OLD BARNS CAN HOLD MORE THAN WOOD TO RECLAIM
When dealing with old structures and people who have saved things all their lives, you never know what you are going to find. That certainly held true in 2014 when what oil baron Wilson Edwards of Texas had saved in his barn turned out to be almost priceless.
Inside the barn was a mind-blowing collection of World War II aircraft. A unique collection including 6 Hispano Aviacion HA-112s (The Spanish version of the German Messerschmitt 109), Catalina Flying Boats, a P-51 Mustang, and a Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX. Edwards was known as an aircraft collector, he had already bought and donated a P-38 Lightning, a F4U Corsair, and several other P-51s. Many of these, like the Lightning and the Spitfire, are extremely rare.
How did Edwards come to own such rare aircraft? Most were payment for his work on the 1969 film The Battle of Britain. German Messerschmitts were rare but the Spanish version was much easier to find at the time and they were used for the filming. A complete and working Spitfire is also a rare find, and his is believed to be the oldest Spitfire in existence. This particular Spitfire had also flown in the movie The Longest Day.
But for Edwards, an avid pilot, the collection was too much and it spent years in his barn, some disassembled and all of them gathering dust. In 2014 he decided to sell it, going up for auction in 2015 and reportedly garnering $15 million. So the next time you go into a barn you might be stepping into a treasure trove!