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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Avoidable Contact #152: Not born in a barn, but I'm going to die in one

"You have to be careful," Steven Cole Smith told me. "My threshold was two thousand dollars for a long time. That's why I have an ex-Improved-Touring Fiero out on the property, along with ... many other things."
https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/avoidable-contact/avoidable-contact-152-not-born-in-a-barn-but...
56 REPLIES 56
jacksoot
New Driver

I can't wait for The Barn Find Hunter S58 E4 : Avoidable Contact In Ohio. Tom discovers old race cars and a rare Ford Fusion.
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

No lowballers, I know what I have!
CitationMan
Gearhead

If you’re going to make a future Barn Find Hunter, you’re going to need a bunch of shipping containers haphazardly spaced around the ranch.
Rural advice: Old La-Z-Boys outside in front of the trailer are also a thing in my neighborhood. Usually right next to the grill. Very pastoral.
9lbhammer
Advanced Driver

My buddy is the OG. He lets me stash my truck in his yard when I'm away for work and he drives it every now and then so gas doesn't sit in the carb.

If I were you I'd have some kind of smallish kubota. Dad has a 4x4 BX2200 which has worked well for us. We have the mower deck which isn't near as useful as we hoped, and the bucket on the front which is worth its weight in gold.

My old job had a few schmedium 90's era massey ferguson tractors that were good, but not as good as the Case/IH/whatever you want to call them. Larger than what I'd want for what I'm assuming your use case is. Despite what Joe Diffie says don't go john deere green.
SJacobT
Detailer

L2501 HST: biggish, no emissions stuff, not really much more expensive than the BX/B; doesn't have a midnount PTO, so no belly mower - if that's important. Get the decent pallet forks, they're indispensable...
miata93
Instructor

I'll take you up on the invitation. Anyone who understands human nature and thermodynamics like you do deserves a free beer. Extra bonus shots if you know who George R. Price is.
I just want a five car garage with an attached house. The kids can use the upstairs when they visit.
wirekat
Intermediate Driver

I once thought five would be enough and 22 years ago I did it bassackwards, big house, small shop with a three car garage. Ahh, first world problems.
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

I will admit that I did not know Price!
Snailish
Engineer

I'm working on saving a small old barn on my property. Once it is secured from not falling down I should be able to park two rough 59 Pontiacs in it (currently in possession of my father that I have been "claiming" for 20 years).

I'm not sure it makes sense to try and make that barn a 4-season workshop (even part of it). I would love to build a pole barn in range of my hydro service and driveway. It took years to learn the lesson, but I am (so far) holding the discipline of getting the spaces ready first before accumulating more projects and parts cars.

Your pole barn doesn't look to have massive height to allow a mezzanine, but vehicles don't need headroom on all sides... so the rims and tires can likely be stored up in the air with other things tucked under them. Maybe even make a divider wall down part of the barn and this stuff lives on top of it?
miata93
Instructor

My father-in-law's hobby was fixing up old barns that were basket cases. His trick was to take all of it down to the ground, measure and catalog all the pieces. He would then rebuild a slightly smaller version of the original barn that eliminated the wood that could not be salvaged. The barns that I remember that were rebuilt had loft space for storing parts or even a desk or small studio.

oregonsrf
Pit Crew

Second the Kubota L2501 HST. Had a B7100 for 25 years, sold it when we moved from OR (20 acres) to AZ (2 acres). Second wheelbarrow load of rocks I moved in AZ I went out and bought my 2501 next day. 4 acres now in AZ. Kubota will be part of my estate sale some day. Belly mowers are a PITA, you don't take them on/off like you should and you will highcenter with them on because you were too lazy or in a hurry to take them off for one small job. Drag your mowers and bush hogs behind using rear PTO. Oh...and ditto on the fork attachments, incredibly useful.

On the second barn...last 3 houses I've lived in over last 30+ years each shop/barn got bigger and bigger and each time I still needed more space eventually. Scientifically proven factoid: stuff expands to fill space.
4RenT
Advanced Driver

"Scientifically proven factoid: stuff expands to fill space."

IIRC, that is Parkinson's Law.
seinfeldbasslin
Intermediate Driver

i am envious, jack. I pray that when i have the ability to do something similar, the world will still be stable enough for me to build a fraction of what you have going on there.
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

Frankly, I'm just hoping the people who run the teleprompter can avoid thermonuclear war long enough for me to get a roof on the house! 🙂
CJinSD
Instructor

A friend who likes posting pictures of his Ford GTs on Facebook uses parking lifts to stack his cars and double the size of his garage. I think you're looking at about $5K per extra car if you do it that way.
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

I know I'll be there eventually but I'm annoyed that every single four post storage lift is made in China.
WyattBowman
Intermediate Driver

Even Wildfire lifts?
58_Plastic_Tub
Intermediate Driver

Jack,
Take a look at Advantage Lifts. Built in Warren, OH, I believe.
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

Thank you!
4RenT
Advanced Driver

Jack (may I call you that?),
Look at the car shown it the latest Barn Find Hunter, that is being held up by iron pipes! (Above the Kahrman Ghia? sp?)
DavidHolzman
Advanced Driver

You should have your tractor. I've often photographed old tractors with the cars amidst undergrowth in out of the way places. Good looking machines.

And as farmers are a whole lot smarter than white collar workers, the few hunter-gatherers who still live lives untouched by what we call civilization are smarter than farmers, and live lives that are a lot less stressful.
CJinSD
Instructor

That's why socialists are so effective at causing famines. They think they're smarter than farmers.

4RenT
Advanced Driver

If you do start collecting tractors, don't park them it a row, that makes it too easy for your wife to count them!
B^)
tonyis
New Driver

Cherry Hill? I'm looking for my own barn there. I'd probably have better luck in Ohio or rural Florida, but that's not how the world works.
WyattBowman
Intermediate Driver

When I get a country place w/barn, I want an old Ford N tractor to work the land with
Flatman
Pit Crew

Had 40 acres, colonial period house and sizeable barn - miss my 8N the most.
MWL
Intermediate Driver

I have 3 thoughts here: First, I've never had the chance to drive a Fiero, but I hope to sometime. Second, the snarky comments about "people poorer than you" have never heard of farmers being "land poor." They may not have much cash, but they could very well have millions tied up in acreage and equipment. And third, you would be looking at a piece of vintage equipment, but remember that for a brief period Porsche made tractors.... just sayin'.
danhise
Advanced Driver

"A chef-d'oeuvre of the highest," as Walt W. would say. I just looked up Powell, OH, pop. 11,500, which appears to be a suburb of Columbus. But I'll go along with your "Country Living" meme. You must be "out from" Powell. And you're near what appears to be the intersection of half the Interstates in the U.S. of A., in case you need quickly to get closer to or farther away from whatever.

Bravo, Child of God.
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

It's my fault as a writer for not making this clear, but I am *leaving* Powell and going to an unincorporated town of twenty people, about an hour north.
danhise
Advanced Driver

I am humbled, Carmeister. I should have been able to decipher the situation. The fault is mine.

plamry
Intermediate Driver

Jack. My advice on the tractor is buy a John Deere unless the dealership that is closest to you suck. Then buy a Kubota. Don’t mess with the other brands unless you are doing all the maintenance yourself and aren’t worried about support down the road. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Deere supports their products indefinitely. You won’t have to worry about tracking down a part in 20 years on your Deere. A little pricier as you’re buying the name but that’s worth something to me. I have a 4066r cab tractor with a bucket, brush hog and front snow pusher and love if. I had an open station prior but really love the cab in the freezing winter and humid/hot summers if Wisconsin.
4RenT
Advanced Driver

Avoid John Deere like the plague!
They have DRM'd their tractors to the point that you don't really "own" one!
(Sort of like Windows 11)
plamry
Intermediate Driver

I guess you must do all your own car maintenance too? If so more power to you. I pay a guy for that same as my tractor. I don’t want to work on my own tractor and just want the best product
Scott-Systems
New Driver

Is this allowed - all pole barn owners that need some storage - American Made Post-Rack brackets! Cantilever universal brackets to FREE UP YOUR FLOOR & STORE UP THE WALL! Incredible strength and durability. Veteran owned, AMERICAN Made & Manufactured. Check ‘em out! post-rack.com
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

