• This Month's Issue

    2005 Saleen S7 Twin Turbo: $682k

    Price Beater: Derelict 356A Speedster Brings $538k?!

    Gray Market Yields Green: ’72 BMW 3.0 CSL Pulls $187k

    Japanese Icon: ’73 Nissan Skyline GT-R ‘Kenmeri’ — $176k

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  • SCM Platinum

    Over 200 cars that sold at auction covered in every issue of SCM. Our market reports include detailed information about the vehicle, including VIN, condition, options, and expert analysis from SCM's auction reporters.

    SCM Platinum is the largest database of collector cars sold at auction. Over 150,000 vehicles, including over 59,000 with detailed write-ups from our auction reporters.

    Now optimized for your mobile devices!

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  • Glovebox Notes

    SCM doesn't just cover collector cars. Every week, SCM reviews a brand new car online and in our newsletters, and there are new reviews every month in the magazine. Thinking of buying a new car? Check out our reviews!

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  • Insider’s Guide to Concours d’Elegance

    The 2014 guide includes a calendar of events and detailed descriptions of 21 featured concours.

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Recent Blog Posts

  • The Best First Sports Car +

    This is a question that comes up all the time. Sometimes I'm asked, "What's the best first Alfa Romeo or Ferrari?" Other times it is just, "I'm thinking of getting into vintage sports cars. Which one would I have the most fun with?" There are many layers to these types Read More
  • Honda Knows How to Make a Commercial +

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  • Bidding and Touring With One Good Arm +

    Mitch Silver was ready for me last Saturday at the Portland Expo Center. I asked if I could have a left-arm bidder's paddle, and he said yes. Tuesday I'd had rotator-cuff surgery, and my right arm was in a sling. That wasn't going to stop me from seeing if the Read More
  • Not Having a Good Day +

    (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));He got fired later that dayMore videos? LIKE >> ZOO WeeklyPosted by ZOO Weekly on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 Read More
  • Two Alfas in the Shop, Four in the Garage – SCM Fleet Update +

    Fall is here. It's time to start shuffling the SCM cars around, putting the convertibles away for the winter and making sure the coupes and sedans are ready to go. Here's a quick look at the status of the cars in the SCM fleet: The 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider Veloce (pictured Read More
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Collector Car News

  • Keno Brothers Bring 1969 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 N.A.R.T. Daytona Coupe to Market +

    Leigh and Leslie Keno bring a 1969 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona N.A.R.T. competizione coupe to market at Rolling Sculpture — the brothers' first classic car auction, taking place November 18–19 in New York City. View all the current consignments here. Over the past 40 years, Leigh and Leslie Keno have gained worldwide Read More
  • Greenwich Concours Founder Bruce Wennerstrom Has Died +

    Bruce Wennerstrom, Co-founder and Chairman of the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, died on Wednesday, September 30, 2015. Bruce and his wife Genia, who died in 2011, were the owners and directors of the Madison Avenue Sports Car Driving and Chowder Society, a club of automobile enthusiasts established in 1957 that meets monthly at Read More
  • Join SCM on an Urban Safari +

    Come explore Portland's unpaved streets and alleys with SCM on October 25. The Urban Safari is limited to off-road vehicles of European descent. Team SCM will be driving the Safari Méhari! Sign up here. Read More
  • Bonhams' Frederiksen Collection Sale Totals $21m +

    Bonhams' September 26 Frederiksen Collection sale in Denmark was the country's highest-grossing auction ever. Sales totaled $21.1m, and 43 of 49 cars sold (88%). At $2.7m, 1930 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Roadster was the most valuable car ever sold at auction in Denmark. View the results here. Read More
  • Barrett-Jackson Announces New Northeast Auction at Mohegan Sun +

    Barrett-Jackson will host a new auction in the Northeastern United States at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, June 23-25, 2016. Mohegan Sun, one of the most spectacular entertainment, gaming, dining and shopping destinations in North America, will host the three-day collector car auction and lifestyle event for visitors from around Read More
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Portuguese barn houses 180 cars, all covered with decades of dust

Huge collections like the one in Portugal don't just happen. Cars are accumulated by someone with a purpose

By Tom Cotter

One day this January, I received at least ten forwarded email attachments to a web site that featured photos of an eclectic collection of old cars in a decaying building. For the next week it seemed the web was literally blanketed with these images, each giving a similar story:

“Imagine moving into an old farmhouse in the Portuguese countryside, and, while walking around “the lower 40” of your new investment, you come across an old building. Curious as to what may be inside, you pry open the rusted door and for the first time in decades, one of the largest hordes of old cars ever discovered is exposed to sunlight.”

I didn’t believe that story for a moment.

Huge collections of cars don’t just happen. Cars are accumulated—sometimes lovingly, sometimes not—by someone with a purpose. I was sure this collection was not assembled by accident; nobody would simply sell an old farm and fail to mention to the new owners the stash of old cars in the barn.

I decided to investigate. I searched the web and ultimately came to an English language dead end at the Mazda Miata Club Norway web site. But I kept going, sending emails in English and hoping that some kind recipient would take a few moments to answer some questions. All indications were that the cars were hidden somewhere in Portugal, so that’s where I focused my investigation.

Through a Cobra buddy, Don Silawski of Washington, DC, I contracted with a Portuguese translator, Clara Dixon. Clara would be my tour guide and try to unearth some of the naked truth regarding this huge stash. Clara also checked the Internet for news stories that may have been written in Portuguese newspapers about the cars. I was beginning to feel like a CIA sleuth…

I must admit that for me, a lifelong barn-finder, a collection this large would be the discovery of a lifetime. My 15-year-old son, Brian, even tried to convince me to hop a flight to Portugal to see if I could actually find the collection myself.

I was eventually able to contact the photographer who was contracted by the cars’ owner to shoot the photographs that would ultimately appear on millions of car-guy computer monitors beginning on January 20.


Manuel Menezes Morais shot the photos, but he was sworn to secrecy about the cars’ location and the owner’s name. However, he was able to obtain permission from the elusive owner to give me the following information:

The owner of the cars was a car dealer in the 1970s and 1980s, and decided to save the more interesting cars that came through his doors. When the barn was full, he padlocked and “soldered” the doors shut. (Perhaps welding was too permanent.)

Web sites varied on the number of cars: 58, 100, and 180 were speculated. According to Morais, there are 180 cars in the barn.

And, aw shucks, none of the cars is for sale.

Clara was able to determine that the cars are located somewhere in the area of Sintra, near Lisbon.
I asked Morais if he could ask the owner if he had a favorite car. “He has lots of good cars in very good condition,” he says, “but he loves the Lancia Aurelia B24. He has two.”

I would ask that a European-based SCM subscriber pick this story up and help fill in the blanks. And let me know what you find ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ). I’d like to include the true story in a future In the Barn book, as well as in SCM.

So, what's in there?

TOM COTTER is a contributing editor to Road & Track. The sequel to Cotter’s book Cobra in the Barn, to be called The Hemi in the Barn, will be published by Motorbooks this fall.

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