Barn Find Classics…….

Royalty or aristocracy may get a shiver down their spines if they saw this old Roller! Having been sat in a farmyard on the outskirts of Sheffield for over 30 years, it has at least had a view to die for over the Peak District whilst acquiring its weathered patina. Its view is likely to be a little different soon as it is one of a number of classic and vintage vehicles to go under the hammer on 24th February in the first of this year’s Classic Cars & Automobilia Auction at Sheffield Auction Gallery.

The current owner, a farmer, bought the 1979 Silver Shadow from an insurance company in 1982 when it was reported stolen and later found in a shipping container on the south coast.  He ran it for a short time until parking up in 1984 without even realising at the time he was never to drive it again, it then lay abandoned until now.

Even though the farm was down a long secluded dirt track, the Rolls Royce still managed to attract attention from time to time and during one evening the farmer’s wife looked out of their kitchen window and saw a chap in a wheelchair nosing around it. What lengths some people go to for a glimpse at an old luxury vehicle!

When Sheffield Auction Gallery Specialist Valuer Ben Johnson was called to appraise the Rolls Royce he was told they had another vehicle languishing in a barn, this time it was a 1984 Lotus Eclat Excel with 33,000 miles displayed on the odometer, which had been hiding away under a thick layer of dust since 1989.

This particular automotive story doesn’t end here; during 1960’s the Vendor had also previously owned an Aston Martin DB5, with its previous owner being a member of the Beatles in Liverpool. It took a long time (and legal battle) for the Vendor to finally acquire the logbook for this vehicle, as the previous owner’s manager didn’t want to let it go with the car because of the name on the document. This very same car was eventually sold by the farmer who had by then noticed a large, but discreet, police presence observing the farm at the time of the sale of the car. Only later did he find out that the new owner was a very notorious London gangster!

Time has unfortunately taken its toll on these old iconic British cars, but they are all seeking new owners along with other vintage and classic vehicles in the auction on 24th February, including a 1971 VW Beetle Beach Buggy, 1936 Standard Flying Nine Saloon, 1933 and 1934 Austin Ten’s, and a soon to be collectable “Modern Classic” 1993 Rover Metro!

 Specialist Car Valuer Benjamin Johnson invites final entries for this auction and will be happy to advise on 0114 281 6161, further information and many more photos can be found on the auction preview page at