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Barn Find Hunter gets exclusive access inside secret yard in Utah

After scouting around Utah, seasoned Barn Find Hunter Tom Cotter finds his way to a gate. When he takes a peek over the top, he sees a veritable motherlode of vintage metal. Locals told Tom he would never get behind those walls. But after calling a phone number he found on the gate and leaving a nice voicemail, he gets a call back with an invitation to poke around. Sometimes all you have to do is ask—but it doesn’t hurt to be a well-known internet car sleuth.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/06/05/barn-find-hunter-57-secret-yard-in-utah

The 1964 Scout came with an IHC 4 cylinder engine. It’s 152 c.i., and was one cylinder bank from the 304 v-8. Not a slant-4, but half-a-V8.

In the video they mention that the 1957 Nash Ambassador had probably been hot-rodded because it has a V-8 engine. Not true. It is probably the original 327 cu. in. V-8 that was made by Packard, if I recall correctly. My family had three Ambassadors…1953 and 1956 with 252.6 cu. in sixes with dual side-draft carburetors and a 1957 with the 327. They all had the reclining seats that made into a bed.

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The rarest vehicle you have there is likely the White Motor Company Model fourteen-passenger Yellowstone National Park Bus. Most these had a 6-cylinder engine, although a flathead motor (the mainstay of most auto manufacturers before World War II), as opposed to the more sophisticated and expensive overhead valve engine of the Model 614. It also has a noticeably different body style (most evident by the windshield and front end). Also present on the driver’s side is a semaphore turn signal, a Wyoming requirement for buses operating in that state. A divided storage compartment, or “blanket chest” is located behind the rear seat and was used to store blankets for passengers’ comfort.

A total of twenty-seven 1936 Model 706 buses were used in Yellowstone, and by 1939, a total of ninety-eight Model 706s of various years were in use (the largest number of National Park Buses operating anywhere). Buses of this style were also used in Yosemite and Glacier National Parks. Some of the buses were still being used during the late sixties and early seventies. Restored examples are valued in around $300,000 last time I saw one for sale and that was a few years ago.

Interesting business strategy.

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You gotta love hoarders. According to the video, the owner has never sold anything out of here in all those years. Now he takes on a partner who is supposed to be trying to move some of it out, but nobody gets in to look and he doesn’t have prices on anything.

I guess the auction company that will inevitably be engaged to liquidate the entire thing will enjoy their commission. But I just don’t understand these sorts of situations.

Years ago, there was a junk yard between Moorhead and Dilworth, MN that could easily be seen from US 10 passing by. It was owned by a strange old coot, and on any given day you couldn’t be sure whether he would be willing to sell you anything or run you off the place.
So while in high school, my friends and I used to visit every two weeks or so just on the offhand chance we could buy what we needed. His prices were OK, providing he was willing to deal with you.
My most vivid memory of one of the cars on that lot was a Nash sedan with a “woody” body. Only one I’ve ever seen. I also recall two Airflows on the lot that he wouldn’t discuss with anyone.
No idea what happened. Last time I drove by, the place was bare of any suggestion there had ever been cars there ever.

The 57 Nash would have had the new for that year AMC Gen 1 V-8 (some call it the Nash V-8 or Rambler V-8). It would have been a 327, also found in the 1957 only Rambler Rebel special edition. MAC (merger of Nash and Hudson in 1954 formed AMC) started making their own V-8s in 1956. It came out in mid year and was a 250 cubic inch engine. It was only used in the Nash Ambassador Special and Hudson Hornet Special in 56, and a handful of 56 Ramblers. The two “Special” models were the smaller (and lighter) Nash Statesman and Hudson Wasp bodies with Ambassador and Hornet trim. The engine was bored out to 327 (well, a new block casting – can’t bore a 250 out that much!) and replaced the Packard 320 previously used in the big Nash and Hudson, 55-56. This came about because AMC got ticked off at Packard about what was supposed to be a mutual supply deal, but Packard only bought a few trinkets from AMC, feeling they were doing AMC a favor by supplying them with V-8s and trannys (all Packard V-8 models got the Ultramatic with them). So AMC heads told their engineering department to whip up a V-8 on the double! Took 18 months to get it out, which is phenomenal for slide-rule days, but they “cheated” – they hired a guy from Kaiser who had developed a V-8 over there that Kaiser couldn’t afford to build (last name Potter… can’t remember first). Not surprisingly the AMC Gen1 V-8 has many similarities with the Kaiser experimental engine.

While the IHC four is half a V-8, and not a “slant” engine in the same aspect as the Chrysler slant six (designed the same as a vertical inline six, whole block slanted for lower hood line), the bores are still over at an angle to vertical. Pontiac also made one like this, half a 389. I’d still call them a “slant four”, though I understand the technical difference between those and the slant six.

Ahhh, preservation class.

I knew Tom couldn’t get through an episode without using the R word. I like guys like this that can talk to you without acting like they know everything about everything.