Vintage SCCA Race Car with Don Yenko Connection | Barn Find Hunter – Ep. 19

Vintage SCCA Race Car with Don Yenko Connection | Barn Find Hunter – Ep. 19

– Obviously you can see
there’s something inside here. Very, very nice truck. It’s pulling a trailer. And oh, look at this. Look at that. I don’t know when the last
time I saw one of these. The gentleman who owns this car as a young guy, as a
teenager, he saw this picture and actually made it his
life’s goal to find that car. And he says, if I hadn’t restored this in the last 20, 25 years I’m not gonna restore it in the future so he’s entertaining offers on this car. Hi, this is Tom Cotter. I’ve been hunting down
cars since I’m 12 years old and I’m still doing it today. Follow me in this series as we hunt down hidden classics all across America. Well it’s another day, we’re in Vermont, and we’re following up a lead. I’m not quite sure what is there. It’s just a lead that
came in over Facebook. So, and we’re also trying to
race a storm that’s moving in, wanna see what we can discover while it’s still not pouring out. So, here we go. If you drive around New England, Vermont in this case, you pass barns like this
every couple of miles in the rural areas and you know, in my mind at least, I’m wondering what’s inside those barns? We’ve been invited to a barn, I can’t tell you where and I
can’t tell you who owns it, but this cool vehicle’s inside this barn that I haven’t seen yet. So we’re gonna pull the door open here. So you could see, you know, obviously you could see
there’s something inside here. And that’s a 36 Ford pickup truck. It looks to be unrestored. It’s probably been painted at some point. I can’t read the
inspection sticker on here, but just a nice, old vehicle. It’s not for sale, but it is a neat truck that’s been owned by this
gentleman for a long time. It’s a 36 Ford truck with 35 wheels on it. Very, very nice truck. Now it’s pulling a trailer and this is a 1938 Boston. It’s a speedboat. You can see it’s pretty authentic. Under here there’s a seat. So two people could sit in the front here. But I’m told that it’s got
an interesting powerplant that we’ll enjoy seeing. So 1938, can you imagine a car lasting, a steel car lasting from
1938 would be a big deal, but a wooden boat lasting
this long is amazing. So this vehicle has Ford components in it. This steering wheel is a banjo wheel, it looks like out of a 37 Ford. But what is intriguing to me here is this two end carburetors
coming up out of the engine bay. And, oh, look at this. Wow, a Ford flathead V8 60, which was a small flathead
engine that Ford built. 85 horsepower was the high
horsepower, bigger motor. And this is kind of a little jewel that was used in cars. I think it was a no cost option to get better gas mileage and I think probably 39 and
40, 41 something like that, they only made it for a few years, but this is an engine that’s
prized by midget racers. What a sweet little device this is. We’re entering now the second barn, I guess you call it, or
building on this property. If you remember one of the
early barn find episodes we did last year in Maine, we found a 34 Ford Thatten, a
little bit rougher than this. This is a 35 Ford Thatton and this is the kind of condition you wanna find ’em in, you know. It’s got scratches on it, the fender’s pulled out a little bit, it’s got a little bit of
story, a little bit of history, it doesn’t look generically perfect. It’s all here in these scratches probably from kids jumping
over to get in the back seat or jumping out again. A parking lot dent. This is amazing, it is an open car. Open cars tend to sag and doors don’t close real nicely. Door closes pretty nicely. That’s a sweetheart. You know I’ve never seen
one of these in person. I’ve only seen ’em in books. This is a model A, probably a 28 or 29 model A snowmobile. So it has ski’s in the front, hooked up to the front suspension, so the ski’s will turn with the wheels. And then it’s got rear wheels, okay so it’s got a
driven set of rear wheels and then a coasting set of rear wheels with a snow track around them. Well that’s a rare piece and, here in Vermont, I’m sure this got service in the winter and it probably is a fun buggy to take out and during snow storms and
have a lot of fun with. Isn’t that sharp. This is an intriguing model T. It’s a Ford Model T 1922 and it’s a woody. The body was made by York Body Company in York, Pennsylvania and this is probably ash wood with bass paneling inside here, but you could see that, for a Model T which everything
was basic basic basic, this has curved doors so not so basic, but it’s a beautiful piece of equipment. People wonder how we come
across the leads we do. And for one thing is
