Needle in a Haystack: 1 of 3 remaining F100 Sleeping Bear Dunesmobile Will it Run | Barn Find Hunter

We have been searching for four years for some of the last remaining Sleeping Bear Dunesmobiles, made famous by a northern business person, Louis Warnes. This is among the 7 original trucks, but since the program closed in 1979, the number has been up to just three staying. Of the three, this is the only one with the original paint task and Dunesmobile lettering on it, making it the rarest of the bunch.

This isn't the only generation of Dunesmobiles. Before WWII, Louis was running an assortment of 1930's cars and trucks over the rolling sands of Michigan's Sleeping Bear Dunes, before it was a . After WWII, the business took off, and he bought a fleet of 1948 Fords that he then consumed until 1956 when he changed them with Oldsmobile Super 88s. Then there was the final generation of Dunesmobiles, which were a selection of , 1966, and 1967 Ford F100 pickups that ran till the program closed.

Join us as we get this regional legend running and present you to its new owner, where it will go on to live out its days as it when was and become a treasured piece of Michigan history for future generations.

If you know of any or have a lead on any Dunesmobiles please email us at – barnfindhunter@.com

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Needle in a Haystack: 1 of 3 remaining F100 Sleeping Bear Dunesmobile Will it Run | Barn Find Hunter

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27 Comments

  1. I love barn finds I love classic car stories and especially unique ones, so this is definitely one of my favorite stories and videos !

  2. Very cool nostalgia! I remember riding in the modified pickup trucks in the 60’s. Glad you didn’t disappoint the boss on getting it to run!

    1. Not sure if the boss would have appreciated hanging the arse out in the mud though…….. 🙂

  3. Great episode and congrats to Mr Hagerty for his new purchase! Glad you managed to get it running and “driving”!

  4. Just throwing it out there; a huge ‘Thanks!’ to Hagerty, and The Boss here, for all you’ve been doing in media lately.

  5. Funny that Davin was surprised the condenser was bad because its just a big capacitor and they have a tendency to breakdown with heat and age. Back in the 1970’s when I was working on cars with points all the time it was quite common for a car to just quit running or for one to not start suddenly and it was the condenser gone bad. Other times when you had intermittent rough running and the fuel system and points checked out it was the condenser starting to die. A lot of people didn’t like the GM unipoints because if the condenser went bad even on a new set you still had to replace everything instead of just a 59 cent condenser.

    1. My neighbor had a 69 camaro dropped at his house one day. It was NOT a RS or SS car. Just a regular 69 Camaro. I think it was a 307 V8. But this car was a CLEAN original low mile car and as I recall was like a 3 speed on the floor. Neighbor bought it with the intention of putting a big block in it. As he got into the car he had the good sense to not molest such a straight car. I asked him where and how he found it. He said the guy he bought it from was ready to see it go. He was frustrated and angry with it. He replaced EVERYTHING imaginable to get it running again. But it would never start. So frustrated, he sold it to my neighbor for a song. Just wanted it gone. So i was there as we started diagnosing the car and found all the brand new parts he replaced. Points, cap, rotor, wires, plugs, and coil. Only thing he did not replace was the condenser. We were like, surely that can’t be the one thing he overlooked. Found one he had in a tool box. That thing fired right up and ran like a sewing machine. He drove it around as a weekend car and took it to car shows as a Survivor, but wasn’t the kind of car he wanted. He had his fun with it and sold it. But I think one of the funnier things I heard from a former life-long professional mechanic. He said back in the day they would put voltage into a condenser coil, which is just a capacitor, and just leave it on someone’s workbench. They’d come along and pick it up and get a really big shock. Lol!!!

  6. Mr McKeel is right, you have brought joy to many an old car guy like me. Keep up the great work….

  7. I absolutely love Sleeping Bear Dunes, M22, and that Leelanau Peninsula area. Gorgeous scenery.

  8. This episode was absolutely fantastic. I know from watching Bohn find Hunter over the last several years. There’s only been a couple of cars that you fired up and gotten running. Particular pick up truck has a great story behind it and it’s nice to see the CEO or Hagerty, appear on the show for his own barn find and revival. I think you may have stumbled on to a new channel idea. Find the cars when you know there’s a buyer follow them through the purchase and then bring in Davin to help get them fired up for the first time.

  9. Hagerty is doing right. I remember when they restored the ’48 car. I’m glad this truck survived the decades to live again in it’s proper home.

  10. As a kid we would vacation as money would allow in the Sleeping Bear dunes area. We would beg and plead for the dunes ride, in one of the 48 Ford’s’ occasionally we would achieve our ride.
    What a wonderful memory, thanks to you and your crew.
    Now that my wife and I have returned to Michigan to be closer to family. I will add a 4th of July trip to the dunes to the bucket list. If we are lucky ,maybe we can see the Ford pick up in the parade.

  11. My cousin in Cleveland, TN was hitchhiking and caught a ride with a fellow in a newer Ford truck, Joe wanting to start a conversation and sound cool asked “does this have Twin I-Beams”, to which the old guy replied, “No, it’s just got one headlight on each side”. 😉

  12. ABSOLUTELY GREAT EPISODE!! Now that it’s been revealed that others exist, there DEFINITELY needs to be an episode singularly dedicated to ALL of the others in the background shots!
    Glad to see this one got saved by someone who definitely enjoys it.

  13. This was just heart warming! Appreciate that Mr. Hagerty is going to restore this and his own personal connection to a place and vehicle! Go Barn Find Hunter and Hagerty, keep moving forward!

  14. We who work on these things, dont see them as just cars or trucks, we see them as living breathing things. At least thats how I’ve always felt. The thrill of finding this thing sitting in a field for possibly decades, and making it breath again….there’s no greater feeling in my opinion!!

  15. I’ve had a Ride in these trucks once when I was a young Boy.. My Grandfather took all of the kids, We had So much Fun…

  16. Great to see the boss is a real car guy! It adds to the authenticity and honesty of Hagerty. Love it.

  17. Words cannot express how cool it is to see McKeel himself in the video, turning wrenches and showing such enthusiasm for bringing a small piece of history back to life. It makes me proud to be a Hagerty Driver’s Club member.

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