Trends come and go. Sometimes this is a good thing. Anybody miss their custom Van from 1977?

One thing I saw less of this year, at least in Scottsdale, were barn-find cars. Sure, there were dusty originals on offer at places like Barrett-Jackson, but they were typically OE cars with delivery miles that were still on the MSO. What I’m talking about were the ratty, rusty, only-original-once muscle cars and trucks in need of everything, from body and paint all the way down to interior restoration. 

These are the cars that sell for similar prices to completely restored examples. For what seemed like years, these cars were all the rage in the market, even if buying one didn’t make much sense. There might be romance in the notion of an untouched car, but there’s also some reality there that isn’t quite so romantic when you have to figure out what you’re actually going to do with your new relic.

It seemed to me that the trend, at least in January 2020, had settled down. In their place were a bunch of patina builds — cars that have some essence of aged originality while also having modern powertrains and interiors. You know, stuff you can actually use.

Were barn find cars ever relevant, really? Do you think it’s a fad that passed, or was Scottsdale’s lesser number just an anomaly? 

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