A few of the cars, lined up outside the barn. Photos courtesy Andy Hoge.
America’s heartland seems like a strange place to run across a collection of unrestored air-cooled Volkswagens, but that’s exactly what auctioneer Andy Hoge encountered in a barn outside of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. On June 11, Hoge Auctioneering will be offering up the (literal) barn find of the year for Volkswagen aficionados, when roughly two dozen cars and perhaps thousands of parts (likely to be grouped in lots) will cross the auction block in a single-day sale.
Prior to extrication.
We caught up with Andy on the ground in Iowa, and he was kind enough to send us the images seen here. Though he’s still working on compiling a comprehensive list of vehicles and parts, we count at least 13 Beetle sedans, 3 Beetle convertibles, a Type 3 station wagon, a Karmann Ghia convertible, a Karmann Ghia coupe and a stake-bed Type 2 Transporter. By Andy’s estimation, roughly half are restoration-worthy, while the rest will make good parts cars.
When was the last time you saw a stake bed Type 2 Transporter?
As for spares, they’re nearly too numerous to count. From Andy’s photos we can see that the sale will offer up fenders, doors, hoods, trunk lids, wheels, seats, an engine block or two and miscellaneous other replacement parts (including a pair of water-cooled Volkswagen steering wheels) in varying conditions. Like the intact vehicles, all appear to have spent their days living on the (mostly) dry second floor of an Iowa barn.
Removing the cars required removing the second-floor walls.
That upstairs location made extracting the cars a complicated process. The barn’s metal walls had to be removed, and a fork lift was brought in to bring the intact vehicles down to ground level. Many had been there for decades, making movement on time-flattened tires that much more difficult.
As to how these Volkswagens wound up in a barn, the location was once a dealership specializing in used cars and parts, both bought and sold. The Volkswagens had meaning deeper than inventory to the business’s former owner, but he’s since passed on and his son has no particular affinity for air-cooled Volkswagens. The local market for Volkswagen parts isn’t particularly robust, and selling individual cars (and worse, parts) on the Internet is a tedious and time-consuming task, which means a one-time auction is in everyone’s best interest.
For those that cherish air-cooled Volkswagens, the sale could present a rare opportunity to stock up on parts, restoration candidates or even parts cars. The auction will take place on Saturday, June 11, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; for more information, visit HogeAuctioneering.com.