BERNAT LÓPEZ / © RACERZ
Built in 1941, this former Buick dealership in the US Mid-West has for decades been home to hidden classic car treasures, nested away from prying eyes. Tom Cotter, host of Barn Find Hunter, jumped in to explore the stash after a tip-off. The curved-front building could not have been a more appropriate storage ground for the types of cars that would be discovered inside.
Constructed during a time when America was preparing to enter WWII, the building was an active Buick dealership from 1941 through to some time around 1990, when they moved to a location in another Iowa town. Upon entrance, the front end of the building looks like a sea of papers and random office materials, thrown everywhere and piled high.
What Tom found
Tom is all smiles as he finally sets foot inside the building and gets on with the exploring. First, the cover comes off a 1968 DeTomaso Mangusta, the svelte mid-engine Italian sports car was the predecessor to the long-lived Pantera that also used small-block Ford V-8 engines. Unfortunately this car was without its 302-cubic-inch V-8 and manual transaxle, but it appears that the small-block’s headers were still in place.
Moving further into the dealership yields a wonderful variety of sports and GT cars. A Jaguar E-type, MG MGC-GT, and Facel Vega are worth noticing, but Tom is drawn to the biggest of the bunch, a fully-restored 1965 Imperial convertible complete with 413 big block power. Next up is a Toyota-R16-powered Austin-
Robert and Tom spend a moment poking around the wonderful French GT car that we saw earlier, a 1957 Facel Vega FVS that’s powered by a Mopar poly V-8. Inside the trunk there’s a GT-style fuel cap on a nicely finished fuel tank.
After a quick stop with the six-cylinder MGC, it’s off to another Italian, a Lamborghini Espada. The roomy GT is powered by Lamborghini’s V-12 engine and which is fed by six Weber side-draft carbs. With 20.000or so miles, it looks like it’s a tune-up away from being ready to hit the road. What an awesome treasure!