Portuguese 'Barn Find' Too Good to be True?

Over the past few months the automotive message boards have been buzzing and e-mails have been flying across the Internet spreading the heart-warming tale of a New Yorker’s amazing automotive find in the hills of Portugal.

According to the e-mail version that we received the story went something like this:

You’ll never believe this guy’s luck!

A NY man retired. He wanted to use is retirement money wisely, so it would last, and decided to buy a home and a few acres in Portugal. The modest farmhouse had been vacant for 15yrs.; the owner and his wife both had died, and there were no heirs. The house was sold to pay taxes. There had been several lookers, but the large barn had steel doors, and they had been welded shut. Nobody wanted to go to the extra expense to see what was in the barn, and it wasn’t complimentary to the property anyway…so nobody mane an offer on the place.

This guy from NY bought it at just over half of the property’s worth, moved in, and set about to tear in to the barn…curiosity was killing him. So, he and his wife bought a generator, and a couple of grinders and started cutting through the welds holding the barn doors shut…


From the photos you can clearly see the “barn find” of a lifetime. Filled to the gills, the barn contains nearly 200 dust-covered classics just waiting to be dusted off, gassed up and driven into a shipping container bound for the U.S. auction blocks.

However (come on, you knew it was coming!), as with most of these Internet born stories that make their way across the World Wide Web, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. And, this story is no different.

According to the good folks over at Snopes.com, what the pictures actually show are not the dream find of a new property owner, but the collection of an automobile dealer who assembled an impressive collection of cars over the years. As he added to his collection, he simply parked them in his barn and left them to collect dust.

About a year ago, according to credible reports, the real owner of the cars, which are actually stored in a barn in Portugal, hired a photographer to go in and take photos of his dusty collection to document what he had. How the photos, and the story, made their way to the Internet, we may never know. While the truth isn’t nearly as tantalizing as the story we initially received, it is good to know that these cars are being preserved and haven’t simply been forgotten.

Be sure to check out the link found below to this amazing series of photos of rare European cars.

While this mythical “barn find” may not be all that it was cracked up to be, who knows, maybe there is a forgotten barn somewhere in the jungles of Oklahoma, or maybe even Arkansas, just waiting to be discovered.

Full Photo Gallery: http://www.intuh.net/barnfinds/index.htm

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