My Car Quest

April 15, 2024

Is This A New Catagory Of Collector Car? – The Derelict: A Highly Modified Barn Find Without The Barn

by Mike –

As I walked up to this car at this past Carmel Concours On The Avenue my first thought was “why is this old beat up car here?”

Buick Super Convertible

But as I got closer it became clear this car was not what it appeared to be from twenty feet away.

1948 Buick Super Convertible

Buick Super Convertible

This is what the sign on the car said,

1948 was the last year of the 1942 series Buick Super, a coupe with Sedanet fastback styling, low and wide, with the Airfoil front fenders.

Postwar the Series 50 Super combined the large Series 70 Roadmaster body with the “economical” Series 40 Special motor, the 248 ci Fireball straight-8.

Buick Super Convertible

America loved these cars. Jonathan Ward’s “The Most Advanced Form of Simple” Buick was “handmade in Los Angeles” by Icon whose style is “derelict” but whose substance is “highly modified daily driver” complete with Cadillac’s 2014 supercharged CTS-V 556 horsepower 6.2-liter V8 that helps celebrate the visual romance of a barn find without the barn!

Buick Super Convertible

This car is not pretending to be something it is not like the fake patina cars being promoted by some collector car auction companies these days.

Buick Super Convertible

New leather seats and a rusty dashboard

Buick Super Convertible

This classic car is what it is and I’ll bet it is fast and fun. The owner would not worry about dents and dirt – they would just drive it for the pure fun of it. And to experience the reaction of people when they see it up close especially that Cadillac 556 horsepower engine.

Let us know what you think about this “derelict” in the Comments.

Buick Super Convertible

Buick Super Convertible

Is This A New Catagory Of Collector Car? - The Derelict: A Highly Modified Barn Find Without The Barn
Article Name
Is This A New Catagory Of Collector Car? - The Derelict: A Highly Modified Barn Find Without The Barn
This classic car is not what it appears to be.


  1. ~ Jonathan builds cool stuff !!

  2. Newly acquired dents and dirt will only drive up the value of this car. On the other hand, washing this car will have a reverse affect on its worth ))))

  3. Alan Breon says

    This is what I call a ‘Jay leno Sleeper’ Look closely. Did they put larger wheels with bigger tires and wheel covers custom made to appear ‘stock’ only deliver the newer ride of a recent resto-mod touring car?
    Big disk brakes and other modern conveniences hidden by a preserved not restored car?
    I think you could get around Cuba real good in this car

  4. I love it. This kind of build eliminates all those stuffy “experts” in their classes who think they know everything, stops the over restorers who call their work original, and caps the ability for speculators to flip cars at unrealistic prices.
    This then opens the field back to where the car culture should be, out of the garages and in the hands of people who drive them for, as you say the pure fun of it.

  5. Wayne Graefen says

    I’ve been thinking of doing something very similar with my unrestored (came out of an open Texas field) 1957 Chrysler 300C convertible. I won’t want a trophy for doing so, just a really good conversation with the public wherever it is displayed.

  6. roger ramjet says

    Let me disclose that Jonathan Ward is an acquaintance of mine with several friends in common. Because of this friendly relationship I have been fortunate to have spent several hours in his fabrication facility and found it to be fantastic. He has about 18 bays with projects in each of them. Everything is clean and seems to run with great precision. His projects are extremely well thought out and executed. I was very impressed.
    However I think that Jonathan’s greatest asset is his energy and passion. He seems to be a man on a mission charging straight ahead with what seems to be clear headed future in front of him. Our hobby IS NOT WANING, it is changing with the times…hopefully for the better. Let’s stay flexible. Im very thankful for creative beings such as Jonathan.

  7. Jonathan Ward says

    Thank you all for your kind words of support. I really enjoy building the special cars, they are so much fun to use. Liberating and without any false pretentions. They make people smile, but the driver gets the last laugh!

  8. Beautiful.
    This is a glorious evolution of hot rodding.
    Simple, focussed, ‘back to the core issues’ stuff.
    Perfect. I’d drive this car in a flash.

  9. carl Madson says

    Great coverage, Mike — the true rat rod creators didn’t hold back and included all kinds of crazy things to make them unique. But the reality of most of those rides is that you wouldn’t want to drive them very far (and nobody assumes they’re safe). Jonathan takes the best bits — getting a strong donor car, make it solid without losing the patina, and then add all the motivating and stopping bits work so well that you could drive it every day. (And anyone who swings a door into that Buick will come out on the losing end.)

    Make them usable enough so that people drive them and let others enjoy them too. We’ll only keep the classics alive by keeping them on the road.

    Jay had a bunch of fun with Jonathan doing some Derelict driving. My pal who has always wanted a classic but had the standard concerns lit up when I told her she should get a pickup in Derelict form. Jonathan may be getting a call…

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