The discovery of a barn in northern Michigan reveals a Ford treasure from 1934

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Brandan Gillolly

July 27, 2021

Courtesy of Iron Trap Garage

Matt Murray runs Iron trap garage, a YouTube channel dedicated to the preservation of classic cars, hot rods and speed components. His latest video details how he recently found a fabulous stash of ’34 Fords and spare parts. Well, technically the cars found Murray, as an email from the owner tipped him off about the score and offered them up for sale. Of course, he jumped at the chance and headed to Northern Michigan to collect his award.

The large wood-framed barn contained five ’34 Fords, including a five-window coupe that looks incredibly original and has stood intact since the 1960s. By a miracle, the tires still hold the air. There’s also an incomplete four-door sedan in the barn and most of a roadster that’s curiously right-hand drive. This car was repatriated from Argentina in the 1970s. Argentina has been driving on the right side of the road since 1945, but before that, cars in that country would have had right hand drive to facilitate left hand driving. He is not the only Argentine with right-hand drive, as there is also a phaeton in the collection.

Courtesy of Iron Trap Garage

Courtesy of Iron Trap Garage

A separate building hides a ’34 three-glass coupe and some Ford dealership signs, plus a nice ’34 Ford body panel shop, including hoods, doors, hoods and brackets. Additional buildings reveal more vintage trucks, flat beds, chassis, and more vintage signage. Murray and his crew spent most of the day pulling the cars out of their depots, sometimes easier said than done. Some rolled easily, others, without wheels, had to be dragged. They had a nice haul and it took three trucks and trailers to get everything back to the Iron Trap Garage base in Pennsylvania.

Courtesy of Iron Trap Garage

We spoke to Murray, who told us that the car that interested him in the collection was the well-preserved five-glass, but the owner of the collection wanted to sell the entire loot. “He wanted to be heartbroken once, not 10 times,” Murray explained. He also told us that many of these cars are already being talked about. Some of them go to guys who have been looking for original steel for a while to build a suitable car. So while Murray has a sizable collection of his own and plans to keep the five windows and take it to the road, he doesn’t want to be in such a place 50 years from now and has to get rid of a ton of cars. There is clearly also a demand for the parties; A pair of ’33 five-window doors has already been sold to a buyer in Tennessee, who has been driving for hours to get the panels so his stalled project can make some headway.

Courtesy of Iron Trap Garage

Courtesy of Iron Trap Garage

Murray’s plans are to make the three-window drivable and on-road, albeit as-is and unrestored. And while most of the other solid blueprints in this collection have been collected by other builders, another car will be assembled from this collection by a regular colleague from Iron Trap Garage. As a result, there should be a lot of restoration work in Murray’s orbit in the future, as some of those mismatched panels and hardware are assembled into a road car. Murray suggested an optimistic timeline: “Hopefully this time next year, that car will be on the road.”

COURTESY OF HAGERTY

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