How a Barn Find Becomes a Barn Find


First, you have to find the vehicle that you really want. I found mine in July of 1979 sitting in a small, local, privately-owned car lot a few miles out of town. It is a numbers-matching, all-original, 1968 Camaro Convertible. You then thoroughly clean it and start the normal preventative maintenance process, fixing things that just need to be replaced because of normal wear and tear.

You cruise around town 2 or 3 times a year, go to one or two local car shows, lead the Penn State Homecoming Parade for most of 20 years and sometimes do the annual Cruise in Bellefonte. PA. That puts about 250 miles on the car each year, maybe.

Then, I put the Camaro to “sleep” in the shed in the backyard each Fall under 3 three layers of “blankets”: the thin polyester cover, the original custom Camaro cover (that finally disintegrated) and the heavy cotton cover from my Volvo.

Then… your three children enter various sports (which you coach) for the next 15 years. House choirs, maintaining 6 other cars and cabin projects consumes most of your limited time and your small, annual Camaro allowance gets re-allocated to things like new TV’s, furniture & water heaters, basically food & shelter.

Family and work will consume all of your time and energy. And, in my case, I was on the road for many years before I bought into a franchise in Las Vegas for several years followed by more travel, including international. Top it off with a six-year stint in the Middle East and voilà, 40 years pass rather quickly.

It’s easy to put the lounge cushions on the covered top because, well, it’s easy & they are light. And, since I put a sheet of foam over the trunk, I can set all of my pending work project tools on it so I’m ready to tackle the next chore. Those old card board boxes work great across the hood for stacking some of the “lighter” items that I need to keep handy because I need to keep them handy and the hood is a great place to keep them handy.

My “Old Friend” does come out of its sleep now and then, usually for the PA annual inspection which I sometime skip, for a year or two depending on where I am and what I’m doing. As I walk past it I push on the front fender to feel the taut Bilstein’s. I push down on the rear fender to make sure the air shocks are firm.

I smile and remember the many good trips around Penn State and down those scenic country roads with the top down and the cool mountain air over my bald head.

Then, I put those extra sheets of insulating blue foam on the Camaro roof next the lounge cushions because…