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Ten Antique Speedsters, Automobiles and Trucks Found Buried at Teardown Site

Arden, North Carolina: Reminiscent of the uncovering of the Roger Baillon Collection in France less than four years ago, but only one-sixth of the size and containing less exotic vehicles is this forgotten collection just uncovered in the US southeast recently.

David Mount, a contractor, based in Asheville, North Carolina, located in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains had booked a job with the new owner of this property to tear down a collapsed house and to clean up the site. After his thirteen-year-old daughter Bailey found a car in the basement of the home they then discovered nine more vehicles covered up with Kudzu, an invasive vine common in the south that is native to eastern Asia. Underneath the green carpet of vegetation nine more vehicles were uncovered.

Mount has removed most of the vehicles and still has to extricate a few more from the property. Some of them are in “rough condition” and this morning he and his crew are “still getting cars out and seeing what we want to keep!”

He joined the “1920s Antique Automobile, Brass Era Cars, and Orphan Makes” Facebook Page this morning. There he posted the photos of the Ford flathead V-8 powered Speedster in the lead photo (above) asking for help to identify it.

This story was shared with us by Shenton King a friend and fellow member of the HCCA. We will update this with any new developments. Share with us what you find of interest in the copyrighted photos courtesy of David Mount.

  • Circa 1932 Plymouth roadster buried under beams and debris in the cellar of the house.

  • Very rare Plymouth Roadster after being carefully dug out and removed from the cellar.

  • 1930s home or shop built Ford flathead V-8 powered “Speedster” that appears to have been build on a modified Model “A” Ford chassis. Modifications include split wishbones and a “suicide” front end fitted with pre-1936 Ford wire wheels.

38 responses to “Ten Antique Speedsters, Automobiles and Trucks Found Buried at Teardown Site

  1. Bloody shame that they were allowed to deteriorate like this. Must have been some nice cars back in the day. Gives new meaning to “ran when parked.”

  2. Some very interesting stuff there! The V8 car is interesting because the basic body is more keeping in the speedster style of the mid 1920s, not the V8 Ford era. However, the radiator grill and other things support a much later build. It would be interesting to find the car’s history.
    The Plymouth roadster could still be a candidate for a proper restoration of a rare and desirable car.
    That model T with the Overland/Whippet radiator looks like one of the most intact old builds of a model T speedster I have seen in a long time! I can’t tell from the picture, but I find myself questioning whether it was an original era build? Or maybe something done post-WWII?
    I wonder what the other cars are?
    Thanks again David G!

  3. Interesting. The contractor wants to see which cars he wants to keep. Finders keepers? Wouldn’t these cars be the property of the homeowner?

    • You can imagine the owner telling the demolition contractor (in a Thurston Howell voice): “I told you to give me a clear site, and don’t bother me with the details!” The last drive-in theater near here was being torn down 15 years ago so I drove in and bought the marquee letters to spell DRIVE IN MOVIE from the demo contractor. Also bought some old No Smoking – Stop Motor signs at a gas station demo site. At that point everything was the property of the demo contractors. Their contracts must be written as finders keepers.

      • Most demolition contracts actually transfer the property to the demolition contractor during the period of the demo, then it reverts back to the owner. It’s a liability issue I believe, but I’m no lawyer, just knew a contractor. He could have whatever he wanted when he worked.

  4. The red Plymouth roadster by far appears to be the one car showing the most possabilities. Very complete compared to the others. You have to wonder how the heck that car got into the cellar of the old house? (walk-out basement?) If anyone can find the background info. on these, it will make a fantastic story!!

    As for kudzu, I’ve dealt with it in the past; it’s crept into NE. in places, and there’s no getting rid of it. It seems to not be affected by normal pesticides either! I’ve had it choke a weed-eater that utilized wire cable instead of plastic fishing line! (That was the worst summer job I ever had…95 & muggy every single day!)

  5. Pretty cashed, sat too long. A shame, these escaped the scrap drives before WW2, but couldn’t survive time. I bet this happens more than we hear about. Maybe 10 years ago, I read, somewhere in upstate NY, a contractor was sent to an address, and found a whole stash of pre-war dump trucks and machinery in overgrown sheds. It was thought, the owner of a gravel business never came back from the war. Anybody remember that?

