I love barn finds, I think most car buffs do. Nowadays we see alot of garage and self storage finds. We rarely get to breathe in that musty air and hay and brush dust off a vehicle that has sat for twenty or more years.
A fellow, Brian, contacted me a while back in search of a Willys truck. He and I looked at an array of trucks posted on ewillys.com. There was a variety available around the country. Eventually we found a nice restored truck and he decided to buy it. However he decided that it was not the right time for a truck and we decided to keep looking. The key phrase was that we,” wait for something closer to the shop.” Insert Mabel.
I kept an eye online for trucks more local, but honestly these vehicles show up when they want to be found, especially the right ones. A friend and neighbor took a copy of my card one day and mentioned that a friend of his had a Willys truck he wanted to sell and that it was sitting in a barn.
A week or so later I heard from Mr. Gross, we set a time for me to go and see the truck. Mr. Gross happens to live about two miles from my house, how much closer could we ask for?
When we met up I found that Mr. Gross and I had alot to talk about. I teach and he is a retired teacher. We both love to teach kids and adults to work with their hands. As we chatted I looked over the truck (Mabel is a ’57 Willys) and began to realize that this was the one for my customer. I took photos and immediately went home to email Brian about what I hoped was his new truck.
Brian agreed that this was the one, and as you can see by the above photo, we moved forward with the purchase. Mabel was in the Gross family since the 1970s. The truck worked on their farm in Taneytown, then moved down closer to Westminster. Mabel sat for years as a father/son project that never fully moved on. With Mr. Gross’s son now having a master’s degree, he decided it was time to move the truck on.