You've heard the stories of old, rare, and forgotten cars found in barns that fetch astronomical sums at auction.
This weekend the mother of all "barn finds" sold in Paris at Bonhams Retromobile auction for 3.5 million euros ($4.53 million). To be fair, the car was discovered in a garage (not barn) in the northern
English city of Newcastle. The 130 miles-an-hour car has 26,284
miles on the clock. It was thought the engine “had not been
fired up for more than 50 years,’’ said the Bonhams catalog.
It was a 1937 Bugatti Atalante 57S coupe (one of only 17 made).
To use another well worn cliche the Bugatti was the perfect storm of barn finds. It had originally belonged to Earl Howe, president of the British Racing Drivers Club.
According to Bloomberg.com:
"This was the creme-de-la-creme of late 1930s sports
cars,” said Simon Kidston, a Geneva-based classic car adviser,
who attended the sale. “Of the examples that have come on the
market, this had by far the best history, prettiest body style
and no one has seen it for 50 years. Nothing drives collectors
more crazy than a car they haven’t been able to buy.”
Bloomberg goes on to report, "The Bugatti was owned by a local doctor and surgeon, Harold
Carr, who left the garage and its contents to his family, who had
been unaware of the partially dismantled two-seater coupe’s
existence until they opened the garage doors. Dr. Carr also owned
an Aston Martin and a Jaguar E-type sports car."