    • You are probably referring to the group of early 1900’s AutoCar dump trucks that sat for decades after the Fredella Quarry in Glens Falls, New York closed.

      All of the AutoCar trucks were essentially complete and most were under cover in sheds and outbuildings associated with the quarry.

      The climate in upstate New York is not so easy on abandoned metal but we don’t have Kudzu ( yet). Apparently Kudzu has its limits when it comes to harsh winter climates and so most of these trucks were just sitting under cover….eventually covered in dust, bird poop and subjected to gnawing mice, chomping porcupines and bugs ( bee nests, hornet hives, etc).

      The AutoCar trucks were auctioned off and in less than a year after it was rescued from the quarry one of them was fully restored and shown at Macungie PA truck show. This restoration was superb and it’s new owner told me it was essentially complete when he assessed what he had acquired.

      The miracle was that after about seven or eight decades of abandonment none of the trucks at the quarry had been vandalized or molested.

      It was a true time capsule.

  6. I grew up in southern California in the 1950’s. At that time you could go out in the desert and find abandoned cars that were free for the picking. The California desert climate was much kinder than the climate in the east. Most of these cars went to make hot rods.

    • My family moved to Southern California in 1955, Neil. I was a teenager and remember lusting for the Model T’s which I saw abandoned along the Grapevine. Also remember the T’s and A’s in the desert. In those days we could find abandoned hot rod projects in the back yards of the houses in Santa Monica; $50.00 would buy just about anything you could find. I bought at least 2 Model A Roadsters for $50.00 or less and a complete and running 1931 Chevy coupe. Answered an Ad in the L.A. Times and bought a complete, running and licensed 38 Plymouth business coupe for $50.00; my dad drove it home for me and I proceeded to take it apart in our family garage. Wish I still had the grease-stained Chiltons which guided my repair of the transmission in that car and the $4.95 wrench set I bought at Sears….. Happy Days.

  7. When I shared this on my Facebook page, a friend asked if any of the cars were salvageable. I did a little search, and found an example of one far further gone that was still being saved.

    I respect David’s prohibition of links to other sites. But if you Google “Second VW Samba,” you’ll come to a Hemmings article on the second VW multi-window bus (“Samba,” in VW parlance) ever built, in 1951. It was discovered after sitting in a field for decades, much like the cars above, and you can see how much is left. But someone’s bringing it back.

    Thanks again for this, David. This is literally the urban legend come to life.

  8. The speedster is on the lift now! We are going over it very carefully to see if we can find anything that may lead us to the history of the car.
    We are going to rebuild the speedster first then start on the Plymouth. Fun fact on the Plymouth is it has a flat head Ford V8 running gear in it. Very neat job looks like it was done from the factory ( I know it wasn’t ) it is pretty much all there except for the front seat and the rumble seat.
    We are avid people on saving anything that can be saved. I’ve not scraped anything that we have found yet. To answer one question on here the new property owner is not a car guy and didn’t really care what we did with them. But he has seen the cars and he did tell me and my daughter that he wanted her to have the Plymouth and restore it and bring it by so he could take a ride in it. Thanks for all the interest in this cars and will keep updating as we go!

  9. Sure would love more photos and information on that Plymouth for a story for the Plymouth Bulletin published by the Plymouth Owners Club! Jim Benjaminson, membership secretary and former editor. Would appreciate being contacted at P O Box 416, Cavalier, North Dakota 58220

  10. I’d like to have a little ‘History’ on the original owner of the property . He had to be a Car Guy to have kept these cars. I think that would make an interesting story in it self.

  11. Hoarders, please conserve them well, restore them, or share them. I know there are many reasons–person dies, family pays taxes and never inspects the property–but these stories drive me nuts.

  12. Great story….bottom photo with the multiple vents reminds me of a Auburn Cord Dusenburg?

    Please keep us all posted and good luck with the identities and restorations!

  13. Amazing story and photos. Anything now can be fixed or carefully duplicated so all the cars can be saved. Would love to know more on the special “speedster” bodies made for the Model T’s. Could you guys do a piece on them? Thanks again for the great story!

  14. great find they are still out there in the country would like to see 1 or all restored would make a good story thanks for the pictures

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