Domestic barn finds are great, but there's nothing quite like finding a rare automobile that started its life a long time ago in a country far, far away. To start off this Barn Find Friday (and to kill off the rest of your afternoon), here are the best European barn finds for less than five figures.
Remember when cars had distinct faces, and didn't have the typical angular wide-mouth bass grilles that every single production car has now? I remember, and so does this quirky Opel GT. It has a face that grows on you, and a body that actually is pretty visually appealing and striking. In performance, it wasn't the fastest thing on the road, but it held its own with the choked-out and restricted cars of the early '70s, and with a small 1.8 liter, 4-cylinder engine, that was no small feat. Buy this, fix it up, or have it as lawn art from a bygone era. Either way, it's a cheap, rare car that you likely won't see driving around anytime soon.
This Volkswagen Beetle may be the only classic car that the vast majority of the world's population knows by name. It's a car with one of the most active and zany aftermarket scenes ever, and it's the perfect starter car to hone some wrenchin' skills. This non-running, rust free example has the right price for a mid-'50s Bug, and it can be put back into commission relatively easily. Buy it as a family project or just do it as a way to constructively pass the time. It's a lot of personality for a small price.
Do you yearn for the simplicity of a Volkswagen Beetle, but are you tired of being just another Bug in the pack at the weekly San Francisco Cars and Cronuts? Fret no more, my hipster friends, as this Volkswagen 412 is all but a guarantee that no one will have the same car, as only around 2,000 were imported into the United States. It has the top-of-the-line Beetle running gear, so mechanical parts will be a breeze to find and install, and its quintessentially German looks beg a double take. Grab this and show up any Herbie poser that thinks they have the thickest rimmed glasses. You'll show them.
An Alfa Romeo means a lifetime membership in Gearheads Anonymous. Buying this car in particular means that you might just be elected president, if you'd ever make it to one of the meetings without having to make an abrupt stop on the side of the road in a cloud of smoke. This lovely Alfa Romeo had an amazing dual-overhead-cam 6-cylinder engine, with three double-barrel Weber carbs, which made (and still makes) the car sprightly enough for modern traffic. That is, if you can get it running and driving. Spoiler alert: You can and you must.
Tavarish is the founder of APiDA Online and writes about buying and selling cool cars on the internet. He owns the world's cheapest Mercedes S-Class, a graffiti-bombed Lexus, and he's the only Jalopnik author that has never driven a Miata. He also has a real name that he didn't feel was journalist-y enough so he used a pen name and this was the best he could do.