It’s a story familiar to many of the car obsessed: over several decades of scanning the local classifieds, those great finds and promising projects dutifully hauled home for restoration have a tendency to multiply, piling up in out buildings, temporary shelters, and garages. At some point you look around and find yourself in a situation like Coyote Johnson did; some 90 muscle and pony cars in various states of repair that have been sitting idle for years—many in barn find condition or worse. Now the time has come to sell, and VanDerBrink Auctions is assisting by helping to sell the Coyote Johnson collection piece by piece to enthusiasts who are able to get the cars back on the road.
According to VanDerBrink Auctions, Coyote Johnson’s primary motivation for hoarding muscle cars in a barn was simple, “If you had a hot car, you got the girls.” We’re not sure how that worked out for Coyote, but certainly most of these cars are going to need some serious attention before they’re a “hot car.” Or capable of traveling anywhere besides on the back of a flatbed tow truck, for that matter. Some cars are said to run and drive, but as the auction house points out, “These vehicles have been in storage and may need more work from old gas, limited or soft brakes, so plan and bid accordingly.” Several are claimed to run from an external fuel feed, but that says nothing of the aged seals, gaskets, rubber hoses, and fuel lines or transmission and brake hydraulics that all begin to disintegrate as a car sits.
The cars on offer in the Coyote Johnson collection are mostly 1960s and ’70s Plymouth, Dodge, and GM vehicles, with plenty of Barracudas, Road Runners, Chargers, Challengers, and Chevelles to go around. Several are of pretty decent spec, too, like the 1968 Plymouth Road Runner 383 with a four-speed manual transmission, or the 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle with a 454-cubic-inch V-8 and a four-speed. All vehicles are being sold at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Red Oak, Iowa, in as-is, where-is condition at no reserve. The auction is slated to start at 9:30 am on Saturday, September 14, but telephone bidding is also allowed for pre-registered bidders. A preview is also being held a day in advance for potential bidders to inspect the merchandise.