Liberace's Gold Cadillac Video and a BMW M5 Wagon Touring EVO | Barn Find Hunter - Ep. 84 (UK Trip 4
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If you have been following our Barn Find Hunter UK endeavors you will have met Bernie several times already. Now you get a whole episode dedicated just to Bernie and the cars he owns or manages for his clients. In addition to owning Liberace's Gold leaf car, Bernie shows us some unique race cars that would stop any automotive enthusiast in their tracks.
this is valerie's first time seeing mabel for a long long time how do you like it ah i want her back i hope you enjoyed meeting mabel and valerie and bernie well we're following bernie right now to another barn that he has where he stores cars some of which are his and some belong to a client and most of them are interesting so we're gonna head on this very beautiful estate as you can see the rain and the wind has picked up as they predicted this is a severe storm weekend so we're trying to battle through it we tried to get the outdoor cars taken care of yesterday and now working on the indoor cars so we're inside going inside now unit number three which is uh bernie's one of bernie's barns so let's see what you got in here old man i've left the right come on keys behind only joking look at this high tech unbelievable isn't it i'll just put the lights on for you welcome oh this is a beauty oh man is this an m5 touring m5 wagon oh man the light the lights will come on but they take a bit of time so this is and all right you know i'm a wagon guy and i'm also happy to be a bmw guy this is like the cat's meow i don't think it was ever available in the states but it's a bmw 5 series m5 wagon with a five speed oh man this is what they call an individual so you this is the third one off the line of production that's at the end for this uh series and basically you can't buy these cars they never come on the market people who own these cars never want to sell them so we've been looking for about five six years uh this belongs to a client of mine it's not my car he said go and get it so i looked at the car and it's a very individual color um aubergine anyway it's aubergine not to aberdeen anyway so this car it's just a nice old car it's done a hundred thousand uh miles it's been well looked after it's probably had a bit of paint here and there um rare rare car and these are the cars the guys in their 40s are now dying to get because it's their era everybody has their error so nice car nice one yeah so we've got various cars in this building this is a 72 corvette this car here i own uh i bought it during the summer um it didn't have a screen in it or window or pillars didn't have a roof and it had a hideous roll bar but it's got factory wide arches on it and it's just an ordinary club racing car um which is for sale small block four speed uh podgy traction rear axle it's got the wide arches on the back with the big wheels uh it's got who's your tyres on it and and this type of car in england i would expect to sell for about thirty thousand dollars which isn't a bad price but where did you get them it's ready to race it's pretty much ready to race it doesn't need an exhaust system on it and a few bits and pieces but what i do is i say to guys take it as it is for one price or i'll fix it and finish it off for another price how plentiful are corvettes they're not they're not that many over in england the problem is everybody's got this thing about they're going to cost a lot of money to keep going but actually real simple car yeah i mean how many millions and millions of engines have they built for these things are these revered like a ferrari would be no no no people who buy ferraris i don't know why they do it they're like hairdressing cars aren't they they're like for guys who in their 50s and 60s they've got nothing better to do and they buy a ferrari because they want other it's the thing isn't it the badge we got a ferrari here they're actually bits of shit if you've ever worked on a ferrari they're stuck together they're hopeless but it is what it is now that healy has that seen the road any time lately uh probably not for about seven years so that's uh healy 3000 uh left hand drive again bought the car funny story with this one because i went to see an auction about eight nine years ago and um we bought about two three cars and we were going to buy this car but i've been up to about 42 000 pound at the time on it but we didn't buy it and it didn't sell so when i went back on the monday and we took the other cars away the guy goes to me uh bernie you know i know you had interest you last bitter he said you bid 42 000 do you want to buy it the guy doesn't want to take it home back to europe i said yeah okay he said what will you pay for it i said 34 000. he said hold on a second you you bid over 40 000 for it on saturday i said yeah but that was saturday today's monday anyway we did the deal i think we paid 37 000. or something so that's the car pretty good car yeah it's a nice car drives nicely we have to spend a bit of money on it but it's just a nice old car yep um but not it's been sitting here for 89 years yeah i've just got to change the cover's off because i've done a little bit of work to it this car here this is quite a fascinating car so this car here is a 1931 gold-plated or gold leaf cadillac that belonged to one of your guys called liberace so don't ask me why i bought it i saw it and i thought you know what i got to own this car so i bought it and it's really a one off it's a rare rare car it's a 31 cadillac v8 not a v16 and um i'm going to ship this back to the states i i won't be able to sell it here so gold leaf yeah is actually gold it's like gold that's cut into foil thickness and glued on to signs ornament ornaments things like that well this is a this car has been gold leaf and you can see the square a little little square leaves a little square that's how big the pads are and they must have cleared over it then they've lacked over the whole thing this was liberace's car all right so what would you ask for something