that’s a Diesel you say? – Yep. 2.25 liter Diesel and a four speed transmission which I actually installed a ferry or a roamer drive,

Overdrive right there, so it lengthens each gear. – So what year is this one? – ’84. – Is that the newest one you have? – [Dallas] Yep. – [Tom] And that’s a daily driver as well? – [Dallas] Yep, if it’s warm, like today I drive this.

– All right, so this is? – The ’69. – [Tom] 69, okay. – This is the first one I bought. I found this one on marketplace from a guy and poked in North Carolina and I hit him up and he said I was the first one to message him.

So we went and looked at it, me and my dad got it and then a couple days later the guy messaged me again ’cause he had another one. The other one I bought and it had the transmission I needed, so went and bought it as well. – [Tom] Oh that’s cool.

This is the one with the bad bulkhead? – [Dallas] Yep. Well, the bulkhead isn’t terrible it’s the frame that’s a little crusty on it – And it’s a ladder frame, you can take the body right off it. – [Dallas] Yeah, but I don’t know if that chassis’s even worth saving at this point,

It’s pretty rough but… – Can you buy new ones? – Mm-mm. – I know with the… We had Toyota Land Cruisers ’cause you can buy like, I think galvanized chassis. – [Dallas] Yep, yeah you can with these two. – Oh, wow. Where’s a chassis go for?

– [Dallas] Anywhere from about three to six grand. – [Tom] And then this is the oldest one you have? – [Dallas] Yep, it’s a ’59. – So I guess they did this for safety reasons. – [Dallas] Yeah. – If you look at the, the headlights here

These are inside fenders and then these are in the fenders. So you know, if you were at a stop sign and you couldn’t really see these headlights, it would not be a very safe vehicle to drive at night although it looks cool as hell. – Oh yeah.

– You know, you see this is what you see in old National Geographic magazines driving across Africa. – [Dallas] Mm-hmm. yeah. – So, this is what year? – A ’59. First time I’ve ever seen one I was watching “Stand By Me.” – [Tom] Yeah. – [Dallas] The movie with the four kids

And at the very beginning the main character when he is an adult he was driving one the four-door version and I didn’t know what it was and I looked it up and I was, “Yeah, that’s what I want.” – (laughs) So is that, is the Land Rover like your ultimate car?

Is that your Ferrari? – Yeah, so back when I was in high school I would look for him. I’d be on the school’s computer looking on Craigslist at the time before they screwed it up and I would just get on during class and look for ’em but they were always too expensive.

I was like, “I’m never gonna be able to get one.” And so I got into Toyota Land Cruisers ’cause I figured that was a good supplement. – [Tom] Yeah. But next thing I know I own four so I mean- – [Tom] And no more Toyota Land Cruisers?

– [Dallas] If I find one for a good deal, I’ll get it. – Yep, yep, they’re pretty good. – Yeah, they’re cool, but… – Well, alright, so who are we gonna visit next? How you doing Connor? – [Connor] Hey, Tom, how are you? – [Tom] Huh, we’re, we’re visiting everybody

In the neighborhood today. – Nice, glad to see you coming by. – So you’re obviously an air-cooled guy. – I am, I’m a air-cooled type two guy, split window buses, bay window buses. I do like the Beetle too. I had a couple Beetles, but something about the split window buses

Whether they’re trucks or the buses I love ’em so. – What was your first one? – My first bus, you know, that I actually drove was a 1970 Riviera Camper. It was not the Westy but the Riviera, it had a little smaller pop top. That’s actually the bus that my parents

And my brother and I traveled the country when we were kids. – So you are organically a bus guy? – I was born into it, I did not have a choice. So my dad growing up, he ran a restoration shop and just has always been a part of my life and my brother’s life as well. We’ve just grew up going to car shows and swap meets, and, you know, since we were little babies in Volkswagens, my parents never had a new car.

They only had old air-cooled buses. – Where’d you grow up? – 10 houses down. – (chuckles) Yeah. – In Gibson Village. – Yes sir. – (laughs) Yeah, no kidding. – Yeah, we’ve been in Gibson Village our whole life and… – [Tom] I mean I saw this driving around,

I said, “This is just too cool.” In fact, just to let you know these guys are drinking coffee, like, it was three of you guys and a girl were sitting in the back having like a little party in here last Saturday. – Yeah. (laughs) – It was so cool.

