COSTA MESA : Car Collector to Restore Historic Barn

A man who says he wants to help preserve a piece of Orange County’s heritage has been given a historical building on the Orange County fairgrounds and is dismantling it, board by board, for reassembly at his Newport Beach home.

Fair officials had intended to tear down the so-called Buffalo Ranch buildings, which were used to store farm equipment on the old Irvine Ranch, because they could not afford to restore them.

When he heard about the fair’s plans, Dennis Holland, a vintage car collector, offered to take one of the buildings and restore it on his property in the style of an early 1900s carriage house.

“You’ve got to save some things around here,” said Holland, 50, who plans to use the 60-year-old building to store and display his 12 antique cars.


Holland, who has lived in Orange County since 1959, said he was drawn to the buildings because he remembered wandering through them as a child, when one of the buildings housed a restaurant and offices.

He also confesses to having a penchant for old things. His collection of antique cars includes a 1909 Buick and a 1929 Model A Roadster pickup he bought while in high school.

Holland said he expects to spend the next month at the fairgrounds taking apart the barn piece by piece. Once it is transported to his home, he said, the rebuilding and restoration should take about four months.