A Day Of Searching And A School Of Pontiacs Are Found!

May 2, 2019 3 min read
A Day Of Searching And A School Of Pontiacs Are Found!

Barn Find Hunter, Tom Cotter, manages to unearth and incredible collection of Pontiacs in St. Claire, Iowa.

Renowned barn find hunter, Tom Cotter, has yet again managed to unearth some truly beguiling finds on his travels. In this rare opportunity, viewers enjoy the process of The Barn Find Hunter, to see how a tip off from the right person can lead to some unexpected, but brilliant, discoveries.

In this episode, Tom is roaming St. Claire, Iowa, in the hope of finding some rare classics in typical states of disrepair for the YouTube series. Upon unearthing a rather forgotten looking Ford Model A, the owner divulges potential addresses and contacts within the area to expand Tom’s search.

Having searched high and low in the town of American Pickers, Mr Cotter lands the treasure trove he had been searching for during his 23 degree adventure (what a trooper).


Owner, Rick Wiley, welcomes Tom and the crew to his collection of rare Pontiacs. Having attempted knocking on Mr Riley’s door for hours after Tom’s earlier tip off, one should tip their hat to Mr Cotter for his unrelenting passion during his various escapades.

Several vehicles are parked outside, including a 1951 Ford Crestliner. Despite this, Mr Wiley confirms his allegiance to the Pontiac brand having drag raced many examples back in his youth. First on the list is a 1967 Pontiac LeMans which the owner concedes could be for sale if the right offer was made.

Having owned the LeMans for 12 years, Rick admits the likelihood of him getting around to it’s restoration is slim given his other projects. The original engine isn’t currently in the car, and in its place a 350 cubic-inch V8. With values sat at roughly $5000 for similar examples, this could become someone’s dream restoration.

A rather sad looking Pontiac Grand Prix swings into view with possibly too much rust to be given a second chance at life. Unless there are some particularly ambitious restorers amongst our readership, this 86,000 mile example will likely remain lifeless.

Once inside the garage, an apparent GTO comes to light. Mr Wiley, however, quickly admits it’s a particularly good clone rather than the real deal, and is a Tempest underneath. Rick continues to explain why he understands how cloned cars are typically frowned upon, as buyers can be cheated out of many thousands of dollars for a car that simply isn’t as advertised.

The penultimate car on the tour is in fact a genuine 1967 GTO, which Mr Wiley has owned for some 32 years. Having spent so many years with him, Rick alludes that this is the one he desires to be restored most. Originally painted white, the plan is to return the now blue GTO to its former color, along with a contrasting black vinyl roof.

Completing the episode is a 1966 GTO featuring a three speed manual transmission. Having attempted to purchase the car from its previous owner on multiple occasions, Rick only managed to make the transaction once the then owner had suffered an accident, which is just about visible from the shattered windscreen.

We applaud Tom Cotter for his continued persistence in bringing viewers some truly remarkable finds, which hopefully spur on the community to dig out and save some forgotten classics. Time to get the binoculars out and find some neglected muscle!

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