Forget Barn Finds: See 4 Classic Cars Buried In True Time Capsules
From raffle prizes to back room card games, the reason these four classic cars were buried underground are as diverse as they are. Some of these vehicles are a bit worse for the wear, but one is back on the road today. Check out four classic cars that were buried underground.
1925 Bugatti Type 22: The Lady of the Lake
Rene Dreyfus was a daring race car driver who was part of the Bugatti factory team in 1934. He also had a 1925 Bugatti Type 22 (a model nicknamed the “Brescia”) for his personal car. Legend has it that he lost his car to a Swiss bartender in an impromptu Paris poker game over several bottles of Champagne. Dreyfus honored his loss and handed over his Bugatti. But when the bartender drove it home to Switzerland , he couldn’t pay the duty taxes. The law required the authorities destroy the car. They suspended it in lake Maggiore (on the border) from 17 foot chains, telling the bartender that he could fish it back out if he came up with the money. He never paid his tab, the chains eventually broke, and the Bugatti sunk.
Nicknamed “The Lady of the Lake,” The Bugatti was a popular scuba diving destination until it was removed and auctioned for charity in 2007. Because it became buried in the mud at the bottom of the lake, the left side of the car is relatively while preserved. You can see it, unrestored, at the Mullin Museum in California.
1957 Plymouth Belvedere
The people of Tulsa, Oklahoma came up with a wacky idea in 1957: seal a brand new Plymouth Belvedere in a concrete tomb underground for 50 years. Everyone in the town wrote down a guess as to what Tulsa’s population would be in 2007. Then they buried the guesses with the car and promised to give the Plymouth to the winner. They nicknamed the car “Miss Belvedere,” and even buried it with extra gasoline and oil in case neither was available in 2007.
Sadly, the time capsule leaked and the car deteriorated badly. But the raffle winner’s family was able to stabilize the vehicle’s condition and donated it to the Historic Auto Attractions Museum in Illinois.
1974 Ferrari Dino 246
Back in February, 1978, kids were playing in their backyard when their toy shovel struck something odd: the roof of a Ferrari Dino 246. After the police unearthed the rest of the car, they did a little digging. A plumber named Rosendo Cruz had bought the Ferrari as a present for his wife. But it had been stolen off the street while they were at dinner. The thieves had covered up the car in plastic and even plugged its intake and exhaust. But its paint was heavily pitted, its interior was covered in dirt, and the excavation team crushed its engine during removal.
Because of the damage, the insurance company totaled the car. Then they put it on display and collected sealed auction bids. Visitors stole almost every removable piece of the car as souvenirs. Even the dipstick! A local mechanic placed one of the few actual bids and one the car. Restoration took him years. But today, the pristine Ferrari is still his daily driver.
1979 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
Daring art exhibit? Publicity stunt? Waste of a good truck? When Mercedes-Benz unveiled “Sensation” at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, everyone had an opinion. To celebrate the first full redesign of the G-Class SUV, Mercedes suspended an original 1979 G-Class in 45 tons of amber resin. The result is impossible to ignore.
The art piece is an homage to Jurassic Park, in which scientists extract dinosaur DNA from a mosquito preserved in amber. The artists chose to display the G Wagon at a dramatic angle, as if it had been buried underground in the midst of a Jurassic-era expedition. They actually set the truck on its side, and spent 90 days pouring the resin, building up a box-shaped mold for each new layer. Today, you can see the exhibit yourself at the G-Class Experience Center in Graz.
Next, meet the proud owner of the previously-buried Ferrari Dino in the video below: