Mysterious Abandoned Property Hides Big Stash of Classic Cars, Rare Gems Included

Many enthusiasts claim that the golden era of barn finds has come to an end. But while that may be true for million-dollar classics of the Bugatti and Ferrari variety, barn finds are still a thing. Yes, most of them are not all that valuable, but hey, cars keep popping out of barns by the thousands each year.
Barn find collection in France 11 photos
Photo: The Bearded Explorer/YouTube
Barn find collection in FranceBarn find collection in FranceBarn find collection in FranceBarn find collection in FranceBarn find collection in FranceBarn find collection in FranceBarn find collection in FranceBarn find collection in FranceBarn find collection in FranceBarn find collection in France
Are you into barn finds, but you're tired of seeing mundane vehicles emerging into the light as unimpressive rust buckets? Well, then you definitely need to have a closer look at this recent find by YouTube's "The Bearded Explorer." Because we're talking about a massive property that packs with tens of classics, including quite a few rare gems.

Unlike most stashes of derelict vehicles you see on these pages, this one is not in the United States. This seemingly abandoned property is located somewhere in France. Its exact location is being kept under wraps for safety reasons, but our host claims he drove for more than 10 hours from the U.K. to get there. So we're probably talking about Northern France.

But regardless of its exact location, this place is downright amazing if you're into old cars. Although it's a bit sad too, since most of them have been abandoned for decades and are in rough shape, it's one of those rare collections that stretches over five decades of automobile history.

Of course, most of the vehicles that have been parked here are European and the majority of them are of the French variety. Granted, it might not seem all that interesting if you're into American land yachts of the 1950s, but many of these cars are not only interesting, but also quite rare to find nowadays.

Barn find collection in France
Photo: The Bearded Explorer/YouTube
I mean, when was the last time you saw a Renault Estafette? Not familiar with this compact predecessor to the Renault Trafic? Well, it may not be famous in the U.S., but the Estafette was, in fact, sold in North America for a few years. Built in Mexico for a whopping 22 years by DINA, it reached American and Canadian soil as the Renault Hi-Boy and Petit-Panel.

But wait, this collection is also home to quite a few Panhards. There are at least six of them parked here, including Dyna X, Dyna Z, and PL17 models. Established in 1887 as one of the oldest vehicle manufacturers in the world, Panhard is perhaps better known for commercial and armored vehicles, but the Paris-based company began making passenger cars as Panhard et Levassor in the 19th century.

The French brand stopped making passenger cars in 1967, when its civilian branch was absorbed by Citroen. From 1968, Panhard only made armored vehicles and continues to do as part of Arquus, a division of Renault Trucks Defense. Come 2023 and Panhard automobiles are quite rare.

Sure, they're far from desirable outside the Panhard fan club, but they're cute French cars that deserve more attention.

Barn find collection in France
Photo: The Bearded Explorer/YouTube
I also spotted a Ford Vedette, a short-lived nameplate built by Ford France from 1948 to 1954. Unrelated to American-made Fords, the Vedette was powered by V8 engines, which was rather unusual for a European car after World War 2. The fact that this particular car is a pickup version makes it that much more interesting and rare. Because only a few of them left the factory in this configuration.

French cars aside, these barns also house Mercedes-Benz automobiles and a BMW 2000 CS. Built from 1965 to 1969, these coupes are also extremely rare. BMW's flagship coupe at the time, it was replaced by the E9, the predecessor to the E24 6 Series. Amazingly enough, this example is still in one piece and still has its four-cylinder engine under the hood.

The property also hides a couple of U.S.-made vehicles. There's a 1951 Oldsmobile Super 88, which is hard to find in Europe, and a Dodge WC-51. The latter is a military 4x4 truck built during World War 2, most likely purchased after serving on the Western Front.

Finally, the property is also loaded with 1920s and 1930s automobiles. Most of them are – sadly enough – in such a poor shape that they're unrecognizable. Most of them are probably of the French variety since both Renault and Peugeot were already big manufacturers by the 1920s. One still has a Peugeot front grille attached to it and it appears to be a 201.

Barn find collection in France
Photo: The Bearded Explorer/YouTube
Built from 1929 to 1937 in a little more than 140,000 units, the 201 was very similar to the Ford Model A design-wise, albeit shorter and using small-displacement inline-four engines. Historically, the 201 is part of the same lineage as the modern 308.

But it's downright amazing that all of these pre-WW2 automobiles survived to see 2023 given that they've been neglected for more than 50 years now. You can check them all out in the video below.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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