Stolen 1987 Ferrari Mondial Spent 26 Years Hidden Underwater

Like stumbling across a barn find, Lost supercars are a very exciting idea. We are intrigued by this for many reasons, but one of them is wondering if maybe we could be the ones to stumble across the fabled treasure. Well, as of June of 2017, there was one less missing 1987 Ferrari Mondial out there after one that was stolen over two decades ago was found by a Dutch diving team in a canal in Amsterdam. 

The stolen 1987 Ferarri Mondial has been laying low – really low

As reported by The Drive, a red 1987 Ferrari Mondial was stolen and couldn’t be found. In 1994 the Dutch police called off the search, and the owner was given his insurance settlement to buy another era-appropriate wedge on wheels. 

a stolen, wrecked, and rusted 1987 Ferrari Mondial found underwater after 26 years
1987 Ferrari Mondial recovered after 26 years underwater | The Drive

Fast forward 26 years; In 2017, a Dutch fire brigade diving unit was doing a training exercise in the IJ waterway in Amsterdam when the divers saw something that seemed a bit out of place. Once the strange red object was eventually pulled from the mire, they confirmed that this was the disappeared, stolen Ferrari. I doubt this could be considered a barn find, but it’s still exciting.

The Ferrari was found but not out

Before the authorities could get the Mondial out of the canal, the police, firefighters, and Ministry of defense would all be called to extract the supercar. According to The Drive, on July 8th, all three groups successfully worked together to get the car back to the terrestrial world to confirm its origin. 

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The authorities connected the dots with matching VIN and description of the Ferrari to the cold case from 1994. Unfortunately, 26 years submerged in the waterway scrubbed the Ferrari clean of any evidence that could have linked the theft to the thief. The investigators could conclude from the car that no violent crimes had taken place inside the supercar. 

After the investigation concluded with no further evidence, the case was officially sealed, and the smashed and soaked Ferrari was relinquished back to the owner/insurance company. 

Leave it to Amsterdam to make the best of a trashed Ferrari

At the time, the insurance company owned the car and was planning on scrapping the rusty, red shell. Locals called to turn the Ferrari over to be put on display at the aquarium of Amsterdam’s Artis Zoo as the aquatic version of a barn find. The aquarium tanks are models of the formally trashed waterways and how it affects local marine life. Since the Ferarri was legitimately a part of that environment for 26 years, it feels appropriate and way cooler than any other “trash” displayed in the aquarium. 

Who knew a scrapyard owner could get sentimental? 

At the time of the original reporting back in 2017, we didn’t know what fate the wrecked Ferrari would meet. The Drive has since updated their post and added the updated whereabouts of the aquatic Ferrari. In a message sent to The Drive in 2020, the owner of the scrapyard where the Ferrari ended up said, “We have put the car for display at our company for now. There is a lot of interest in the car. Both complete and for parts.” 

There are a lot of rules surrounding what they can do with the Mondial; as stated by the owner, “The thing is that we are not allowed to sell the car complete. However, when it could go to a museum, the government will make an exception and allows us to sell the car complete. When [sic] we can’t find a museum willing to display the car, we are forced to dismantle the car in parts. Most parts can’t be used on another car, but a lot of collectors are willing to buy parts for collectibles or to transform them into furniture. Like the engine, they want to fix up and turn it into a table with a glass plate on top of it.”