Classic Bronco Barn Find Triple Header

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It’s late on Saturday night and I get a call from member Cam Adams. Ok, now what classic Porsche did he unearth now? Not quite. The call was to inquire if I would be interested in tagging along as he attempts to pull off a triple header in Silver Lake, WI. Cam and I share a passion for air-cooled 911s that goes way back to when you could get a 1973 911S for $6500. Remember those prices? Thought not. Anyway, this was not about a Porsche find, but something just as iconic. First up was a 1974 uncut Ford Bronco (yes, uncut). Second was a 1960 Airstream camper to give the Bronco some company. Third was still a rumor. A rumor of a rust-free 1960 Ford Falcon coupe sleeping in the pole barn behind the Bronco.

I’m in.

Now this wasn’t some staged fancy Wayne Carini crap. This was going to be pure Chicago style.

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First, we meet at the Brat Stop at 9:30am and head together to Silver Lake. Gotta like the Brat Stop. It’s a very tired supper club with its original 1964 styling with 1994 styled Cheeseheads all wearing Packer jerseys. A quick wake-up beer and we’re off heading west on highway 50.

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Henry, Cam & Mike are in the Silverado with a trailer. I follow in Monty. We pull three blocks into the residential area of west Silver Lake and there they are, sitting all forlorn in the snow. Cam wastes no time and gets the owner out to show the Bronco and Airstream.

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Henry & Mike start adding a fresh battery & fuel (a cheap over the border $1.99 per gallon!) to the Bronco, and before I come get some interior shots they had it idling. Cam does a walk around the Airstream and then inquires about this mystery Falcon.

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The owner opens the pole barn door and there it was, in its original factory-green patina and South Dakota 1988 plates with gas cans, chainsaws, milk crates and outboard motors guarding it. Cam clears a path along the side and jumps in. There’s no interior, just a spare steering column and milk crate to sit on. It’ll fire, but not run. Gotta push it out. Crap!

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Now we have move everything out of the way. Hmmm… Cam is now missing as is the owner. Five minutes later, out come Mrs. Owner & Mr. Owner all smiles with Cam following behind. No, that’s not the triple header, that Cam intended. “Time to move the Airstream boys,” he blurts. “We got us a Falcon to take home.”

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Within seconds, the Bronco (still idling) is backed to the Airstream and they’re hitched. First gear with the three on the tree and the Airsteam gladly follows the Bronco out onto the street.

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Now it’s time to see if our luck holds with the Falcon starting after 10 years of dirty sleep.

Starter fluid squirt, pop-pop-pop. Squirt squirt, pop pop. Squirt, varoooooom, pop. Nothing doing. Time to just get the old Falcon on the trailer. Everyone pushes, pulls, swears, slips and groans, but the old girl sees the light of day.

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No way this is going to get up on the trailer with us pushing on ice. Fine; let’s try fresh gas and a six pack of New Glarus Moon Man. Well, it’s 11:00am and it’s Wisconsin for Buckys’ sake.

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Yeah, that’s not working. Let’s just drag it up on the trailer with a tow strap. Old Monty is called to duty. Two minutes later the Falcon is up  and getting ratcheted down. Done!

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Quick goodbyes and we’re off. Bronco seems to like its new job of hauling its little silver buddy around through the twisties. Henry, Mike & I follow protectively like young fathers watching their son ride a two-wheeler for the first time.

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We make it to highway 50 and Cam wants to get fresh fuel and check some things under the hood. I’m impressed the Ford hasn’t burned its brakes and transmission yet. Oh wait, it won’t go into second and there were no brakes to start with. What would Mr. Carini do? Oh, he’d be in the limo half way to O’Hare by now, leaving the real work to his crew of 25 to tough it out.

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The snowmobilers didn’t blink an eye at the two American relics collecting salt fueling next to them.

Back on highway 50 Cam slows it down as the Bronco and Airstream start fighting for tram lining rights over the truck-made ruts.

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Twenty minutes of tedious navigating at 60mph and everyone makes it to the Brat Stop for brunch. Everything still intact, including the snow clinging to the roofs of the orange & silver tandom.

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Now I’ve pulled a lot of cars out of some scary places in my car hunting adventures, but I’ve always brought tools, motoring provisions and my platinum AAA card. You know, just in case.

Not Cam or Henry. They just seem to know that things will just work out. It’s refreshing to see car guys who believe in their seasoned skills and guts and not rely on their iPhone and Google safety nannies.  Now that’s the Fuelfed Spirit!

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One Response to “Classic Bronco Barn Find Triple Header”

  1. bmw325_num99 Says:

    Great post! This may be my favorite FF post of all time.

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