Barn Find Hunter found a new friend with a huge Pontiac collection | Taza Khabre

Key findings

  • A barn hunter came across a large collection of classic Pontiac cars and International trucks on a quiet American drive.
  • The owner, Charlie, is a passionate car enthusiast who has collected at least one car from every decade of Pontiac cars.
  • The collection includes a variety of vehicles, such as an old International Scout II Jeep, a Toyota Land Cruiser FJ with a plow, and a trio of Pontiac muscle cars, including a rare 1977 Pontiac Can-Am.

Only in a gearhead’s wildest dreams would they stumble upon a large collection of classic cars tucked away on a quiet American roadway. For barn find a hunter like Tom Cotter, it’s just another day at work.

Enabled Hagerty YouTube channel, Tom decided to visit an old farm where there were interesting cars. He quickly met the owner, Charlie, and after discovering that he was a passionate car lover, they soon became friends. Charlie then did what most friends would do: took Tom on a tour of his eclectic collection. Pontiac cars and international trucks that he has accumulated over the years.


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The car signs gave a huge clue as to what the farm contained

Tom opened the video by explaining how he stumbled upon the fascinating farm. He was driving down a nice Maine road going about his business when he noticed a large Gulf racing logo and other automotive signs on the side of the road. He then found more at the entrance to a large farm and could also see a couple of classic cars parked on the property.

Thinking that the owner must be nearby, Tom went there. He quickly tracked down Charlie and discovered that he was a huge Pontiac enthusiast. His passion for the famous American brand was such that he created a collection of at least one car for each decade during which the manufacturer produced cars. He also enjoyed collecting pickup trucks, especially those made by International. Charlie drove them to truck shows all over the country.

Summary of Charlie’s collection

  • Pontiac fleet spanning every decade from the 1920s to the demise of the brand
  • A long list of international trucks and SUVs, ranging from small cars to semi-trucks
  • Stumbled upon cars at a good price like a 1960s Fiat 500 and a Grumman Bread Van

Charlie first showed off a couple of cars that Tom had seen from the road. The first was an old International Scout II Jeep that he mechanically restored a few years ago. The exterior didn’t show the same love, however, with a body covered in rust and one of the tires completely flat. However, he revealed that it has a cool party in the form of a pop-up tent that attaches to the back of the car.

There was also an old Toyota Land Cruiser FJ that had a big plow mounted on it. The car was used by a local farmer until the head gasket eventually gave out. Charlie bought it inexpensively and later displayed it on his property.

Unpretentious sheds. A selection of antique Pontiacs

Charlie then led Tom to the first of his large sheds where he was greeted by a fleet of vintage Pontiacs. The collection began with 1926 and 1937 Pontiacs parked next to each other, with the latter car starting the collection years earlier. Charlie bought it on impulse because of its extremely low price, which gave it a taste.

Nearby stood a couple of machines produced shortly after the end of the Second World War. Charlie managed to purchase a 1948 Pontiac at auction for about $10,000 less than its previous owner had paid just a year earlier. The 1951 Pontiac sitting next to it was extremely stylish with its smooth lines. It also had a top that glowed bright red, an amazing trick for such an old car.

The Pontiac line was broken up by the 1967 International Travelall. Charlie explained that the big van had huge sentimental value to him as it was almost identical to the vehicle his grandfather owned when he was a child.

He was determined to find one for his collection, including a 304 ci V8 and manual transmission. Eventually one came along that already had the right color, and all he had to do was change the color of the roof to match his grandfather’s.

Trio of Pontiac Muscle Cars Enlighten Old Barn

Pontiac muscle cars lined up in the barn
YouTube @ Hagerty

Tom was delighted to come across the Pontiac trio muscle cars on the other side of the barn. First, the duo had a stunning Pontiac GTO from the late 1960s. Charlie explained that the car originally had a triple V8 mated to a four-speed manual transmission, but at some point was converted to a 283 ci V8. After purchasing the car in 1995 for $3,000, he restored it to its original engine and four-speed manual transmission.

Next up was an ultra-rare 1977 Pontiac Can-Am. Charlie explained that it was created as a special edition, with Pontiac planning to produce 5,000 examples. Ultimately, it only made 1,377 after the die used to produce its components broke. Replacing the part would cost tens of thousands of dollars, and the Can-Am was taking away sales from the popular Grand Prix at the time. Therefore, Pontiac decided to immediately stop production.

1977 Pontiac Can-Am

power unit

400 ci V8, three-speed automatic transmission


200 hp/325 lb-ft

0-60 mph

8.6 seconds

The highest speed

121 mph


3880 lbs

Source (automobile catalog)

The 400 ci V8 transmission featured in the Can-Am was the same make used in the Trans Am of the same year. Charlie also had such an example, and it was painted with the Smokey and the Bandit scheme. He revealed that the Firebird’s black paint and gold decals were all original, as was the 450 ci V8.

Charlie even managed to track down some original wheel center caps to match the rims. It took a bit of luck to find them as the supplier he contacted initially thought he didn’t have them. He called back just half an hour later, telling Charlie that he had come across them sitting on top of his refrigerator in his basement.

Vintage 100 year old pickup truck still starts at the push of a button

Signal pickup truck of 1916
YouTube @ Hagerty

While moving to Charlie’s other shed, Tom is struck by a vintage Signal pickup truck. Built in 1916, Charlie explained that he got it after making an offer he didn’t think he could win. Despite being the oldest vehicle, he insisted that it started easily every time, even when left untouched in the winter.


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Wanting to illustrate his point, Charlie prepared the starter handle of a 108-year-old truck to prime the engine. Turning off the throttle, he turned the starter knob once more, trying to start the ignition. As he promised, the engine came to life. It also ran impressively smooth for such an old powerplant, showcasing the build quality of the classic machine.

Nearing the end of the tour, Charlie couldn’t resist sharing a story about an old 1950s Ford pickup he bought from an old friend. The friend in question built the car over 40 years ago, but unfortunately fell ill. So Charlie decided to take the truck and restore it because he knew his friend wanted to move it to a new home.

Other classic vehicles that Charlie has collected over the years

  • Blue Fiat 500 1967
  • Black 1951 Pontiac Sedan
  • 1979 International Semi Truck with large living quarters
  • The Grumman Bread Van features a Buick V8 350 ci engine and an aluminum body

Falling in love with it, Charlie ended up paying $4,500 for it, allowing him to reassure his friend that it was in a loving owner. The previous owner tragically passed away just four weeks after Charlie bought the Ford, leaving him with a wonderful memory.


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Charlie’s collection is special not only because of the fascinating variety of cars he owns, but also because of the emotional connection he has with many of them. The excited look that flashes across his face when he sees one of his cars is infectious. It’s an expression that an enthusiastic gearhead takes as true love for his four-wheeled friend.

Sources: YouTube @ Hagerty, Automotive Catalog

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