Million dollar car found in a chicken shed

Million Dollar Car

If it wasn’t for a Melbourne woman tuning into an ABC radio show about collectible cars, an ultra-rare 85-year-old Italian car – that could be worth more than $1 million – would still be rusting away in a shed on the outskirts of Melbourne.

ABC radio host and car enthusiast Jon Faine took a call from a woman about a 1923 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8 that her husband kept promising to restore.

Once regarded a rival to Rolls-Royce, there are just a handful of the cars left in the world. The Victorian find was quickly snapped up by collector Glenn Olsen, and is expected to fetch more than $1 million once fully restored.

Olsen is offering a reward for the return of the car’s dashboard that “disappeared” from the former owner’s Dandenong Ranges property.

“It’s a hidden treasure…and it was right here in Melbourne and no-one knew,” says Motorclassica’s Paul Mathers. “It’s an amazing story.”

Finding a valuable car or vehicle stashed away in a chook shed is every bargain hunter’s dream.

But a ‘barn find’ doesn’t have to be a rare Italian thoroughbred worth a telephone number. Aussie muscle cars or former race cars driven by well-known drivers are also turning up.

One of Australia’s most famous and well-heeled collectors, David Bowden, found Ian “Pete” Geoghegan’s 1965 Ford Mustang race car tucked away in New Zealand after it had been slightly damaged in an accident. The owner needed a call from the famous driver himself to clinch the sale. Now anyone can see it fully restored and occasionally running at a racetrack.

Keep an eye out for old Holdens, Falcons and Valiants, especially the big V8s. You never know.

That said, some finds are more modest, like the 1966 Volkswagen Kombi panel van that was tucked away in the back of a piggery in rural Victoria or the 1937 Jaguar SS saloon found in a shed in the Melbourne suburb of Oakleigh in the ‘90s, finally bought by collector Bill Coomb and restored.

The moral of the story is: have a peek inside that old shed. There could be treasure inside.

Want to find your own treasured car? Find out how much your car is worth with our car prices tool and check out these great classic car listings on Gumtree:

1965 Ford Mustang Fastback – $42,000

mustan fastback

Image credit: Gumtree Listing

They call this racy two-door a Mustang Fastback for a reason. This classic from 1965 comes in Rangoon Red – inside and out.

1966 Ford Mustang Convertible – $32,000
ford mustang convertible

Image credit: Gumtree Listing

Want to feel the wind in your hair? You’ll love this rare ’65 Mustang which has been faithfully restored with a reconditioned V8 engine.


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