like this you have any idea if i got uh 75 000 for it in the states i'd be happy um it actually was built by a billionaire back in the 70s that by the way this is what they call the missing cadillac because it was built by a billionaire somewhere in america i can't remember his name and it was immaculate and what he used to do was he had it built a glass garage built around it and every time he took it out he used to have the the guys come along take the glass off so we could drive it out come back when it was finished and put it back he sold it to a german museum where it languished for about 20 odd years and it completely disappeared and then i couldn't resist i had to buy it don't know i must have been on drugs at the time i suppose but i had to buy it you know the way sometimes you see something you think i got to own that well no i wish i didn't buy it so these we these lights turn with the front wheels yeah they're stuck at the moment but when you turn the steering wheel it's all connected by a rod to the steering box to the pitman arm and it turns with it oh there we go so you call it it's a rumble seat it's a rumble seat that's exactly like you know like model a's model b's 33 34 they're all that rumble seats so it's got three steps here interesting if you want to go inside here which i won't but you know you can't go in if you like step step step and in any yeah i think in this day these cadillacs you had to have a a few dollars to buy something like this it's not a cheap man's car and this is all white leather interior and the door handles uh have been uh plated in gold leaf and it's got mint carpet mink it's a mink rug that weird so did liberace put the mint carpet in there we don't know i've got all if you go on the internet and you check it out they call it the liberatory cadillac did he own it i don't know they're saying it was his he evidently had loads of cars right but this looks like it would be his well yeah you'd have to be a very flamboyant person to want to own something like this and that's why you want it exactly you know i i fell in love with it i thought where the hell am i going to see another one can you show us the entry on this yeah i think we can open it up here let me just think what year is this 31 30 months this is when ford was making model a's little anemic four-cylinder flatheads and look at if you had a little bit of money which you could buy what geez so this is the original side valve v8 so this is actually the slightly cheaper version because the the bigger engines with the v12s um but it runs and drives and everything have you driven it much i've driven it from the storage unit across the road to this storage unfortunately it's got no power steering which is a bit of a bastard really because it's quite heavy but you know it's an iconic car yeah no kidding look at the hood ornaments man so what else you got here anything good uh this is quite a nice car pantera oh my zamora maserati merak hmm what's nice about this car is uh it's a maserati hand built car i like particularly like the color and i love the interior i've never seen an interior like this in a maserati it's well that's typical sort of 70s if you look at sort of datsun 280z and and other english cars they went through this sort of scottish tartan thing i love it because it's so different yeah yeah yeah yeah these these cars the key about buying these type of cars is that i suppose if you don't pay too much for them to start with they're not going to make any more so they're only going to go up in value and yeah they hit a bit of a low then they go up and they go down you know it is what it is but better having money sitting in the bank really isn't it so what we have here geez so this is a k-code mustang key called k-code now k-code means that it came with a hypo 289 engine which would have been 271 horsepower uh it had uh stiffer valve springs different heads a high zinc bod uh uh block um it had a four barrel of course so it was it was the most high performance hyper 289 you could buy from the factory yeah can we see the engine yeah the way this thing now is you can get nearly 500 horsepower out of these engines and just a nice old car so the way you can tell it's a factory k-code car is the fifth digit after the star is a star 6t09k so if that's a k that means it was a hypo 29 which means it had the logos on the front fender uh you know this the valve cover said hypo 289 271 horsepower so this is a fastback is is a fast i mean there are a lot of coupes in in europe but fastback is kind of unusual the fastback is a much more desired car than a coupe a coupe in england is twenty to thirty thousand dollars a fastback would be thirty five to forty five thousand dollars and a cake hold obviously would be that much more it's my favorite i don't go for value i couldn't care less what a car is worth i just love it to death and i'm a chevy man i'm as far as i can thought but you know there are certain models i really like and this is one of them they make good noises the exhaust noise out of a 289 is terrible super they're just really nice cars i just don't think you american guys understand or realize what you all went through in that uh muscle car era it was fantastic honda nsx fabulous designed by an airton cena just a super nice car this is a manual not an auto we spent five years looking for a car like this this is a low mileage car just a nice car but boy one of the best cars you'll ever drive of its era so this is an acura and actually i've spent a little bit of time behind the wheel very little time behind the wheel of one of these but it was an exotic car that was almost too good like whereas a ferrari they're a little bit finicky you might break down once in a while this car is ideal it's almost too perfect and the criticism it got from the magazines which is crazy is that it's too good to be an exotic car it started all the time the heat work the air conditioning work it's a great car so here's one of my favorite favorite cars happens to be under recovery with craig rims no less oh my god 68 67 i'm not sure 67 68 three speed