Cars & Racing | 26 October 2017Motor City Two-fer Share article facebook twitter google pinterest When we last left you in the Trolling for Classic Cars in City Center Detroit post, the author had just encountered a mysterious man named Mr. Willy who said he had something to show him. It turns out he not only had one, but two derelict cars on his property in need of a new owner. That story from Motor City Barn Finds: Detroit’s Lost Collector Cars is presented below. Enjoy! This 1968 Mustang has certainly seen better days. During the decades it has been sitting here, the roof has crashed down onto the roof. Restorable? Who knows; we couldn’t get close enough to check. Ran When Parked Mustang There, behind a rental house he owned, was a very used 1968 Ford Mustang. Not only had the Detroit weather been wearing on the car, the garage roof had collapsed and the timbers were sitting on it. This thing was rough. “It was my brother’s car,” Mr. Willy said. “My mother bought it and gave it to him. His name was Dennis Wayne Perryman. I have the title in his name. I inherited it when he passed away. Now it’s been sitting for at least twenty years. I’d take $400 for it.” As we were talking to Mr. Willy, yet another gentleman, attracted by the Woody, came over. His name was Ty Austin, and he lived just a few houses away. “You looking for old cars?” he asked. “I’ve got one in my backyard.” Boy, this was easy as pie! Ty’s SS We walked into the backyard of Austin’s house, and there was a 1964 Chevy Impala SS. Pretty nice car. It was equipped with a four-barrel carb, factory air conditioning, bucket seats, and a console. It also had a set of Keystone Classic rims on it. “I bought it in 1992 for $2,500,” said Austin. “I got it from a guy who drove it up from Alabama. When I bought it, I had the 327 engine rebuilt, which cost $2,500 by itself. It was my baby for a minute, my dream car—since I was a kid I wanted one of these. So when I had the opportunity to buy one, I did.” Eventually the transmission failed, so in about 1997, he parked the car in his backyard to fix it. But life got in the way. The Impala is straight, but its body panels are getting a little “crusty” on the bottom. Still, it’s in amazing condition for a fifty-plus-year-old car. “I just never got around to it,” he said. “I’m probably not going to get around to working on it, so I just need to sell it and get it out of the yard.” “How much would you want for it?” I asked. He answered about $3,000, which sounded like a good deal. We thanked Ty and told him we’d keep it in mind. The day Ty Austin’s ’64 Impala is sold will be bittersweet for its longtime owner. We needed to get back to the house early today because it was our host’s birthday, and we wanted to join a few friends and take him to dinner. But it had been one heck of a productive day! Time for a shower, a nice birthday dinner, and a couple of beers. Buy From an Online Retailer Detroit has been America’s Motor City for decades. It’s home to Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler, as well as numerous auto industry companies and specialty and speed shops. At the same time, it’s the poster child for urban blight and dysfunction. It’s truly a city of contrasts, which presented challenges and opportunities in equal measure to barn finder Tom Cotter. In Motor City Barn Finds, Cotter plies his trade in a locale rich with automotive history. Detroit’s lost cars are abandoned in empty lots, resident in decrepit buildings, squirreled away in garages, and stashed in historic wrecking yards. Behind the wheel of his classic 1939 Ford Woodie, Cotter trolls the back streets and neighborhoods of this historic city looking for lost automotive gems accompanied by photographer Michael Alan Ross. As America’s Motor City, Detroit is an emotional and historical mecca for car enthusiasts, capable of drawing hundreds of thousands of car people for events like Woodward Dream Cruise and attracting design-forward companies like Shinola. At the same time, it’s intimidating to navigate, with numerous dodgy neighborhoods and risky abandoned factory sites. Add it all together and you have fascinating and intriguing opportunities to dig for barn-find gold. Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.