Abandoned Property Packed With Classic Cars Hides Rare Pre-WW2 Gems

When talking about barn finds, we usually think about classic cars that emerge into the light after long-term storage. But the truth is many vehicles have been abandoned for good and are currently rotting away on properties that have been neglected for decades. The estate you see here is one of those places.
French barn finds 12 photos
Photo: The Bearded Explorer/YouTube
French barn findsFrench barn findsFrench barn findsFrench barn findsFrench barn findsFrench barn findsFrench barn findsFrench barn findsFrench barn findsFrench barn findsFrench barn finds
Documented by "The Bearded Explorer," this property is located somewhere in France. Our host does not disclose its exact coordinates for obvious reasons but does share that the place was left behind after the owner passed away. Sadly enough, one of the buildings and the yard are both packed with classic cars that won't be rescued anytime soon. And I say "sadly" because some of them are actually rare gems you no longer see on public roads.

The footage kicks off with a few more mundane cars, including Ford Sierras and Granadas. These are common sights in the U.K. and France, but some of them have become increasingly scarce in recent years. And I'm talking about the Euro-spec Granada, not the compact and midsize vehicles with the same name that were sold in the United States from 1975 to 1982.

If you're not familiar with European-built Granada, it was introduced in 1972 as a replacement for the P7. Advertised as a "large executive car," it was built over three generations until 1994. The Mark III, however, was sold as the Scorpio outside the U.K. On top of the usual four-door sedan and five-door estate versions, Ford also produced a sporty two-door fastback in the early years. The latter is arguably the rarest iteration of the Granada and this property is home to a couple of them.

But as you might have already guessed, there are quite a few French cars in there as well. Highlights include a Renault 16, a five-door hatchback produced from 1965 to 1980, and a Renault 20/30, the company's most upmarket automobile from 1975 to 1984. There's also a Renault 8, a small family car introduced in 1962 and sold through 1976 in some countries.

While far from iconic in the U.S., the Renault 8 was quite popular in Eastern Europe back in the day and also spawned a sporty Gordini version. The one found here looks like a Gordini but it's an 8S, which is almost as desirable.

But none of these cars are as special as a certain pair of 1930s classics. I'm talking about a couple of automobiles wearing Hotchkiss badges. Not familiar with the brand? Well, then you should know that it was one of France's leading luxury carmakers between 1903 and 1955. Its main competitors included Delahaye, Delage, and Talbot-Lago, brands that have since been discontinued as well.

While not as famous as Rolls-Royces from the era, Hotchkiss automobiles are notably rarer, and, depending on specifications, just as desirable. This mini collection includes a 686 from 1934 and an 864 from 1937. Both are rare gems and quite beautiful and needless to say, they deserve to be retrieved and restored.

The property also includes a few other classics from the 1930s, a Porsche 924 in solid condition, and massive piles of car parts. Hopefully, some of these valuable classics will be saved at some point, but until that happens, check them all out in the video below. And be sure to let me know which car you'd take home via the comments section.

Video thumbnail
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
About the author: Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea profile photo

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.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories