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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Three Charger Daytonas and more Mopar muscle turn up in Auto Archeologist barn find

Ryan Brutt is a muscle car aficionado with a bloodhound-like ability to track down hidden Mopars. He's literally written the book on Muscle Car Barn Finds. We're not entirely sure how he does it, but a wide web of contacts keeps Brutt informed about all sorts of automotive gems like the amazing stash of rare muscle he was recently allowed to explore in Missouri.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/car-profiles/three-charger-daytonas-and-more-mopar-muscle-turn-up-in-a...
41 REPLIES 41
bblhed
Advanced Driver

Wow, thanks for that huge gallery of photos!
LamboEd
Detailer

Of course restore the 2 Daytonas! They don't look bad at all! And provided there are enough funds all the other cars,even the Little Red Express!
topside
Detailer

Always find his discoveries & sharing interesting. I'm baffled by people who neglect a restoration like the red Daytona, though. The green Daytona may only need a thorough cleaning & detailing to let its apparent originality shine through.
Some of the finds are depressing, though, to see the total lack of regard some people have for their cars, except for the fact that they own them.
BossGreg
Intermediate Driver

The article says which one would you restore? None. The Daytonas don't look like they need it. Cars need to be untouched more than being a perfect car with history erased. Just maintain and preserve. The Dart needs a restore but I think it would have to be a passion instead of a good financial move. Lil Red is a truck. Clean maintain and enjoy. Perfect cars to me are never as interesting as untouched or project cars
drhino
Technician

Yes! Well said. Preserve them!
buellerdan
Detailer

Which would you spend the most time gazing upon at a car show, an over restored trailer queen or a nice (but imperfect) original? As far as I'm concerned, the answer is obvious.
CJinSD
Instructor

Wow! The black Daytona is a beauty. The Dart GTS should be restored. It's nice to see a '78 Li'l Red Express Truck. Those are the ones which created their reputation due to lax emissions controls, but the '79s are the ones I always see. I also like the miniature Li'l Red Express go-kart in the bed.
Gary_Bechtold
Gearhead

Definitely need to see these things restored. I hate to see cars just sit and slowly rot away.
merlebalke
Detailer

Zero interest in the Daytonas, but like that Dart GTS.
OHCOddball
Detailer

Fix and replace what needs to be done, but leave as much as is as possible. There are enough museum restorations out there. A car is original only once.
GeorgeWA
Pit Crew

I don’t know what’s wrong with people who own these special cars and allow them to fall into such dis-repair… Cars like these Mopars found in this barn are all over America..They should be kept in top condition and DRIVEN as much as possible… Such a waste to see them rot away… It actually makes me mad
Harleyj
Pit Crew

Back in the early days of Mopars, they were more or less throw away cars and had no resale value. Most all were beat to death or left to rot way back when muscle cars were popular when they were bought only to rip up the pavement. I am 74 and had many muscle cars including a 69 and 70 AMX, Corvetts, 71 challenger R/T 440 and more. I could have bought so many more cars back in the 70's for cheap including C1 corvetts I saw sitting along side of garages or out in a field, Had a chance to buy a one owner 70 GTX 440 4 spd back in 1974 for $1100 during the oil embargo when you couldn't get gas.. This has now all changed now and all these car restoration and auction shows has driven the prices so high that only the rich and famous now can hoard them.like that idiot Jay Leno that knows nothing about cars except buying them. They are no longer available for the average Joe and the baby boomers that use to have them.
Geok86
Advanced Driver

Jay Leno has done many great things to promote/advance the hobby, and if you were even remotely knowledgeable about what you let spew from yourself, you would know that Jay helps to repair/maintain his own vehicles.
Harleyj
Pit Crew

Who gives a dam
BossGreg
Intermediate Driver

I do. Jay is a great approachable on hands person. And why are you commenting if you don't give a dam. Says more about you than Jay. You obviously don't know that Jay has a passion of cars that had Technological advances of their time. Takes knowledge to have this passion. He isn't one of those type of rich people you describe which I'm not a fan of also.

