While cleaning up my wife's mother's farm, we opened up an old barn that hadn't been opened since 1996. Inside, covered with about a full inch of West Texas red sandstorm dust, we found her dad's 1974 IHC 3/4 ton pickup.
We aired up the tires, pulled it out of the barn and brushed off the majority of the dust build up. The truck appears to be in good shape - paint looks good under the dust, all the emblems are there, and no oil or fluid stains on the concrete floor where the truck was stored. I've put a wrench on the front of the crank shaft to verify that the motor isn't frozen, and was about to wash the truck, but stopped there at my wife's insistence.
Her plan is to sell the truck for her mom's account and feels that a collector would rather see the truck "warts and all" rather than one that's been washed (way too many Antiques Road Show viewings 🙂 ). So here's my question - should I wash the truck or not?
I think dirt on a barn find is only good when it's rolling on the auction floor. Or when its on a 7 figure Bugatti, where nobody cares how rusty it is.
I have a feeling you should take a lot of photos of it in its current state and then wash it so everyone knows how solid the body is.