Forty years ago, a man in Texas named Jack stored seven rare, pre-war automobiles in his barn near Austin, intending one day to fix them up for the road.
The Wisconsin native moved to the area in the 1970s, the Daily Mail added, and since then was never able to find the money to fulfill his dream, Motostalgia Auctions Founder Antonio Brunet told FoxNews.
Now, Jack – who’s withheld his last name to preserve privacy, is ready to put each on the auction block. He’s holding onto two more in his collection, but allowing five – very rare, pre-war and quite pristine – to be sold, even though he is obviously very attached.
“He really took the time to put the cars away properly. They were on blocks, perfectly spaced, waiting for the day they would be on the road again.”
Burnet has promised to get all of them running and on the road. On June 12, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Jack will watch as his prized automobiles are auctioned to the highest bidder – and he could fetch $700,000.
That’s because he’s stored the five incredibly rare and fascinating – and therefore valuable – pieces for four decades.
“It’s the Holy Grail for a car guy,” Brunet said. “Opening the doors, seeing the cars covered in dust, untouched for years … It’s like you’re in a time machine.”
Here’s a rundown of the pre-war treasure.
1932 Cadillac 370B V-12 Victoria Convertible – This is the rarest of the bunch. Only four were made that year, and it’s the only one with a V-12 engine. It’s had only three owners. Estimated price: $285,000-$350,000.
1933 Cadillac Model 370C V-12 Town Coupe – This is one of only 952, and it has its original running gear; it was designed by Harley Earl. Value: $55,000-$75,000.
1938 Cadillac Series 90 V-16 Fleetwood Limousine – This automobile was once owned by the Wrigley family – the one who brought us their famous gum. It’s an odd piece – most limos fit up to nine passengers; this one is for five because it was intended for the owner and his family. It’s worth $45,000-$65,000.
1923 Milburn Electric Model 27L – This one is the most interesting: it’s the last one built by Milburn before GM bought the company to snuff the competition posed by the electric car. Potential price: $90,000 -$125,000.
1908 REO Model G Boattail Roadster/Sedan Tonneau – This automobile is really a “transformer:” You can turn it into a two-person bootail from a five-person convertible with just the flip of a seat. Value: $75,000-$95,000.
1937 Kozy Coach Travel Trailer – The last item is not an automobile, but a trailer that’s only been used twice since it was made. Most of its kind rot – they’re built of pressed wood – but the barn helped preserve this one. Estimate – $75,000-$100,000.
The discovery of these pre-war automobiles is historic in its scope and tantalizing for car lovers, Burnet said. Their sale next month is the “final chapter in a magnificent story.”
“It’s like time stopped. The cars haven’t changed, other than getting older. They’re just as they were when they were put away, right down to the smell. It’s incredible.”
[Photo Courtesy YouTube Screengrab]