Inline8OD
Advanced Driver

Amen.
sixtieskid
Pit Crew

damn is spelled D A M N.
Inline8OD
Advanced Driver

Just like Katharine Hepburn "cleaned her own windows."
GrantMac001
Pit Crew

Jay Leno was a Rolls Royce mechanic.
Inline8OD
Advanced Driver

No, he was a lot boy at a R-R dealership.
Buzz
Intermediate Driver

Dude. You did not just dis Jay Leno. You have no clue.
56NomadJohn
Pit Crew

Leno knows more than you’ll ever know. You don’t even know how to spell CORVETTE!
gtokdx1
Intermediate Driver

I think that the phrase "barn find" is really misused and stretched these days. While rare, these cars have obviously been put into a newly built building by someone that knows what they have, in order to preserve them. Including the recently restored Daytona. This author just merely got a chance to see them and write about them. Hardly a "barn find", in my opinion. I believe that Jerry Heasley does a much better job documenting "Rare Finds" as the cars he writes about are truly cars forgotten in time, in old dilapidated buildings with "real" dust built up on them, in various stages of decay, and taking pics of the first time the car saw sunlight, the tires saw air or the car rolled for the first time in years. All with a chance for a new owner to buy the car for a very reasonable price without a bunch of people knowing about it. Now that's a Barn Find!
MATTMERICA
Technician

Yes, I am with you. That "barn" is nicer than the buildings many people live in lol
HotRodGTO
Intermediate Driver

Fantastic!! LOVE those beautiful Daytona's! Thank you.
Gene_M
Intermediate Driver

a retirement nestegg in a garage!
Inline8OD
Advanced Driver

There goes the "hobby."
Inline8OD
Advanced Driver

To think this stuff brings more money than 1931-33 Chrysler Imperials. Higher compression station wagon engines in egregious, mid-sized slam, bam, thank you, ma'am Motown tin with teenaged suspensions, trucky rear axle ratios, dopey decals. One trick ponies. Anything more pathetic than 50-, 60, 70-somethings still "jerking off" at stop lights to impress strangers who could care less?

If you want the real thing, there are plenty of well-preserved retired race cars.

Reading these breathless, golly gee whiz bits, you'd never know there were over a century of interesting, novel cars.

The adults have left the building.
OkJustOneMore
Intermediate Driver

Preserve originality as much you can.
Jteakus
Pit Crew

I still want a Little Red Express
plank
Intermediate Driver

Old Mopar and no rusted out frame or body? Amazing huh?
JBBearcat
Intermediate Driver

I can see the general "keep them original idea", but let's remember, these were mass produced Detroit iron...is their "churn them out quick"..it maybe a "Hangover Monday" paint and build quality really worth preserving?
Twenty years ago, I visited a friend, he had an all original Rolls Royce Phantom II Town Car...ooriginally owned by a famous English business owner. It had lightly cracked oaint. I suggested a respray, and he said '...no, I want it original".
Of course, he was right (cut me some slack, it was 20 years ago.
My point; the hand finished quality of a custom Rolls is worth preserving...but a $3500 mass market car?

So here, we have rare Mopars...there were only 500 Daytonas...they deserve to be seen as intended, not over restored, but certainly more than they way they looked when they were cheap used cars in the '70s.
BossGreg
Intermediate Driver

I'll take a car that looks like it did in the 70's quality any day over any type of restoration. Anything past factory Quality orange peel and all is over restored. Value of car should not be a factor in higher quality than factory or maintaining originality.  Every time a car loses it's originality the remaining original ones values go up.

Rich
Pit Crew

I learned to drive a stick on a 68 Dart. 3 on the tree slant 6 though. 😉
Bunka
Intermediate Driver

Same here. That slant 6 was powerless, however, that didn't stop me from abusing it.
MrBill-1943
Detailer

OMG easily worth over $500,000 of beautiful cars from days gone by. Love these types of finds and stories and would also like to hear from the owners as to why they were bought, used and now sit as by and large we buy and use. Other than that love the articles and video's.
PontiacFireBird
New Driver

If you are ever in the area of Punta Gorda, Fl. South of town on 41 on the right is Super Car City. Belongs to one of the local gear heads who made his money from all the construction that went on in Port Charlot. He told me that he never saved any money. He just bought a Corvette every year. He has an old Walmart building and it is stuffed with Corvettes and other GM super cars. lots of signs and other memorabilia.
SS396
Pit Crew

The Muscle car City collection was auctioned off last January by Mecum!
SJ
Instructor

The cars are cool, the video sucks. A little planning before shooting would do wonders.
Lash
Pit Crew

If no one wants that Polara, I'll take it!
johnsuda
New Driver

Back in the day I thought those Dodge and Plymouths were stupid looking and still think that way today. With that said, I wish I could have kept one pristine to sell today!