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The Vincent in the Barn: Great Stories of Motorcycle Archaeology [Hardcover]

Tom Cotter , David Edwards

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Book Description

Sept. 14 2009 In the Barn
It’s every motorcyclist’s dream. A friend or acquaintance says, “You know, there’s an old bike that’s been sitting in this garage for years.” The hunt is on. And rather than the usual worthless Hondazukimaha pile of hopeless oxidation, at the back of that barn you find a genuine classic, the motorcycle collector’s dream.

The Vincent in the Barn tells forty such stories--tales of motorcycle hunting dreams come true. From Ducatis in basements to Vincents abandoned in sheds, Harleys in barns to Brit bikes moldering behind urban garages, these are the stories that fuel every motorcyclist’s fantasies. The only difference? They’re true.

See Tom Cotter, author of Motorbooks “In the Barn” series, interviewed by Jay Leno on

Frequently Bought Together

The Vincent in the Barn: Great Stories of Motorcycle Archaeology + The Harley in the Barn: More Great Tales of Motorcycles Archaeology + The Hemi in the Barn: More Great Stories of Automotive Archaeology
Price For All Three: CDN$ 56.89

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“…a thoroughly fun romp through a corner of the hobby most of us wish we inhabited – and swear we someday will.” – Motorcycle Classics

“From Ducati’s in basements to Vincent’s in sheds, here are dozens of stories and accompanying images of the dream coming true! Brilliant!” - Classic Bike Guide (UK) 

“It’s no mystery that there are those among us that relish the hunt as much, if not more, than the actual ownership of rare and antique motorcycles.  Therefore, if you’re a regular reader of this publication, you’ll likely enjoy THE VINCENT IN THE BARN—GREAT STORIES OF MOTORCYCLE ARCHAEOLOGY by Tom Cotter.  The true tales here cover everything from amazing finds across the street to the other side of the globe.  Embedded in the stories one can glean tips and techniques used by professional vehicle hunters.  Also, one realizes that sometimes just plain dumb luck or an offhand rumor will land something very cool in the garage.I found the book an entertaining and educational read.” - The Antique Motorcycle

“The Vincent in the Barn is a worthwhile and enjoyable read for anyone who has an interest in the old, the rare, the odd, or even just motorcycle history in general. The stand-alone nature of its stories—some of which are laugh out loud funny— make it an easy book to pick up and put down at random, even if one should really give these tales some undivided attention.” – Friction Zone 

“Here's a rough piece of fiction from a Bikernet reader. Although his prose are scrambled his story comes across. It's a classic, and if you love stories of found antique motorcycles, you need to pick up this new book from Motorbooks. It's full of true stories of classic vintage motorcycle discoveries. Some I know of personally, because I know the current owners. If any book causes you to search all the barns in your neighborhood, this is it.”— 

“I haven't completely finished the book yet but I can tell you for sure that if you love stories like this you'll love this book. I highly recommend it.” - 

 “The Vincent in the Barn” is a delight. Most of the stories are only a few pages long and read like high octane archaeological thrillers…kind of like “Indiana Jones meets the World’s Fastest Indian.” Some of the writing is priceless. “The Vincent in the Barn” truly does contain “Great Stories of Motorcycle Archaeology.” It rates four out of five lug nuts and is available at, Keyword “Books.” I’m really starting to miss my 1972 650cc Yamaha I rode in college.” - 

"You never know what you might find in a barn, back of a garage or under a dusty tarp. Following his successful “The Cobra in the Barn” and “The Hemi in the Barn”, author tom cotter continues his search for motorized treasure with “The Vincent in the Barn”. Cotter’s personal experiences are interspersed with similar stories from other noted authors." -CycleWorld

From the Inside Flap

You’re at a party when someone you’ve just met that evening says, “I hear you’re into motorcycles. Man, you should check out this crazy old bike my Uncle Bobby has in his shed.” Your heart skips a beat, and your pulse quickens. Doing your best impersonation of a person whose head is not about to explode with excitement, you casually ask where old Bobby lives and offer to come take a look. Who knows what he might have squirreled away?

            It’s every motorcyclist’s dream: The classic bike parked and forgotten, waiting to be discovered and turned loose on the road again. Author Tom Cotter has chased down 40 great stories of lost, old bikes and the collectors who unearthed them. There’s the great Russian basement stash, the Indian in the attic, the Ducati in the basement, the Vincent in the shed, the bedroom BSA, and more tales of intrigue, hoarding, dead ends, and mother lodes. The Vincent in the Barn proves that all the good ones have not been found and provides entertainment and inspiration to every motorcycle fan who ever dreamed of finding that long-lost classic machine.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  50 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book ! Oct. 11 2009
By Alan - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you're an old bike nut, and even if you're not, you will enjoy this book. It is a collection of short stories about the hunt for that proverbial "barn find" in which motorcycle enthusiasts either hunt for leads, are pointed to, or, stumble upon some old bikes that need new homes.

This easy reading book is a mix of adventure, history and personal experiences from different parts of the country, and, the world.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Enjoyable for even non-motorcycle enthusiasts Dec 28 2009
By mmcporter - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The third book in Cotter's series of ____In the Barn books, this collection of stories is a nice twist on the original concept delivered by The Cobra in the Barn. These are rich stories that will keep you coming back again and again to relive the thrill of discovery that come with finding these ancient motorcycles entombed somewhere. This book lives proudly on my automotive bookshelf.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MY HUSBAND COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN Nov. 12 2010
By Pam Salsbury - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for my husband for his recent birthday. He loves books but very seldom ever finishes one. I have to say, he could not put this book down. He loved it and was so disappointed when he got to the last page! He also read it in a matter of a few days which also impressed me. I'm tempted to get the other "in the barn" books for him, hoping he will enjoy reading them as much as he enjoyed The Vincent in the Barn!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating!! June 17 2010
By Kindle Customer - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What a great book! What a great collection of stories! My newest motorcycle is a 24 year old BMW, purchased new. If you believe, as I, that the best motorcycles have already been built, you will not be able to put this book down! Nicely illustrated; well researched, elegantly written, the stuff that classic motorcycle dreams are made of. Highly recommended. Enjoy!!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Vincent in the Barn Jan. 30 2010
By John G. Nee - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great short stories for motorcycle enthusiasts. I have owned over 32 motorcycles in my 71 years and most were barn, chicken shed, or up-side-down in ditch finds. My best Nortons, Triumphs, BMWs and Hondas came to me the same as Mr. Cotter describes. He presents a wide variety of biographical essays. Also, I enjoyed his Cobra in the Barn and will find the Hemi volume soon. They are easy fun reads.

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