Photos by the author

Everybody loves a good barn find. The idea of a cool derelict car that’s just been resting, waiting to be restored, is as tantalizing as buried treasure. But what about when the find... is the barn?


You can go down a rabbit hole of cheap property listings just as easily as you can get lost in old car ads. But on a recent trip through New York, I passed this deeply patinaed building and let myself fantasize about buying it for bottom dollar, resto-modding it with nice windows, couches and a coffee bar, and having myself a little upstate clubhouse that I could invite fellow motorists to come hang out in.

I’m sure, in reality, trying to do anything remotely glamorous with this abandoned auto shop quickly would turn into a game of vine-swing over a series of financial and legal pitfalls, but it’s nice to daydream.


I had to look in the window. “What if there’s a dusty Porsche 356 in there,” said nobody. Or maybe somebody left a 10mm socket behind, you can never have too many of those. But a cursory investigation yielded a whole lot of nothing. The repair bays looked about as appealing as the Death Star trash compactor, and the office was just straight creepy.


I briefly contemplated tomb raiding for interesting artifacts (that “50 percent down on parts” sign was cute) but was deterred by the No Tresspassing signs and the realization that I might have been living the first five minutes of a Supernatural episode and was about to get decapitated by the ghost of a disgruntled auto technician.

You can zoom in on the For Sale sign and grab the phone number for the seller if you want but I have a feeling what was once Bud’s Auto Repair in Hudson, NY is doomed to be a derelict until its completely reclaimed by wildlife. That, or flattened and turned into something somebody besides me might actually want.


I’d still rather imagine it getting cleaned up and restored where it can house cars again, though.

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik | 1975 International Scout, 1984 Nissan 300ZX, 1991 Suzuki GSXR, 1998 Mitsubishi Montero, 2005 Acura TL

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