– So this thing is it’s purpose built for hanging out, traveling, camping. It is actually the only car I have that runs. (Tom laughs) This has been my daily driver for the last two years due to the circumstances. This has been my daily driver for a while. – So what year is this?

– This is a ’66. – [Tom] When did they build the split window up until? – [Connor] So the split window was the pre-production, you know, 49s to the to ’67. – ’67. – Yep, yep. ’67 was the last year of the split windshield. – Split windshield, these were flat panes of glass

And that would be the easier way to make a windshield. After ’67, ’68 they would’ve had a curved windshield, compound curves, with no split in the middle and so that’s kind of the dividing line for bus people. So truck, let’s look at this one. So I guess from the license plate it’s ’63.

– [Connor] ’63, yep. – [Tom] And and how did you find this? – [Connor] This actually was online. My buddy Grayson, I sent it to him and he was, like, “Dude, that’s a good deal on this truck.” It was painted all flat black with flames on it.

– And you stripped the black off? – I did, yes. Womack and I, New Year’s Day last year we hung out at his place at his shop and got acetone and some citrus stripper and we just went to town on it, for two days straight pretty much, and-

– That’s amazing. – Got what you see here. You can see there’s still some black on it that needs to be stripped and in the door jams there’s still some black that needs to be stripped. – Nice job. – But- – Geez, you never would’ve known it.

– [Connor] It was a labor of love for sure. Stripping a bus is hard, hard thing to do. – Yep, wow, good job. Well, listen, man, thanks for inviting us over here. – Of course, man. – You know, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you. – You guys are welcome here anytime,

And if you’d like to go for a cruise, just let me know in the bus. – Really now? – Of course, yeah. – Okay, let’s go. – Come on. I actually do metal work on these type two buses. – [Tom] Oh, that’s right, you work at that shop, yeah. – [Connor] Yeah.

– [Tom] Yeah, I gotta stop by that shop sometimes. – [Connor] Of course, man, if you got time I’ll swing you by today. – [Connor] You don’t have to worry about that stuff, no. Might scrape just a hay worth. – That breeze feels nice. – [Connor] Oh, it’s lovely, I love it. – Did you say drum break tuned? – Those our drum breaks. – Oh, this is cool. – Yeah, man. – [Tom] So how far do you have to drive to work? – Five minutes, it’s perfect.

You welcome to drive this thing if you want. – [Tom] Oh, I’d love to. It’s been so many years when I drove my double cab. – [Connor] Take her first spin. It’s not often I’m in the passenger seat of this car. I’m trusting Tom with my baby here. – I’ve had plenty of my friends let me drive their buses before mine was on the road. So it’s the least I can do to let someone else drive mine. – There’s a long cable, accelerated cable goes all the way back carburetor that’s way back there. So a friend of mine had… Actually, my brother-in-law now, he had one of these when I was in high school, a bus, had no windows, there was a van. – Yeah. – And I borrowed it for lunch. You know, when you were in high school

Then you could go out to lunch and I borrowed it for lunch. I’m about, I don’t know, 10 miles from school. I had, “Oh, I have a started heading back.” And I ran outta gas. – [Connor] (laughs) Oh, God. – And coasted across the highway median,

The green median and into a Shell station and I had 15 cents. (Connor laughs) Now gas was, like, 35 cents a gallon. Okay, so I got 15 cents worth of gas and made it back to school. – [Connor] Yeah. (Tom whistling) – [Tom] Oh man, this is bringing back old. This is cool. You know, a a lot of longtime car people collectors restores, like me are worried about where this hobby’s going with a generation of people that are seem to be more interested in digital hobbies than mechanical ones.

You know what? I think it’s in good hands. I mean, we just met three of the four people that own these homes and they are so into these cars, you know, one into like a Lotus and a VW, another into Land Rovers. So you got British, German, British Land Rovers

German water-cooled, German air-cooled. You know what? They know their stuff, and they study it and they use these cars. Daily driver, that slammed split window there, what a cool deal. If there are more people like this, we have nothing to worry about. Our hobby’s going well because they’re gonna, you know,

Step up from this maybe to, who knows Porsche’s one day and they’ll wind up taking over the cars that we’ve been restoring and maintaining all our adult lives. I’m pretty happy. Happy hunting.