If there’s an automotive story that goes viral, crossing over from just car-lovers to the general public, it’s typically about a large collection of abandoned cars. There’s something about pictures of hundreds of cars covered in dust or in a field of weeds that just makes everyone go all ape. Well, a few years ago some asshat created the doozy of all barn-find stories, and seven years later this bogus story is still popping up on our Facebook feeds…
Anything AnyOne tells a version of the basic story back in 2011 (This post is still getting shared 3 years later):
A New York man retired. He wanted to use his retirement money wisely, and decided to buy a home and a few acres in Portugal. The modest farm house had been vacant for 15 years. The owner and his wife both had died and there were no heirs. The house was sold to pay taxes. There had been several lookers but the large barn had steel doors that were welded shut. Nobody wanted to go to the extra expense to see what was in the barn, and it wasn't complimentary to the property anyway. So nobody had made an offer on the place.
The New York guy bought it at just half of the property's worth, moved in and set about to tear in to the barn. Curiosity was killing him. So he and his wife bought a generator and a couple of heavy duty grinders and cut through the welds.
Anything AnyOne goes on to add this gigantic red-flag of a boilerplate:
This is a true story. The man and wife had a great retirement. (They had full claim to the lot). It was valued at $35 Million Dollars.
Bad news, internet people. Aside from the fact the car-filled barn is indeed in Portugal, the story is completely bogus.
The real story, thanks to Tom Cotter & sportscarmarket.com, is far-less exciting. The cars all belong to a former car dealer form the 70s & 80s who saved his favorites until the barn filled up. After that the doors were locked and soldered shut. A photographer, Manuel Menezes Morais, was commissioned by the owner to take the pictures that have fueled the ludicrous story we now know is false.
Now you know the facts. Yes, there’s a barn in Portugal filled with rare cars. No, they’re not for sale, and no, some New Yorker didn’t stumble into the fortune of a lifetime. Case closed. (And here are more pictures for you, because, well, they're awesome.)
All photos from Intuh Click on the link to see even more pictures of the famed barn.