Unlocking the Timeless Legacy of a Barn Find MoPar

Unlocking the Timeless Legacy of a Barn Find MoPar

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If you’ve been in the classic Mopar game for a long time or are brand new to it, you are probably fascinated with stories of fantastic barn find cars that are often rescued from decades of long term storage.  

If you are lucky to have discovered a barn find Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto or Chrysler – I am jealous and would like to hear all about it!

Of course barn finds come out of all kinds of different environments, not just barns. We’ve seen them in storage containers, garages blocked by decades old trees, abandoned gas stations and car dealerships. Even people’s basements! I know of one 1948 DeSoto S-11 Suburban languishing in the basement of a big old house not from here. The owner is just not ready to let us take it out!

When attempting to rescue a barn find car, care and patience are critical. A classic Plymouth flathead six engine may be frozen from sitting for a long time. Best to get the spark plugs out and pour in a bunch of transmission fluid, Marvel Mystery Oil or your favorite solvent before trying to turn it over. No sense in moving too quickly and breaking piston rings or damaging the cylinder bores. 

Of course the old gas needs to be drained before any attempt to fire up an old vintage Mopar. Even if it doesn’t smell too badly, we advise draining it or disconnecting the old fuel tank. Put a good quality fuel filter in line before any gas goes into the carburetor, and think about replacing the tank while you are at it. Nothing good is going to happen from a tablespoon full of rust or crud going into that old power plant!

There is a short list of parts that are going to be a must on just about any barn find Plymouth Dodge, DeSoto, Chrysler or ANY vintage car that ‘s been sitting a long time.

  • Spark plugs—pull the old ones out to put some oil in the cylinders, then throw them away and replace. Short money and the engine will say thank you with a nice hot spark.
  • Plug wires—it’s incredible how much old ratty plug wires can rob from your search for a strong spark. Give that old flathead or hemi as much help as you can with new wires! Might as well throw in new battery cable too.
  • Distributor cap, rotor points and condenser. After sitting a long long time these are going to be corroded and generally gunked up.
  • Fuel Filter—see above
  • BRAKES—once the car gets rolling you’re likely going to need to replace the brake master cylinder and all the wheel cylinders. They will NOT have weathered the long term storage well…and as we know, like any other classic cars, antique Chrysler products are fun to drive, but it’s nice when they stop on command too!

Andy Bernbaum Auto Parts is going to have all this stuff, and a whole lot more for your Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto or Chrysler restoration or reclamation project. There are other reputable outfits to service all the other brands, but for MoPar and Chrysler Corp projects Andy Bernbaum Auto Parts has the best selection and fair prices. Plus the guys who answer the phone know what they are talking about and can help you.

For the ultimate barn find project check out Miss Belvedere, a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere that was BURIED under ground brand new, as a time capsule, in Tulsa Oklahoma. It is an amazing story. Car was unearthed in 2007 and the story makes it the ultimate barn find!