I have a 1930 4-door Chevrolet Sedan that has been sitting in farm storage shed since about 1969. I believe it was functional when last parked, but since then it has become a place to store junk (inside and on top). It is nearly inaccessible in its current spot due to being surrounded by more junk. I’d like to pull it out of shed so I can better examine it but not sure what if anything I should be concerned with before I try to pull it out (tires are flat, wheel bearings haven’t rolled, not sure if I can get to inside to check gear or if I can even shift gears). Any recommendations?
If you apply enough force, it will move. You should get inside and make sure it is in neutral, assuming the transmission can even be shifted and is not stuck. Obviously you’ll want to clear the junk off the car and from the inside–not only will it make it more accessible, but lighter to move. If you cannot get the car into neutral (assuming it isn’t already), you may be able to get underneath and remove the driveshaft. Since the car has been out of the weather, the situation may not be as bad as you fear. All you can do is try.
Get everything out of the shed, put the wheels on dollies, and roll it out.
Also consider what you want to do with it. If you want to sell it, leave it in tact as much as possible, dust and all. Don’t fix anything.
Restoration people love barn finds.
It won’t hurt the car to “drag” it out of the barn. A tow company would use a winch on the wrecker to slowly pull it out. To minimize damage you should get rid of the “stuff” around the car. Things will shift as the car is pulled out and could cause more damage to the car.
A better method (it will take longer) is to remove the junk around the car. Then fill the tires with air. You can use a small compressor or a “filled” air tank. If a tire won’t hold air jack up the wheel and put a jack stand under it. Remove the wheel and get the tire patched or replaced and put it back on the car. Then you can pull the car out pretty easily and roll in back into the barn after a good inspection. If you really want to restore the car or sell it you will do much better with air in the tires anyway so might as well start there.
And watch carefully for living things. God only knows what’s made a home in there.
Look something like this?
If it has wooden spoke wheels you’ll want to be very careful, they can rot. If you have a concrete floor I’d get a set of dollies to roll it out on, if dirt I might try inflating tires, but only to a few psi, they could easily be rotted and blow out.
Thanks for all the advice. Here it is
That looks like a real find. The plate shows it to be a Texas car and I can’t see any real rust issues considering the time it has been just sitting there. I’d take some time and do the job of removing it from the barn carefully. This car will have value as it sits, and looks like a great candidate for a full restoration someday.
Would be fun to restore, simple mechanicals. Decent ones go for about $10,000 on Ebay, show cars for more, of course.
If it’s in as good of shape as I think it is,you have a real find there. It should be worth $3000-$5000 just the way it is. If it was me I would get all the stuff out of the way and out of it. Then take lots of pics before I moved it. Take it out of gear and try to push it by hand and see if it moves. I bet it will. I have pulled cars like this out feilds and they moved just fine.
Wow. Yes, that does look great. If you do intend to work on that car yourself, see if you can get it driving without actually restoring it.
There are lots of hotrods based on that model, there are others that have been fully restored but there aren’t too many unrestored drivers out there. You’d get lots of interest at cruise night.
See if you can contact Richard Rawlings at Gas Monkey Garage. It sounds like something right up his alley. The garage is in Dallas, TX. I have the number but posting it here may cause problems. Just google it if you are interested in selling it. Richard has cash and you might just wind up on TV.
Is that show still on? I haven’t seen new episodes in months.
His mechanic is hysterical, the stuff he mumbles under his zz-top beard.
Looking at this car makes me nostalgic. Our very first car was a 1929 model; not much different. It had one windshield wiper on the driver’s side, but 3 headlights; the third one in the middle was added by the previous owner. The lights were not very bright and moisture collected inside them. I do remember it did not go very fast in spite of the straight 6 motor.
As others say, don’t do anything to it except some cleaning. Restorers love an old car stored in a dry barn in a dry climate.
If it’s a West Texas car, it could be in surprisingly good shape. But Falls City is in SE Texas, and has over 30 inches of rain annually. That doesn’t mean it’s a rust bucket, though. But your brakes/wheel bearings might be seized.
If you want to keep it, I’d be careful about moving it out of the barn. The wheels might be seized, or the wooden spokes could be rotted or brittle. If you want to sell it, clear our all the rest of your stored items so that potential buyers can come see it as it sits. If you can agree on a price, let them worry about getting it out.
If you do have it winched out of the shed, resist the temptation of wrapping a chain or cable around that bumper, lest you bow it out while pulling it. Attached anything the frame itself.
Getting closer to it.
Good, it has the steel disc wheels, one less thing to worry about, the glass is unbroken, and the tires don’t look too bad. The body’s in good shape, so this is a prime restoration/barn find/keep it as it is candidate.