Myles Munroe said, “We live in a disposable, ‘cast-off and throw-away’ society that has largely lost any real sense of permanence. Ours is a world of expiration dates, limited shelf life, and planned obsolescence. Nothing is absolute.”
Like most products, automobiles become obsolete with time, but some are simply neglected or abandoned. There are a number of reasons for why this happens.
First off, the vehicle may have been stolen. Secondly, if someone commits a crime in the vehicle, they might neglectEven worse than abandonment. it. Or, if the vehicle was involved in an accident and thought to be unsalvageable by the owner.
In other circumstances, a vehicle is left in a garage or storage area for many years due to a change in ownership circumstances, such as a death in the family. Or, the owner doesn’t realize the car’s value, so it’s just neglected or abandoned. Last but not least, financial reasons: the owner can no longer make car payments.
Neglecting a sports car is perhaps worse than abandoning the average vehicle because they are often expensive to purchase when new, and many appreciate with age.
Here are twenty sports cars that were seriously neglected.
20NEGLECTED LIMITED EDITION FERRARI ENZO IN DUBAI
Some 2,000 to 3,000 vehicles (many of them luxury sportscars) are abandoned each year in Dubai, discarded and left by their owners to gather dust in airport parking lots or under the intense desert sun.
According to Sharia law, non-payment of debt is a criminal offense. In Dubai, after defaulting on an expensive vehicle’s finance payments, some owners left their cars and fled the city to avoid imprisonment.
19$250,000 LAMBORGHINI HURACAN “DITCHED”
A $250,000 Lamborghini Huracan found abandoned in a ditch is no doubt a case of short-term neglect. The supercar was facing the wrong way, and the right-hand-drive coupe had its driver’s side door pressed against the ground.
When the Metropolitan Police arrived to investigate, no one was present. Some speculated that the car belonged to one of the highly paid players of the nearby Totteham Hotspurs English Premier League soccer club.
18GRANDMA’S GARAGE HAS 2 ABANDONED SUPERCARS
A student found a Ferrari 308 and a rundown Lamborghini Countach worth a combined £430k in her grandma’s garage. Untouched for 20 years, the two cars once belonged to her late grandpa, who owned an exotic car rental business in 1989.
When insurance costs for the cars become prohibitive, he closed the business but kept the two sports cars (and several others), storing them in the garage.
17SHELBY DAYTONA COBRA FOUND IN CALIFORNIA STORAGE UNIT
Donna O’Hara’s father gave her the very first Shelby Daytona Cobra made. Recognizing its uniqueness, she placed the sports car in a storage unit and left it there for decades. Several collectors made her purchase offers, but she refused all of them.
When Ms. O’Hara passed away, the Cobra ownership went to her mother, Dorothy Brand. She sold the car for US$3m. The buyer resold the rare Shelby to another buyer for a rumored US$4m.
161985 RED MARCOS 1.6LITER ABANDONED AND NEGLECTED
The Marcos is equipped with a smooth Ford Cologne 2.8 V6 engine connected to a 5-speed gearbox and mounted within a galvanized steel chassis. The red model was found neglected at the same house, along with two other cars, a Honda Civic and Audi Coupe.
A Marcos model like this one, but in good condition, recently sold for nearly $20,000.
15FIELD OF DREAMS (ABANDONED FERRARIS)
Any Ferrari enthusiast would be thrilled to stumble upon this field full of neglected sportscars. Rumor has it; the cars were part of a collection owned by a wealthy lawyer. Initially stored inside, the group was moved outside when the lawyer passed away, and payments on the storage ceased. Although some of the sports cars were covered with tarps, all of them show signs of neglect.
14ALUMINUM-BODIED FERRARI 365GTB/4 DAYTONA
In 1972, an Aluminum-Bodied Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona was featured on the cover of a Japanese car magazine. Four of the cars had been built for racing and only the one found in Japan built for the road. Eight years later, local car collector Makoto Takai acquired the sportscar and put it into storage where it remained until found nearly forty years later.
13SANTA MONICA MERCEDES 300SL GULLWING
The 1955 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing discovered in Santa Monica was a gift to the owner for his college graduation. When the transmission failed in the ‘70s, he parked it in the garage, and there it remained for nearly forty years.
In 2011, restoration specialist Rudi Koniczek found the alloy-bodied Gullwing, one of only 29 ever built and the last to be discovered. The estimated value of the car in a restored condition is over $5 million.
12RUST-FREE LAMBORGHINI MIURA IN NEW YORK
For almost thirty years, this Lamborghini Miura, without a hint of rust, was housed in a barn along with piles of cardboard boxes, snowblowers, and a dirt bike.
The sports car was in such good condition, it arrived in an art gallery for display complete with a Rolling Stones cassette in the player. The exceptional Miura is estimated to be worth US$1.5-2.2m.
