Friday, May 18, 2012

Goat for breakfast and a Camaro for Dinner

This past spring, time off has been fleeting. On weekends that I didn't have to be somewhere I would do day trips out on even the smallest of barn find tips. And almost every time, even if I didn't find the car in the tip, I would still find something that made the trip worth it.


Out west of Chicago, where the suburbs start to melt into the countryside there is still a few hidden gems sitting around. I had seen a 1968 – 1970 Dodge Charger sitting outside a guys garage and followed up on this trip, unfortunately nobody was home, so I didn't go and trespass into the guys driveway and just kept heading west. Hoping to score something else.


Pulling into St. Charles I began hitting up the places where people would know of cars hiding at would be. I try to find the oldest parts place in town and start there. The guys there the longest would know about just about everything in town. And that is what I was hoping for.

That didn't happen, there was one older guy at the counter, and he didn't know of anything. But one of the younger kids said that down the road at a repair shop they had just gotten in a few project cars I might be interested in. So I hightailed it to the other side of town to see what was hanging around.

I made it to the shop and it was not a disappointment. The guys were super nice and talked to me for a while. Told me about the project cars a little bit.

A cool 68 Mustang fastback that they are going to make into a Shelby Clone.



They had a cool 68 GTO that was being freshened up and made running after it had been sitting for a while in the owners garage.



A 66 or 67 Chevelle SS supposedly that was I believe the owners project car that they were completely redoing.


At the end of the shop was a customer car, a 67 Mustang Convertible with a mean engine and dressed up like a Shelby. They were getting it ready for the coming summer.




Talking with the guys bit longer, I parted company with them and headed back home. 

That evening I had dinner with a friend of mine (below in shot from last year) and her boyfriend while she was in town. Somehow the conversation came up about Barn Finds and the boyfriend mentioned that his father had an old Camaro buried in the garage. 


Not to miss an opportunity, when I dropped them off at the house, I was allowed to do a quick once over on the car. A late 1970's Camaro, I believe it had a V8 the kid said. Needed a bit of work, the doors had some rust. But definitely a good project car. He said that his dad plans on fixing it up one day.




The evening had come to an end, and we said out goodbyes. I headed home to rest my head upon my bed and think about what all was to come.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Fords and Fun in a New Year

The new year brought a new sense of adventure. Instead of going on these Automotive Archeology Expeditions on a whim or doing day trips, I would try to plan out more detailed expeditions and going further. Meeting up with people and going to see cool Barn Finds rotting away. And as of January 1st, 2012 I did the first one with a friend Bob and some cool cars he knew about west of Chicago. So we met up at a McDonald’s on North Avenue. Ironically, sitting there in the parking lot for the technical college was a very rough 1972 Plymouth Fury. A good way to start off a day.



We went and dropped Bob's car off at his friends house just down the road. The friend had gotten a cool GTO for a decent price after the last owner had a carb fire and a few other issues they didn't want to deal with. A 400 Cubic in Pontiac V8 under the hood and an auto on the floor. Still a good project that Bob was sure would be out cruising by summer.






Our first stop was another friend west of the city that had a few cool cars that had been sitting for a while. A cool Mercury Montego MX convertible and a Mercury Cyclone GT. The guy had gotten the cars years ago and had them tucked away. He worked on them when he could, which is better then nothing happening at all. But both cars needed some serious work.



The Cyclone was main project at the time. He said he had rebuilt the engine recently after a fire and was putting everything back together after cleaning up the engine bay and repainting it. Hopefully the old girl will be out and cruising, rather then sitting rotting away in a garage. The Montego was suppose to run and drive, just needed to be gone through and cleaned up.









With daylight running out, we headed over to another friends who was a diehard Ford guy. After getting lost and ending up in the middle of nowhere, we made it to his friends new/old shop. Sitting outside was two Ford Torino fastbacks. The friend mentioned that the first one was supposedly the very first Cobra Torino Fastback produced. He would prefer I not open anything on the cars, so I didn't push it.





Inside the garage was another cool project, a Ford Fairlane the guy was slowly working on. Had some pretty sweet engines lying around. He said one was a 429, but I couldn't tell and didn't want to get messy so late in the day.



We left the garage and made our way back to Bob's friends home. It ended up being a Ford day, but still some really nice cars just hanging out, waiting for their time in the future.

If you know of any cool cars sitting anywhere in the mid-west.  Let me know.  There are big things happening with the Automotive Archaeologist!

Ryan Brutt 

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