driving a car like this. This woody is kind of a calling card, a conversation starter. We were just having lunch back in this little town
called Putney, Vermont, sitting on the porch and a man came up. His name is Bill. He says, you from around here? Nope. See you’re from North Carolina. Yep. What are ya doing here? Looking for old cars. Oh, you wanna follow me? And we’re right now
going to see apparently an old Barracuda that’s been
in a garage for a long time. He said, you interested in cars like that? I said, sure. So we’re going there right
now to see what it looks like. So here we are. We’re meeting with Pauline. We’re in Putney, Vermont, is this Putney? – Westminster. – Westminster, Vermont, okay. And we’re gonna go take a look at a car that is in that garage over there so can you show me, please?
– Sure, absolutely. – And this car, I take it, has a bit of history in your family? – Yeah, sentimental. My father-in-law gave it to
my son when he was like 14, I guess it is, and they restored it, went to car shows and he’s gonna be 40, moved to Florida,
couldn’t take it with him, wanted to sell it, I couldn’t that opportunity go, so I bought it. – [Tom] No kidding. So you’ve had it for how long? – [Pauline] I’ve had it
myself for about a year. – And your son had it from when he was 14. – Yeah, and he’ll be 40 this August. – [Tom] 26 years and how long did your
father-in-law have it? – I would say, maybe a
couple years before that, I’m not a hundred percent sure. God, that makes me old.
– So it’s kinda been– so it means 30 something
years in your family. Wow, so this is a, what year is this? – [Pauline] 67. – [Tom] 67 Barracuda Convertible. I don’t when the last
time I saw one of these. Nice little car. It’s got buckets and a consol,
automatic on the floor, a tachometer, can you start it for us? – [Pauline] I can. (engine revs) – [Tom] Sweet, Woah. – [Pauline] It doesn’t go out
with the top down usually. – [Tom] Boy, that sounds good. – [Pauline] Isn’t that nice? – [Tom] Well thank you
for sharing this with us. This is a blast. Usually we come into barns in this series and the spiderwebs, dust, and dirt floors, and find a car that’s in
a very unkept condition. Well this is probably the prettiest barn that I’ve been in. I’d love to have this in my backyard. And it contains this car. This is a sports car. We’re gonna try to have
you guess what it is, okay? It’s small. It has a hard top. You see wire wheels. And it’s 13-inch wire wheels. So this could be, could it be a Austin-Healey Sprite? But this is where it’s
gonna throw you off. It’s got a fin. So suddenly your mind starts wondering, what had a fin and 13-inch wire wheels. So I’m gonna reveal it now, okay? This is a Sunbeam Alpine. And a Sunbeam Alpine
was the smaller brother, actually a lot more Alpines were made than the Sunbeam Tiger. The Tiger was the older brother and this is the younger brother. It’s the 4-cylinder version of a Tiger. And this was made by a company
called the Rootes Group, R-O-O-T-E-S in England. And Rootes made cars like Hilman Minxes and Humver Supersnipes and Sunbeam Alpines and Sunbeam Tigers. Ultimately Rootes Group was
bought by Chrysler Corporation and these cars were not
manufactured anymore. This is a really
significant Sunbeam Alpine in that it was a factory race car, a works race car as they would call it. It’s got aluminum doors, aluminum hood, aluminum trunk deck, and
it’s lightened all over. This was built by the factory team to come to run the 12
hours of Sebring in 1962. The gentleman who owns this car got this book as a young guy, actually as a teenager, and it’s a classic Sunbeam
book by Chris McGovern. And it goes through the
history of the Sunbeam brand and it goes through racing history. And as a young guy, as a
teenager, he saw this picture and said, wow I wonder
where that car is today and actually made it his
life’s goal to find that car. He’s owned this car for probably 25 years. He did find it, but this was the car, you could see number 41 was right here. How does he know this is the car? Well he did a lots of
investigating about it, but if you look at this damage right here. This damage is right
there in this photograph. And it’s actually more
evident on this photograph. He was sideswiped by a Corvette and that Corvette is right here. It was driven by a guy named Don Yanko. And you’ve probably
heard of Yanko Camaro’s and Yanko Corver’s, Yanko Nova’s. Well Don Yanko made a name for himself by racing Corvette’s
and the 62 Sebring race, you could see it took off his
whole left front fender here by the headlight when
he sideswiped this car and you could see the damage right here. Collapsed the door in,
well that’s been repaired and into the quarter panel
