It's been an interesting week for the barn find. The homologation mother lode that appeared on Monday provided a lot of food for thought. Maybe this is sacrilege, but: Is there a barn-find car that you wouldn't want to drive?
Technically, the delivery-mileage E30 M3s (Sport Evos, natch), the 1000-mile Ford RS200, and the showroom-new Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evolution that recently appeared on S14.net aren't barn finds. Those cars weren't living in squalor, they weren't hidden away by a publicity-shy owner, and they didn't come out of nowhere to be featured in a Tom Cotter book. Still, they qualify as gold, and they prompted a lot of discussion.
The problem with cars like these is that they promote conflict. On one hand, you have a virgin example of a machine that people have lusted after for decades, unused and ready to be caned. On the other, you have a perfectly preserved and irreplaceable piece of history that should probably be mothballed for posterity. (Ford RS200s, for example, do not grow on trees, and most of them have been ridden hard and put away wet.)
Naturally, we have an opinion. We believe that cars, no matter how rare, are tools. They are meant to be used and enjoyed. Even priceless historical artifacts — say, the Lincoln Continental that John F. Kennedy was assassinated in — deserve to be exercised once in a while, if only to remind us that their lives were initially devoted to motion. But there have to be an exceptions, and we can't help but think that some of those exceptions would know how it feels to sleep surrounded by rotting wood and manure. Is there a barn-find car that you wouldn't want to drive?
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