Book Review: ‘Exotic Barn Finds’ by Matt Stone Uncovers Classic Luxury Cars
Throughout the past decade, people have been finding a number of old cars in barns, garages, basements, and other forgotten places. These vehicles, which are called “barn finds,” often have storied pasts that are worthy of writing about—something that veteran author and historian Matt Stone has done in his newest book, titled Exotic Barn Finds, the first-ever collection showcasing exotic show car barn finds.
Just imagine opening a barn door to discover one of the most exotic classic cars in the world—that experience would be priceless. And now, Stone is giving readers a chance to learn how finding priceless, forgotten, and exotic automotive artifacts feels firsthand in his informative, yet entertaining book. In this book’s pages, readers can learn the history behind some of the most well-known exotic barn finds in the automotive industry.
Exotic Barn Finds: Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin, and More
By Matt Stone
Product Details: Paperback, 144 pages, 8.5 x 11 inches
Publication Date: October 2015
Publisher: CarTech Inc.
Find More Hidden Gems: Check out our review of another great barn finds book!
Exotic Barn Finds allows car enthusiasts to look into the world of “barn finds,” a term used to describe old vehicles that are found in barns, garages, and other forgotten places. This book has a total of 32 chapters, the majority of which highlight a specific iconic car that was found in a barn. Some of the vehicles that receive their own chapters include a 1965 Shelby GT350, a 1953 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe by Vignale, a 1956 Maserati A6G 2000 Zagato, a 1961 Aston Martin DB4, and a number of other historic vehicles that will make even the staunchest car collector weep with joy.
The chapters that don’t highlight individual barn finds typically highlight barns in which there were more than one vehicle found or on display. Chapter 2 looks at three Muntz Jets at the Petersen Automotive Museum, two of which are still in “barn-fresh” condition; Chapter 30 looks at a single barn find that produced three Maserati Ghiblis and an F5000/Can-Am Racer.
The true chapter to stop and read, though is Chapter 31. Spanning six pages, this chapter highlights one barn that had 60 cars in it. No, that’s not a typo—60 cars! Needless to say, I skipped a few chapters at first to get a good look at the list of 60 vehicles that the author put on page 134.
But don’t worry—the final chapter of the book is just as good. In Chapter 32, there is what Stone calls a “scrapbook” of even more barn finds that didn’t have enough information to warrant their own chapter. Being true to the “scrapbook” name, this chapter has plenty of gorgeous photos of vehicles to ogle.
The exterior of this book doesn’t necessarily hint at the treasure trove of information and pictures it holds on its pages. It looks almost more like a large magazine, rather than a book, when you first glance at it. There is one big perk, though; this book has high-quality paper, which does the multitude of photos justice. The detail of each photo is apparent because of this first-class paper choice.
Each chapter is set apart with bold headings and the book as a whole is organized quite well. Font sizes are legible and, because of a multitude of font types and colors, it’s easy enough to navigate.
Despite the fact that this isn’t a hard back book, it has a similar structure as a hard back book’s dust cover. This has the added benefit of allowing readers to use the dust cover-like flaps on the inside as a bookmark to hold their place.
Can’t Get Enough? Check out more barn finds on this new YouTube series!
One of my favorite aspects of this book are the images. Being a bit of a car nut who dreams of one day owning a classic car, the photos in this book leave me—and likely any exotic car lover—absolutely drooling. The images in this book are extraordinary. Each page is awash with pictures, offering readers a glimpse into the world of each barn find. It makes it feel as if you are there finding the exotic car yourself.
The information about each barn find that Matt Stone provides is detailed and extremely thorough. He often includes anecdotes that add a touch of color to the typically more informative text. For instance, in Chapter 20 when discussing a 1964 Shelby Cobra 289’s history, he provides us with this quick snippet from an interview he did with the car’s owner: “And how many has he possessed over time? ’27. Or 28. No, 27. I think. Yup, 27.’” The chapter went on to use more bits and pieces from the interview, adding a lot of personality to a section that could be dry.
Throughout the book, though, there was one main issue I found. The organization of the chapters were sometimes confusing. Because of the beautiful pictures and plethora of useful information Stone provides, the pages can sometimes seem a bit busy because the eye wants to go everywhere at once. This sometimes distracting layout is one reason why this book is missing half a star. Also, I would have expected a book about exotic cars to have a higher quality cover—something hardback rather than paperback. The cost of this change, though, would be extremely high, so I understand why the publisher chose the less expensive option of the two.
Overall, as barn find books go, this one is a great option—especially if you love exotic cars. It would be the perfect gift for a car lover, who also loves to read.
Exotic Barn Finds is available through the publisher’s website, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, and other retailers.
Product provided for review by publisher.
- Caitlin MoranEditor
A born-and-raised Jersey girl, Caitlin Moran lives in Dayton, Ohio at the moment and loves getting down and nerdy with English. After recently graduating from the University of Dayton with her Masters in English Literature, Caitlin is now combining her love of writing and cars for The News Wheel. She is also continuing her love affair with traveling, broadening her knowledge of foreign automobiles. See more articles by Caitlin.