Written by Rosemarijn Atalante Veenenbos

 I must make a confession while it is still 2015. I found something hidden in a church, a church find! Who doesn’t dream about finding a sleeping beauty hidden under dust and behind broken windows. I know you are a barn find junkie too, so I need your help. Who can tell me which car this is? I looked for hours at the photo, but I can’t discover what it is.

But let me first tell you a nice and exciting story which will give you so much adrenalin, like I felt that moment. I was doing a prep drive with a friend just before the 100 Miles of Amsterdam when this friend told me about a place he knew with a mass of barn finds, or in this case church finds. At the moment when I realized that we were going to take a look at a collection of sleeping beauties, the adrenalin in my blood skyrocketed. Many of you will know the excitement before a bungee jump, but this feeling is way more exiting!

Luckily it was not dark yet, but the sun was quickly going down, so the Salmson which brought us there needed to speed up a bit. Upon arrival at the church you wonder if you can sneak into the barn, hoping not to get caught, or take the safe approach of making a chat with the neighbors. As I am a well educated girl we chose the last option, which was less risky to get in trouble with the police… When the neighbors see suspects arriving in a loud Salmson, they would probably call the police ; ) Of course that would have been even better for this story, but we decided to stay on the safe side with more chance for success.

When the Salmson had been parked, the moment of truth was there… Staring at a huge church, it was disappointing that the windows in front of us were all blinded. When walking around the building we noticed just one window which allowed to spy inside into this spooky building and that was where I took a picture. We then rang the doorbell of the neighbors. A very nice lady, dressed in a surprisingly old-fashioned outfit, openend the door. We asked if the owner of the church was somewhere in the area and what his name was. Soon we noticed that the lady would not tell us much about the content of the building. I tried to have a nice chat with her and she started feeling more comfortable and told us some things she knew.

Before leaving we took one more look. You can see the results below. There were two tiny openings in the building, but sadly only people with the size and feature of Tinkerbell could get in there, so again bad luck. There was also a staircase, fully moss-grown, and the friend who joined me told me that after a previous visit he has had a nightmare that there was a dead body lying there. This made me feel even more excited, and so I jumped onto the stairs, but it was not like in a horror movie. After the extended inspection and lots of moss vegetation, spooky spaces, and no dead bodies, or the touch of a true barn find, we returned to then discover the best part!


After having returned home, I told my dad about this great adventure and guess what…? Sure he knew this place, and he even knows the owner. They already met in 1990! It seems the owner first had two locations full of cars, a huge farm and the church. There were also two Delahayes, one with coachwork by Pennock and the other with a body by Guilloré, both cabriolets. The owner sold part of his collection, but still has many treasures hidden in his dusty church.

It was a great adventure, but I still want to know what kind of car I saw thru the window, so make a guess and let me know in the comments below! Or tell me if you can beat my story with your own barn find experience.

Click here for a nice Salmson surprise that might be very interesting for you!