• Jul 31st 2007 at 3:25PM
  • 26
We receive a lot of tips here at Autoblog. Some implore us to check out camera shots of an Audi R8 spotted in Santa Monica, others relay breaking news in the industry, and still more are just personal rants about the state of all things four-wheeled. And then there are the tips we get about the Great Portuguese Barn Find.

Hundreds of tips about this amazing discovery have been pouring in for months. They all have in common the story of a New Yorker's retirement gift to himself – a house on a few acres in Portugal. The house he found had been vacant for 15 years, the owners having passed away leaving no heirs. The property was being sold to pay back taxes owed, and besides the house, there was also a large metal barn on the land with its doors welded shut. Nobody took the time to see what was inside, so the property was sold as is. When the new owner and his wife arrived, they got to work opening up the barn and found - the barn find of the millennium. Inside the structure sat around 200 dusty classic cars. What an unbelievable bit of luck for the new owner!

Follow the jump for the real story.

[Source: Old Cars Weekly]
And we do mean unbelievable. Of course the whole thing was a net hoax, but some people still want to believe it is true, and so the story continues to circulate. After all, there's a whole gallery of dusty classics sitting in a dark warehouse that's pretty compelling. How could it be a lie?

Old Cars Weekly
just tracked down the story behind the story, and the real explanation is almost as good as the hoax. What we are actually seeing in those pictures is the collection of an automobile dealer who over the years has added many vehicles that caught his fancy. He just drove them to the barn and parked them there, presumably waiting until he decided what to do with the lot of them next. About a year ago he sent in a photographer to document the collection, and those pics are the ones circulating the internet, helping to create and sustain this myth. So now you know the truth behind the Great Portugal Barn Find, and you all can stop sending us tips to cover it. Okay?


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 26 Comments
      David Said
      • 9 Months Ago

      Another nice barnfind in south germany: Lots of englisch racers: http://corsoclassico.com/sleeping-plastic/

      Earl Keetch
      • 9 Months Ago

      looking   for a 1934 for roadster

      Eddie
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why the story? Tax avoidance
      • 8 Years Ago
      That would be a real treat. Leno should do a weekly car show.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It made it to the top of digg so how can it not be true?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Portuguese? The cars in the barn have dutch classic plates?!
        Tommy
        • 16 Days Ago

        Portuguese plates were similar to dutch plates.

        • 8 Years Ago
        No, the license plates are really Portuguese and were used in this format till 1992, which is when the numbering system reached its limit, i.e: ZZ-99-99.
        After that, the letters went to the end of the plate, thus becoming like this: 00-01-AA. The black base was replaced with the standard Euro-style reflective white with DIN-style black letters/numbers and
        In 2005 this system also reached its limit and since then the plates adopted this format: 00-AA-01.
        The actual Portuguese plates also have a yellow vertical bar on the right side, with the year and month of the first registration.
        Pedro
        • 3 Years Ago
        In the picture of Alfa Romeo interior you can see a logo in the window similar to this: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_0vX0mlooZjA/SsydY9XmurI/AAAAAAAAGIc/6l-axOj0xEM/s400/ACP.jpg Thats the old logo of Automóvel Clube de Portugal. Google search it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I wonder how long before that guys gets a call from Jay Leno.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yup, this year, some of these cars were at lisbon's classic car show.
      Seems the gentleman in question has starting selling (and in some cases giving them) to people willing to restore them.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Thanks Joe. I had always gone through PM for his garage stories. This has more up to date entries.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It made me happy to see a Magnette tucked away in there. My dad is in the process of restoring his own Magnette right now. I'll have to forward this story to him, he'll be amazed at the cars.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is a testament to how gullable the masses are. For some reason people seem to think that if someone they know sends them an email with an extraordinary story, it must be true, so they hit the forward button and send it to all their contacts.

      DON'T BE A LEMMING! VERIFY BEFORE YOU FORWARD!

      It's real simple to do, just go to www.snopes.com
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ok so a car dealer collected 180 cars and put them in a barn, but why weld the doors shut?Why not take the pictures himself? why hire someone to take pictures, why wait so long to take the pictures and why take pictures of the doors welded shut?

      And the story could still be true, this "new" information just explains how the cars got there in the first place and who put em there.

      I mean this man, who was a car dealer in the 70's & 80's filled up this barn with 180 cars and welded the doors shut . . . . Why?
      1)Why weld the doors shut? Why hide the 180 cars, what are you hiding? The cars still have tags/plates. Who do the cars REALLY belong to? Who's name are they in? Why not just put locks on the doors, put up a fence or take some type of security action?? Why go through such extreme to "melt" the doors closed if you will, to have to go through more extreme tactics to get back inside?? Is he going to seal the doors again??
      2) if he had died, who would get his collection? If these pictures were not taken and spread across the internet , who would know they were there?
      3)why wouldn't he clean off the cars or turn them on once in while, or hire someone to do it for him since he hired someone to take the photos of the cars in the first place?
      Why document the cars? Document the cars for WHAT? personal records?
      4) Why have a 180 cars in a barn? Why just sit on them and hide them instead driving them, selling them, or show casing them? What does one do with 180 cars?
      5) Maybe there was a misunderstanding, maybe some guy did buy this barn and did find these cars inside, and maybe HE hired a man to take the pics of the cars and maybe there was a car dealer and the car dealer DID die leaving his collection behind.

      This "NEW" info answered my question: "who would put all those cars in there like that?
      But It still leaves "WHY?" I mean really, car dealer or not, why put those cars in a barn??? And WHY seal the doors??? why hide them? And why let em sit for years?? Without maintenance, and occasionally turning them on??

      I find it hard to believe a car dealer put a random 180 cars in a barn myself. I could believe a man bought the property and the previous owner left behind 180 cars but I would think that the previous owner (or person responsible) was in a Mafia years ago or something and claimed those cars throughout the years for what ever reasons and tried to keep them hidden for reasons. It's more plausible.


        Janna Graham
        • 1 Year Ago
        The guy brought the cars for investment but sadly he and his wife died and no other family , the property was sold as they were in a care home to pay for taxes . No one know about the cars till it was sold and new owner found them x
          MR
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Janna Graham

          but that's not how it happened.  the owner isn't dead, he's a former car dealer who stockpiled these cars and then had someone photodocument them.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Not believable...what, just because you own a dealership doesn't mean you can't be a little crazy? Some of the richest people I know are short a few cards out of their deck.
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