Our friend Tom Cotter has the enviable chore of walking into dilapidated barns and rural homesteads seeking out long-lost barn finds. Recently, his travels took him somewhere not far off the beaten path – still pretty much on the path, in fact – to an abandoned home in an upscale North Carolina neighborhood. In a rough garage next to the condemned house was the find of a lifetime!
I’ve been following Tom’s work on The Barn Find Hunter ever since it started, and it’s gratifying to see him come upon a collection like this (Tom, if you’re reading and need a PR guy, let’s talk). The 275 GTB seen here is special for many reasons, not the least of which is its sub-15,000 mile odometer reading. Most significantly, it is one of a handful of cars ordered from the factory with a lightweight aluminum body, which replaced the standard steel coachwork. The other big upgrade would have been six Weber carbs instead of three, but this car retains its standard setup.
Before we talk about the Cobra, take note of the other cars in the barn: a 9,000 original mile Triumph TR6 and a “…V-8, propane-fueled 1978 Morgan Plus 8 with just 3,000 miles.” What goes unmentioned in the late 80s BMW 325IX near the garage door (for obvious reasons, but I’ve always wanted a four-door IX). The Cobra is also a low-mileage specimen, with 19,001 on the clock. It is a 428-equipped example, making it one of 100 made with that engine. The car is pleasingly stock, wearing the correct-for-the-period Goodyear tires and no evidence of tacky add-ons, like sidepipes or rollbars.
What’s most incredible to me is the number of years that transpired with no one entering this garage or otherwise being aware of the collection. It was only when the house was slated for demolition that the seller – who supposedly laid these cars up when his preferred mechanic passed away – decided to phone a friend to exhume the vehicles. They’ve been sitting here since 1991 under the care of what amounts to an absentee landlord who built a house he never lived in. The mind reels. No word on where these cars are headed to next, but it’s hard to imagine a better garage than this if you’re a gear head with blood running through your veins.