It's allowed and I'll check them out. Thank you!
wirekat
Intermediate Driver

If I only knew then what I know now. 22 years seems like a blip but then I thought a big house and three car garage/shop was all I would ever need. Just like that first PC with 640k of memory. It started with motorcycles and that seemed innocuous enough taking two of the three spots. Transitioning to cars now leaves little room for tires or wheels. Luckily we built a barn early on but it's still a retirement home for old quadrupeds. Still, it was able to section off a "secret" room for the cycles that keeps the rodents and spiders at bay. Now I just need to outlive the alpacas.
Tinkerah
Engineer

No matter how many times we are taught the Scientifically Proven Factoid ("stuff expands to fit the space") we all somehow think we'll beat it. I bought my house specifically for its detached 25X25 and was stunned at how quickly it became unmanageable. Interesting to know that even on Jack's very enviable scale, it still happens.
-Nate
Detailer

Actually, stuff increases to available storage space plus about 10% over....

Good thing I live in the Desert where some stuff can be stored out side .

-Nate
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

I'd like to build a storage barn to work on cars, etc someday. But I'll have to find that piece of land and I don't think that's going to work out any time soon.
-Nate
Detailer

Pretty cool .

In the mid 1960's we used 1930's vintage John Deere A & B tractors, dead simple, started in January with dead batteries, slow but never failed to get the job at hand done .

Parts were easily available and affordable too .

In the late 1990's I was trying to source parts for less than ten year old Kubotas, also good tractors but the dealer often douldn't supply routine service parts nor internal engine parts .

I have several friends who use vintage Fordson N9 etc. tractors, also cheap and reliable, I don't know the parts situation .

Gotta have a really good concrete work space too plus indoor and secure space for the tool boxes, jacks, safety stands, oil dispensers etc.....

I'm in the process of down sizing all that crap and I never had a barn in town .

Don't for get floor drains and some sort of shower for after the oil baths you're going to take sooner or later .

Fans too for when you're doing those mid Summer race car clucthes and engine swaps...

-Nate
Ken_L
Intermediate Driver

Having your own lift is priceless. You may become very popular with your new neighbors if they find out you have one. As far as tractors, unless you need a front loader, N Series Fords are inexpensive and very easy to maintain. We just sold a good 8N for $1,900 without attachments. It was used for 30+ years around our compound to maintain a 1/2 mile gravel road and brush hog a few acres several times a year. replaced it with a 70 hour like new Kubota L2501 HST for $18,000. It is nice - but I miss having the old Ford around.
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

I'm going to look for an 8N. I've heard a lot about them from smart people.
Ken_L
Intermediate Driver

I should have added that I also miss having the $16,100 difference.

RajahSC
Pit Crew

Jack, don't discount the NAA (also known as the "Jubilee") Immediate successor to the 8n. Almost identical size and a lot of the same parts. Just as easy to work on and parts are just as easy to find. A little more power and it has a live lift. That makes a world of difference. I have 4 Ford tractors including an 8N, Jubilee, 1975 2000 and a 1971 3400 with a FEL and the Jubilee is my go-to for the typical tasks you would want a tractor for. But whether Jubilee or 8n, you will regret neither. Ah, blessed Americana. Or as we money-poor but rich in blessings say, "'Merica!"
Ken_L
Intermediate Driver

Having live lift would have been great on our 8N when using the brush hog.
The cutter was always engaged to be able to raise the deck for transporting any long distance. I found this modification information online for N series tractors. http://www.myfordtractors.com/livehydraulics.shtml
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

This is useful advice and I'll follow it. Thank you!
kytoploader
New Driver

Don't buy a new or even newish tractor. An older Ford will do everything you need and run just about forever. They are also easy and cheap to fix when work is eventually needed. The tractors from the 50's and 60's are great for home use. The ones from the 70's, 80's and 90's are a little more modern with more features and power.
rgodby
New Driver

And so it begins… I remember that fateful trip to the airport to get avgas before a race for my Spec7 and seeing the small ad on the FBO bulletin board: “hangar for sale”. Thus began my descent into a whole new level of automotive accumulation.

I just sold the hangar. To a guy who needs a second as he has filled his other one. I feel like I got out lucky, though I still have a few cars and about 50 race wheels to rehome.
fueledbymetal
Advanced Driver

Looking forward to that house warming party!!!