manual this was like a luxury mustang oh it's that same platform isn't it yeah but it was like a step up yeah they had special editions the dan gurney edition yeah xr7 uh gte had a 427 side oiler which is amazing crazy isn't it crazy that's a nice car wow all right sir we're hitting the road thank you okay cool bernie is one interesting character i think he'll admit so saw what he has in the in the barn we're going to go to his house he's got a few more cars he's got his racing corvette there one of his racing corvettes [Music] tastes sounds good yeah good this is how i know bernie from the states is running a black corvette like like this so what what year is this car this is uh my uh original car so 1958 corvette what do you have in the states 59 corvette okay all right so he's got two virtual identical cars very well driven very well prepared this one you run in the states no i mean this one you're on over here this this has been to sebring and daytona many many years ago but we basically it my boys race it i don't race it i got it so back in when it was obviously in 1958 it was a street car so i in in the late 70s when i was going to america i was looking for a race car i wanted a corvette but i wanted to build the car so i was buying cars bringing them back all sea ones and every car bought back i go that's too good to race i can make some money out of that so i never raced it so about a year later a friend of mine rings me up in essex and he goes i've just got this corvette in it used to race in florida in the 70s with a big block supercharged big block down the rear end oh drag car drag car huge wheels and tires anyway he said um do you want to buy it i said well how much you want for he goes four thousand dollars like i can't pay you four thousand dollars so we did a deal i got the car minus the engine and gearbox and then spent about nine months building it into a circuit racer on drum brakes and this is the car this is the same car so how well some of it now you've had this [Music] no we've probably had it about 38 years something like that whoa yeah man it's quite a famous car in as much that is basically a piece of shit to be honest with sorry about that but you know what it's our it's our family car yeah it surprised everybody when it came out because the only way to race early corvettes is to dirt track style racing so you go help a lever down the straight get to the corner forget the brakes because you haven't got any just turning back on the throttle everybody backs off because they all think you're gonna have a massive accident and this has got drum brakes not now it hasn't we learned a lesson a long time ago now it runs the disc brakes all round coil overs um you can see here it runs um right nine inch forward back axle what's linkage this has about 465 horsepower um it's a budget built car yep yep it has two trademarks that i have on my cars one is i like using drag racing big block chevy as a tow hook as a tow hook and the other one you might see a bit later i've got a skull's head inside but this car most of its original except from here back and the front we've had one or two altercations as we say with guard rails and things so anyway but you know what it's a great car love it a bit so you have another garage here yeah let's go sorry about the weather but you are in england so this is uh my other garage and um i spent a fair amount of time in here all right well let's walk through these cars here and see what you've got here so this car here is my younger son adam uh mini cooper oh which um we nearly finished restoring it but he's also got a corvette he's got a white 73 which i think you've seen and he's got the 56 corvette so what we uh we started out with a reasonably nice car but the problem with minnie is they suffer from rot on the subframe and front and rear and the bulkhead and everything so a very good friend of mine dave haskell i think you might see at some point i gave it to he goes oh not another bloody rust seat anyway so he did all the rust repair on it we bought all new panels we tried very hard not to buy chinese panels because they're crap they're rubbish they don't fit so you're actually better off buying british heritage panels so it's probably about three days finishing but you know don't do too much in the winter what motors is having it okay so this i believe has a 1300 engine um now you may see a nameplate down on the sill there it says john cooper now john cooper was a very famous guy and uh in later life he would buy cars from british laden which is mini and he'd do his a conversion and then the last series of cars i think i'm writing saying he bought the shell and he built the cars the way he wanted and my son's gone through five minutes to get this one okay and i don't think he'll ever sell it [Music] um you know what the purists will go oh why have you put those wheels on they stick out yeah lovely we're hot rods the hot rodders so what do we have here okay this is really quite an interesting car this this is um ah mazda cosmo oh you know what it is so this car here where i only bought it recently these mazdas obviously made in japan all made right hand drive um and it was like late 60s and what they did they nicked or as we you you don't use the word nick uh thieved all the ideas from other european cars so the headlights for instance they're perspex headlights but they got louvers in the front don't get any condensation the back end looks a bit like a t-bird like a 56-57 t-bird they've used like the very sporty mirrors what year is it i think this one's 70. wow look at that now this is restored this here's the funniest thing is this was a good car that went from japan to russia of all places i i just i can't fathom it out and they restored it i've got all the rotisserie documentation on it it's just a fabulous car this was restored in russia in russia then went from russia to paris france i went along i looked it out i go i got to own that that's got to be bought so it says here estimated 75 to 95 000 pounds euros i think that's euros euros okay so how did you do with it i ended