starting in the front fender working it’s way all the way back in through here, there’s bondo that covers up that damage, and actually pushed this
driver into the hay bale and you could see the
hay around the headlight. But this cover of Car and Driver magazine shows the Don Yanko car at the start and actually you can see the little green Sunbeam Alpine back here. Now, how do we know this is green? Well, if we open the trunk, here’s the original factory green that it was raced as. It’s been modified by the factory. It’s got a 26 gallon fuel
tank in the middle of the car. This was all cut out and you
could see the shock absorber poking through the trunk here. You could see it’s got a hard top on here and it has a vent here to exhaust out pressure that would’ve built up
coming in the windows and actually that can become an air brake, but this allowed that to release itself. There’s plexiglass rear window here and the rear window would’ve held, let’s see what we have here, this Monza gas cap. This is a racing gas cap. And this Monza would’ve mounted right here in the plexiglass window and there was a fuel line
that went across here. There was a story that
the driver of this car, the vent didn’t work correctly, it leaked, and he had to sit in a bucket
seat filled with gasoline for hours and hours and hours. I’m told he couldn’t sit
for a couple of weeks, that his skin got so burnt. But he was fortunate enough
when he bought this car, 20 something years ago, to
get all sorts of little bits that were fabricated by the factory. Here’s a generator cover to
keep, it’s a heat shield. One of the original racing
mirrors, a radot mirror. And then here’s the original intake manifold with two
downdraft Zenith carburetors. Later on, Webber carburetors were utilized on these cars. Now, if you know anything about Sunbeams these aren’t the tail lights. A Sunbeam tail light is a
big tail light like that, but these were an aftermarket tail light that were put on so they could
easily swap out the bulbs in a night time race. You would just take it off, put a bulb in it, put it back on. This way they didn’t have
to start taking screwdrivers and taking the lens off,
putting the bulb in. Everything was done to
make this happen quickly. There’s no engine in here. It’s got duel systems,
dual charging systems, dual ignition systems so
there was a contingency plan if one system went out during a race mechanics could quickly
switch to another system and the car could keep going. So there’s no engine. Ultimately these cars
came with 1725 CC engines. This one had a 1600 engine. He doesn’t have the engine, unfortunately. He doesn’t have a correct engine. The gentleman who owns this car, who’s owned it for 20, 25 years, has dreamed of owning
it since he was a kid, but now he’s got a house
and a business in Vermont and children and daughter’s in college, another daughter who’s
about to go to college, and he says, if I hadn’t restored this in the last 20, 25 years I’m not gonna restore it in the future so it’s time for this car
to go on to another owner. So he’s entertaining offers on this car. Ultimately this car should
restored to as race condition and probably put back on
a vintage racing circuit. I’d love to see this run at
a historic Sebring event, Limerock, and raced at Laguna Seca. So this car should go back to those places in the same green that it was wearing when it was an international racing star. Technically, this car was not a barn find, but it kind of fits the definition of being neglected and ignored. Although, here it’s been preserved nicely in this great garage. It hasn’t deteriorated,
which is a good thing. It was an important piece of history that we knew about
through a Facebook contact that we just wanted you to know there are still cars like this out there. A historic factory race car, sitting in a barn in rural Vermont. You know, if this is sitting here, what could be sitting where you are? Happy hunting.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. you were only a few hours away from me. as a 30+ year auto tech I've owned hundreds of cars. bought, traded, debt collection on work, abandoned at shop. I was fortunate to be able to keep the special ones. if interested in checking out a workingman's 401k, the next time your around new Hampshire look me up. you'd be one of the few people welcome. because I work on other people's cars for a living mine are definitely the definition of barn finds even though I have owned some since high school. 68 skylark custom, 76 cherokee chief, 55 Bell air v8 tri power, 65 Chevy sportsman van, 84 e24 Alpina 3.5 with long range fuel system, and a 37 Cadillac/Lesalle Opera coupe. all sitting patiently, wating for me to work on them. love your show. one of the few I watch more than one episode of.

