Page last updated at 17:55 GMT, Thursday, 12 March 2009

Vintage cars discovered in barns

One of the cars up for auction at Keys in Norfolk (Photo: Keys)
One of the cars up for auction at Keys in Norfolk (Photo: Keys)

Vintage cars found rusting in barns, including a 1930 Morris Minor, are expected to fetch tens of thousands of pounds at auction.

The cars - some more than 80-years-old - were discovered in a barnyard at a house near Norwich following the death of a collector, said auctioneers Keys.

The collection includes Riley Monacos, a Riley Lynx, a Willys Overland, a Lea Francis, two Swifts and Singers.

The auction by Keys, of Aylsham, Norfolk, takes place on 4 April.

Keys said the cars were discovered when auctioneer Guy Snelling explored the property following the death of elderly owner James Blanch in December.

Staff said Mr Blanch was a retired wheelwright who had moved to Norfolk from London in the 1950s.

"When we got there, it was so overgrown, we couldn't even get on to the driveway from the road," said Mr Snelling.


We found a 1920s Singer Junior under a corrugated tin shed wedged in between two trees

Guy Snelling, auctioneer

"But once we battled our way in, there were barns and outbuildings absolutely crammed with 1920s and 1930s cars.

"You simply couldn't move inside the barns. There were amazing amounts of cobwebs and dust - and cats had clearly been living there.

"We found a 1920s Singer Junior under a corrugated tin shed wedged in between two trees.

"Once we prised back the tin roof, we found that one tree had grown between the front chassis legs and another had actually grown around the starter handle.

"It must have been sitting there for more than 30 years."

Mr Snelling said he expected the cars to be snapped up by enthusiasts.

"It is going to be very exciting for the collectors, whether they want to restore these vehicles or use some of them for parts," he added.

"The collectors' clubs are sure to be interested as it's a great opportunity, as you just don't normally find collections this big."

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