This Former Dealership Is the Mother Lode of All Barn Finds
The Southeastern U.S. is a fascinating place for many reasons. One of the more fascinating things about it (for the purposes of this writing) is the amount of land that an individual can have without a burning desire to sell. In the South, land usually means stuff stored on that land, and by stuff, it will most likely be a cool array of vintage vehicles. Finding rare vehicles forgotten to time on some rural property is many car enthusiasts’ dream. These vintage rusty dreams are referred to as “barn finds.”
In rural North Carolina, Pikesville, to be precise, there is the big daddy of all barn finds. The Drive reports that this junkyard look-a-like is not a junkyard at all; in fact, it is an AMC dealership displaying its leftover stock from decades ago, and it’s still open.
Bobby Collier loved him some AMC
The dealership opened back in the 1950s when Bobby Collier left his job at the GM dealership to work with his true love, AMC. Collier was known as an upstanding guy and an honest businessman. He was also known to be a solid mechanic. His reputation and skill earned him a reputable AMC dealership that serviced the community of Pikesville, NC.
The downfall of Collier Motors
From 1955 – 1978 Bobby Collier ran a decent dealership. According to The Drive, his shining reputation took a black mark in 1979 when he started selling Renault vehicles alongside his AMC stock. The Drive goes on to say that Bobby’s son, Kevin, stated that his dad “lost a customer” with every Renault they sold. Plagued with poor quality and mechanical issues a-plenty, Bobby Collier refused to re-up his Renault stock and decided to stick with his first love, AMC.
AMC and Collier Motors go down together
Because of Collier’s dedication to AMC, Collier Motors ended up going down with the ship. As we now know, AMC was struggling pretty hard by the late 1970s, and consequently so were most AMC dealers, Collier Motors included. The only way to stay afloat as the AMC neared death was to start selling other cars, but Bobby tried that once and vowed never to do it again. He had already focused his inventory on the coolest offerings from AMC, Nash, and Rambler.
The stock he preferred to have around was the rarest and coolest models from AMC (or pre-AMC vehicles) like Rambler Rebel convertibles, Nash-Healy sports cars, and Javelin interceptors. According to The Drive, he even had Barry Goldwater’s 1969 AMX.
AMC might have bit the dust, but Collier Motors is still kicking
After AMC was sold and dissolved by Chrysler in the mid-’80s, Collier Motors kept it moving. Bobby Collier sold most of his most precious stock back then, but the roof began collapsing shortly after losing their head mechanic in 1992. After the roof began giving way, they moved the rest of the inventory outside, where most of it still sits today. The dealership is still in business despite the state of the property. Collier turned the company into restoration brokers. They sold parts from these factory cars that have been sitting. To see the field full of these rare, albeit rusty, and original cars is a barn find hunter’s dream. They need love, but there is a lot to love.