Tuesday, January 13, 2009


The 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante

Image Courtesy of Bonhams

Always be nice to your eccentric, compulsive collector relatives. A British family hit the jackpot with a classic "car found in the barn" story. When their eccentric bachelor uncle, Dr. Harold Carr, died in 2007, he named his extended family his heirs for much of his estate, including his house packed with 6-foot piles of belongings and several packed garages. It took 18 months to sort his things. The house was filled with old medical machinery, 1,500 beer steins and much ephemera. Then the family finally got to the garages. One was filled with trash and a hidden treasure--an old car. But not just any old car. It is a rare Bugatti Type 57S Atalante, one of only 17 made. In 1937 a famous racing fan ordered the car, a sporty two-seater. It was bought and sold several times until Dr. Carr bought it in 1955. He parked it in his garage in the 1960s. The car is in good condition with almost all of its original parts. Estimated value for the car, which will be sold in February at Bonhams in Paris: $8.7 million. Dr. Carr's eight relatives will share the money.


Tracy said...

That has got to be one of the most amazing "found treasure" stories I've ever heard..so much $$$..:)

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness there was a payoff for sorting through all that stuff! And thank goodness there were so many relatives to do so.

When my mother died, my well-meaning sister and a neighbor threw out a lot of stuff that the rest of us (who live across the country) wanted before we could get there. They left the place a huge mess while trying to look for valuables.
It would have been a better idea to give things away to who she wanted to have them while she was still alive. I am trying to do this myself.
In today's environment, it is a huge job for someone to clean out a packed house, especially if they have to take off from work and fly all day to get there. Collectors: please think about this one.