up paying more money for it and then we had to pay duty to get it in from russia too it probably owes about a hundred and ten thousand dollars by cheap car they're 160 170 in this condition maybe 200 pounds impressed i mean the paintwork the details it's a nice car yeah and it runs well uh yeah we started up we ran it i haven't run it for about four or five months we start them up about every three months especially with these rotary engines you because i think the oil drains away something to do with the cylinders you know it's not like a normal piston engine so uh i love this car i love the shape i love the typical american design on it yeah and this is a car that your guys who are in their 40s and 50s would buy because they remember these cars even though it's a rare old car jay leonard's got one of these yeah but he's got one of everything hasn't it he's a gritty bugger oh yeah look at this tail i look like a 1960 ford just things yeah just things like the interior typical sort of 60s racing type interior just the detail on it it's really nice very limited production 343 examples were built between 67 and 68 so in the uh hagerty value guide it says here that for this car in the worst condition that they have listed the number four condition which is fair 58 grand american dollars uh in good condition number three is 71 000. excellent condition is number two 98 grand and in concourse condition 138 000 yeah i think we've done well do you think this is a concourse well if it got cleaned up by a professional yeah i think it pretty much is because it's as nice underneath as it is on top yeah the gaps and everything actually better than they probably came out the factory i i would think so but not in this environment maybe at greenwich or something you know yeah it would do nice car yeah what else you got in here this car is quite interesting okay this is um i actually built this about 10-12 years ago it's the last proper restoration i actually did so i don't know if you recognize it at all oh yeah and and you restore this no kidding yeah i didn't paint it but i pretty much did everything else so this is your james bond aston martin db5 so another story behind this one so this is the original color that they they built these cars in they built in about five or six colors built as a race car but more as a sort of gentleman's race car these used to be twenty thousand dollars thirty years nobody wanted them yeah um what do you think they're going for now they've dropped in value to about 750 000 pounds about a million dollars that's what this is worth well here's the thing we decided that when we bought this car we would leave the roll cage in we'd buy a new pair of leather set bucket seats we had the engine i don't know if we have look at this this is something else look at that beauty a bit dirty but but there you go that's a big that's a big engine yeah how big are those cylinders they're huge i don't know i can't remember how many liters is it 4.3 or something like that on weber's a lot of this stuff is original stainless steel exhaust but it all came with it we paid a fair amount of money for it but nothing like what it's worth how long have you had it um probably about 10 years 12 years what a beauty what a neat car to drive wow and all the bodywork is all handmade so we'll no all aluminium do you say aluminum no we say alamin you say wrong what'd you say illumina i think we invented it didn't we did america invent that you invented coca-cola that's about it anyway so we had a hell of a time doing the body work and i gave it to a friend of mine who does concours work and they're charging to paint this to do the body work and paint this car forty thousand fifty thousand ridiculous amounts of money but this is all glued it's not welded so it's all glued together and they're all hand formed so what a beauty it's got wider arches on the back um so these are all been flared the arches and i've had uh a burani type wheel wire wheel made for them slightly wider those are alloy stainless steel even new yanks kept the stainless steel with stainless steel and didn't didn't do anything with that work did you but anyway it's a great car this it's probably only done six seven hundred miles since it was built it's been on the track once so what we have here is a 993 gt2 which really is a factory race car this car has been down around daytona about 15 years ago at approximately 183 miles an hour on the banking this actually is a very rare car and one of these sold i think last year a year before for 1.7 million pounds i don't think they made that many of them and porsche actually used this car uh they take it to goodwood for the revival meeting we let them take you know what the hell yeah cool you know people need to see these things in a way it's a shame that they sit here but they do get used and this looks i mean if i was figuring out what this is it looks like another porsche yeah you know this is a barn fight show could couldn't you put have rusty cars here instead well they're dirty that's about as near so this is um we bought this car about seven or eight years ago this is a japanese import um this is a 964 rs and it's been mucked about with so it's got different wheels on it the suspension's different this is one of the porsches are just great cars you know i like porsches from the sort of mid to late 70s that's when they put a g50 box in it it just transforms the car you know they're just great cars the germans have a real good idea how to make cars thanks for having us at your home thank you very much barn number one bar number two and i think we're going to meet you back at mabel's garage yeah yeah thank you sir thank you very much been my pleasure cool cars [Music] so you drag race the corvette no this is that car in the garage so they did a feature on me and the and right at the end of the day this was that snetterton the guy goes uh does he do wheel spins i said does it do will spin i'll tell you what stand behind the car with your camera and i'll show you what's wheel spinner will do so i just let it rip and he was quite impressed