Barn Finds and Hidden Gems at the 2022 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals

Every year, the MCACN show offers up a display of rare Detroit barn finds, and this year was no disappointment.

If something works, you stick with it. That's the case with the Barn Finds and Hidden Gems section of the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (MCACN) show held every year at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois, the weekend prior to Thanksgiving. Ryan Brutt, the "Auto Archeologist" is the driving force behind what's become one of the show's most popular recurring exhibits, Barn Finds and Rare Gems. This portion of the show taps into many gearheads' most basic desire: to find a rare, unrestored car. To them, the idea of scoring something rare and exotic is like winning the lottery.

This quadruple-black 1970 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda was put away by its previous owner in 1976. Purchased for a mere $2,000, at that point it was already missing its drivetrain. He spent the next few decades gathering parts, which included a 426 replacement block. It was recently sold and will be getting a full restoration.

For 2022, Ryan delivered an eclectic mix of some rare, decrepit Detroit iron that, in many cases, will eventually end up back at NCACN fully restored. Part of the appeal of the Barn Find section is that over the years it has hosted a number of cars that go through the cycle of public unveiling in their as-found state, then can be seen in subsequent years on display with all the shiny stuff.

Many of the cars at this year's event are headed off to be restored right after they exit the building, but others will be made roadworthy again and left as-is. Check out the gallery we've put together of all the barn find cars at this year's show.

Anything with the name Yenko verifiably associated with it usually means that the cash register is ringing. This legit 1969 Yenko SC 427 Nova is one of fewer than 40 produced with the 427 big block engine. Currently in its place lies a 396, which will give way to another 427 as part of its upcoming restoration.

The previous owner of this 1969 Dodge Charger 500 belonged to a select group that would rather see a car sink into the ground than take proper care of it. From 1975 to 2021, it sat outside behind a garage just outside of Philadelphia. It was painted Y2 Yellow with an F8 Green interior and was equipped with a 440 backed by a 727 TorqueFlite.

Powered by a 396, this 1965 Z16-optioned Chevelle SS is one of 201 produced that year. It was painted in Crocus Yellow and is a survivor that is fully roadworthy.

This 1970 Lemon Twist Yellow Plymouth Superbird is another vehicle that was put away in the early '80s by its owner. It was completely disassembled with the intent to restore it at some point. 40-plus years later, he came to his senses and admitted that he would never get to it, so he sold it to the current owner who has already begun a full restoration and is planning on unveiling it at MCACN once completed.

The A-body Barracuda doesn't get the same love that its newer E-body sibling does with the muscle car crowd. This 1969 Barracuda convertible has the Formula S package and clearly didn't get much love, ever. For many, this A-body would be a questionable restoration project, but what sets this vehicle apart is that it was an early production pilot car. The current owner is on the fence about restoring it. He has managed to find a good amount of NOS sheetmetal but has run into some difficulty locating NOS quarter-panels.

Pulled from a small garage in Minnesota, this 1970 Plymouth 'Cuda still retained its original 440 six-barrel and four-speed. It is also equipped with the N96 Shaker, which was optional on a 'Cuda in 1970—the Hemi was the only engine with the Shaker as standard equipment.

Yet another car that was put away decades ago. The current owner purchased this 1971 Ford Torino GT in 1978 from the original owner. In 1982, he parked it with only about 70,000 miles on the odometer. The car is actually complete and for sale.

Looking rather abused, this 1971 Challenger R/T is equipped with a 340 and 727 TorqueFlite. Hidden under all that primer and rust was once Dodge's Citron Yellow paint. At the rear, it has a rubber bumper installed, which implies that it also had one at the front and was a rare option in 1971. This car will supposedly be made roadworthy and be driven in its current state.

The current owner of this A12 1969½ Dodge Super Bee had been trying to get this car for a number of years. It was parked back in 1978 by the previous owner. Every few months he would contact the owner and was always told that it wasn’t for sale. It took the owner passing away for the car to finally be sold.

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