Page last updated at 11:22 GMT, Saturday, 4 April 2009 12:22 UK

Classic car treasures auctioned

Cars found in barns

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

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 cars are expected to sell for between £200 and £4,000.

Buyers are expected to snap up the cars for spares or restoration.

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.

James Blanch
Wheelwright James Blanch was a car enthusiast

"It didn't look much when we arrived," said Mr Snelling. "Part of the house had collapsed and the site was totally overgrown.

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

"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."

A number of vintage motorbikes were also found at the property, including two Sunbeams and a 1930 BSA.

"It was a truly remarkable man who lived there - it would be nice to look at this as if he has saved all these cars for the next generation," said Mr Snelling.



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Vintage cars discovered in barns
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