Rolling Stones cassette is worth $4.95.
11MICHELOTTI-BODIED XK140 ABANDONED IN BELGIUM
This one-of-a-kind Michelotti-bodied Jaguar XK140 SE Coupé (only three Michelotti XK140s were ever made) was found in Belgium.
The sportscar was delivered new to a buyer in France in May 1955, equipped with standard factory bodywork. The car, registered as chassis S814286, was involved in a crash two years later, and the body was considered beyond repair.
The car was returned to Michelotti, the body repaired, and the Italian coachbuilder refurbished the interior, instruments, and installed a C-type engine.
10ASTON MARTIN DB2 FIXED-HEAD COUPE RACER
In its present condition with a weathered leather bonnet strap and flaking paint, it is difficult to believe this DB2 Fixed-Head Coupe Racer completed back-to-back 24-hour marathons over 70 years ago.
The race car remained unused for decades and was even stolen from the owner’s back garden in 2002. It might also be hard to believe the Aston Martin sold for seven-hundred grand!
9FERRARI LEFT OUT IN THE SUN
The folding car sunshade was created to block the sun’s harmful UV rays, prevent dashboard cracking and peeling, and reduce the temperature reached inside a vehicle when it’s parked under the sun.
This Ferrari has been left outside under the sun for a long time without the protection of a sunshade. The steering wheel shows wear, and the dashboard has peeled, revealing the foam stuffing underneath.
8RARE JAGUAR E-TYPE ABANDONED FOR 20 YEARS
The Jaguar E-Type Series 1 model is in high demand among enthusiasts and collectors. This right-hand drive model is believed to be one of the first 300 built by Jaguar.
It would require some imagination and faith to visualize this rusting and wrecked sportscar fully restored, but one buyer did, purchasing the vehicle for more than £40,000 at auction.
7ASTON MARTIN BURIED UNDER LEAVES FOR 40 YEARS
In 1958, when the Aston Martin DB4 was released, it was the first production car capable of doing 0-100mph in less than 30 seconds. Impressive for the time, but pathetic by today’s standards. A Bugatti Chiron accelerates from 0–124 mph in 6.5 seconds.
This Aston Martin wreck buried under leaves for more than forty years sold for £305,000 (almost $400,000).
6POLICE FIND A TOTALED MCLAREN IN THE DESERT
Reportedly the driver and passenger of this $300,000 McLaren crashed the supercar in the desert while participating in a Corsa Rally supercar event. The two abandoned the car after rolling it over at high speed, escaping with only minor injuries.
Organizers of car rallies insist that the events aren’t designed to be races. However, drivers of participating supercars frequently push the limits of their high-performance vehicles.
5TOTALED NISSAN GT-R PURCHASED FOR REBUILD
The company, B is for Build, took a risk purchasing this wrecked and abandoned Nissan GT-R online to refurbish. When they took possession, they discovered the 650 horsepower sportscar had been recorded reaching 157 mph in the half-mile. The car had been modified with a Liberty Walk widebody kit, but it was removed. Some of the engine parts were missing, brake calipers and rotors had been stripped off, and the suspension and the exhaust system had been removed.
It will be a challenge to restore this Nissan and require a few bucks to complete the job.
4CORVETTE Z06 FOUND IN STORAGE UNIT
Several explanations have circulated explaining the reasons this 2009 Corvette Z06, with only 720 miles on the odometer, was abandoned in a storage unit. The most plausible account tells of an eccentric owner who decided to put the car in storage after driving it just a few miles. He believed the Vett would be worth much more in the future as an “almost never driven, like new” Corvette.
3PORSCHE 901 FOUND IN BRANDENBURG
In 1964, Peugeot filed a copyright complaint against Porsche for their 901 moniker. The sportscar company changed the model name to 911, but not before 82 of the 901s were built. None of those cars were sold to the public, and they are so rare that even the Porsche factory lacked one for its collection.
When this 901 was found, the Porsche factory paid €107,000 to add it to its fleet.
2BMW M1 FOUND UNDER JUNK IN ITALY
In the late ‘70s, BMW commissioned Lamborghini to design and build a road car for racing. Only seven prototypes were built before Lamborghini experienced financial problems.
Several Lambo employees then formed a new company and finished the engineering for BMW. Only 453 street versions of the first M-series car were built. The car featured a fuel-injected 3.5-liter engine producing 273bhp.
In 2016, this low-mileage M1 was found, having been hidden away under piles of junk in an Italian garage for 34 years.
1ABANDONED PORSCHE IN WOODLANDS
Rumor has it the Porsche was abandoned as a result of a dispute between the owner and the car workshop that serviced his car. The owner claimed the service performed on his car was done incorrectly while the workshop mechanics disagreed. The owner refused to pick up the car or pay for the work.