  2. Hagerty, do you see this comment? Sent you guys a couple of emails and have left several comments on Barn Find Hunter. regarding a friend of mine who has LOTS of great cars seen in this video and I never get a response back from you folks?

  3. I know were there are 3 old cars from the 30 early 40 that are locked up in a garage .they have not been looked or touched in 40 years they were there and are still there trees have grown up in front of all the doors . I looked in the windows and there still there.its a real mystery how long they have been there they look to be in great shape .few know they are there.its because there on a lot that is heavy treed and you cannot see it and the neighbors don't tell .crazy ah. the old owner is likely dead and new owner thinks they inherited a vacant lot and live to far away to care. back then building permits were un heard of and it hid so well a plane could not see it

  4. got a 66 mustang convert in back yard 6 yrs no rent paid now owner died and kids are looking for stuff 200 6 auto inspect sticker 1988 clean and solid whats it worth

  5. I'll say it again. Why is this not on tv right there along with Chasing Classics?? Btw. Another great video and great stories about the cars.

  6. my grandfather has a car in his barn that looks a lot like that one except convertible. he says he cant recall what it is but he is 84y.o.   he just calls is "one of those foreign jobs" its has aluminum body too.

  7. And thanks for mentioning the taillights. I was wondering why it had those funky ones vs the stock ones. I kinda figured it had something to do with it being a works car. I've got a 65 Alpine with a ford 302 and a toploader. Love these cars.

  8. Tom you need to come to Canton Ga. there are about 5 guys locally that have probably 100 cars between them. When you get to Canton go into Orielley Auto parts. Ask for Peanut, he can direct you to almost every car guy in the area. You will ajust about any muscle car they made Dodges, Chevy's, Fords, Plymouth's, some real rare stuff between them and there really are many more. This is a hot bed for old money and old car. Ask about a guy named Benny out on hywy 140. You find a lot of restored and modified but also around here they are not called barn finds they sit all over. and if you ask to buy one most of the time you get this answer. "well it aint eatin nuthin so i'll just keep it." and they sit and sit for years

  9. hay that boat ain't original for 1940's its a jet power unit which only were originally developed in NZ in the early 60s. thought you know bout transportation. Hamilton produced first jet units in Queenstowwn New Zealand in early 60s

  10. Sunbeam resembles a Trabant,lol,Sunbeam is an appliance name in the states,lol,,Like most here my eyes were focused on the lady of the Barracuda,,,,when she crank the engine and drop the top,I wanted her to crank the radio and hear Heart;s Barracuda tune,Tom split out of there in a flash,,,,,just one minute showing,,,come 'on,,,,,One more thing,,,,Hagerty Production,,,,the music you play sounds greattttttttt,oh sorry Tony,,,,,can you give us the name of band?

  11. that is exactly how i found my yenko wayyy up in the woods of maine. later i found my 70 motion chevelle this way as well. my motion chevelle was stolen cause i had to store it at my grandmothers and her boyfriend gave it to one of his buddies at a local bar. the sunbeam tigers are pretty fast if you put the right motor in em

  12. We restored a barracuda just like that about 2 years ago. Convertible as well but the top was made out of actual jean and apparently it was a factory option

  13. It’s cool you went to Putney,I went to a prep school called Greenwood in putney the first year they were opened in 1976 and I loved that experience, I lived in Birmingham Alabama and road raced motorcycles as well as having owned some cool cars such as a Datsun 240Z,Alfa Romeo’s spider boat tail,AUDI Quattro short wheelbase and in 88 looked at a Ferrari 308 GTB which was owned by a close friend who let me borrow it for about three months and I loved it but also got to drive a 64 250 SWB and a 275 GTB and a 246 Dino,there’s a few more I could go through but you get my gist,love your show,my mother’s side of our family owned a mountain house in Banner Elk North Carolina and Wow what incredible fall colors and man the winters were brutal,I was stuck there for about two weeks in the mid eighties and used cross country skis to get to the store and back,wouldn’t trade those times for anything,also I’m friends with Peter Greggs younger son Simon who used to race and may still be racing but he won a world championship in 2012,good times!

  14. What's under the hood of the Cuda? That's like inviting someone over for cake,but besides showing how pretty it is and how moist it is,you don't get to have a piece! Ooooo barracuda! Yenko sides wiping another racer is legendary! Rubbing is racing, or so they say,but fixing them after we get them all tuned and looking spectacular is a gut punch getting knocked out of the race! That's great the Sunbeam owner is generous enough to let her go back out into the world and not hoard it as we've seen oh too many selfishly misered past the point of no return! Kudos and thank you!!!!▪☆☆☆▪

  15. Lovely video again, about the best series youtube has to offer. But what is with the Sunbeam rear window? It's not there, and then .. it's there! Magic. Love it!

  16. Should have shown the Motor on the Barracuda! The Sunbeam Alpine is a cool Story. It would also be cool to follow this car. For me I couldn't offer more than a couple of grand for it but I may be worth a bit more. Restoring it and then taking it around would cost a lot more than that for sure, but it would be worth doing for almost anyone that could fit the bill.

  17. ROOTES died from bad management and bad unions and lack of investment in the grim Socialist 60/70's when Britain was pretty close to being a Communist state like East Germany.

  18. grew up in that area near Westminster but that lady does not look like she has a 40 year old son, she looks 40

  19. I had a 67 notch back, traded it up in Maine for a 1968 jeep dually with the go for digger backhoe it's on you tube.

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