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Is 2018 the year of the barn find?

The all elusive automotive unicorn: the barn find. Five have already been publicly announced this year — two were sold in Gooding & Co’s Amelia Island auction, while the other three have recently been unearthed by LBI Limited in Long Island…

The hat trick

Everyone loves a bit of patina, right? Well, these three cars have it in spades. After sitting in a nondescript industrial building in the middle of Long Island for the past 40 years, the dust, flat tyres, corrosion, broken headlamps, and deteriorated interiors couldn’t hide the iconic machines beneath. When LBI Limited Founders Andrew Mastin and Adolfo Massari slid back the doors to the garage and first caught a glimpse of the treasures inside, they were in awe.

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First was the 1937 Packard bodied by Silver-Knightstown Body Company, which is believed to have been used as a hearse, ambulance, or both! The second was a 1937 Rolls-Royce bodied by Franay. Originally delivered to Sir Philip Sassoon, a British socialite and member of Parliament, it’s been discovered that this car was actually the 1937 Paris Auto Show stand car for Rolls-Royce. The third, and probably most valuable, was a Delahaye Cabriolet. While originally believed to be a unique and rare pre-War model, it’s actually from 1947 and features a one-off, coachbuilt 135M body by Vesters & Neirinck. Along with being displayed at the 1948 Brussels Auto Show, it was also a Best of Show winner at the 1948 Concours d’Elegance in Vichy, France. To find one barn find is a rare opportunity, but to find three at once is nearly impossible — bravo on the hat trick LBI Limited...

Photos: LBI Limited

As research is still being conducted on these barn finds, they have yet to reach the Classic Driver Market, but a selection of LBI Limited’s inventory can be found listed for sale here

More unicorns seem to be coming out of their hiding places around the world, with the Netherlands’ BVA Auctions holding an exclusive barn find sale on 29 March. The 31-lot catalogue can be found in the Classic Driver Market.