Most of us dream that, one day, a distant, wealthy relative will bequeath to us a secret fortune. It would be great if somebody could come along and give us enough money that it completely changes our life for the better—but unfortunately, it’s not that common.
Yet that dream became a reality for one English family in 2007. After the passing of their eccentric uncle, Dr. Harold Carr, a brother and sister were amazed to find that he’d left them a hefty little inheritance.
But oddly enough, it wasn’t in a bank… it was in a garage. Not only did this discovery make them rich, but it made history!
Following the passing of one Dr. Harold Carr in 2007, his niece and nephew discovered that he’d left them a fortune—in the form of a classic 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante. It was so rare that it was one of only 43 cars of its kind ever made!
As he was getting older, their uncle developed a tendency for hoarding. This led him to place his rare Bugatti in a lockup for decades along with several other expensive cars, including an Aston Martin.
In an interview, Dr. Carr’s nephew had this to say about the vintage automobile: “It was a bit of local folklore that he had a Bugatti, but no one knew for sure, and certainly no one knew what it was worth.” That really is like finding buried treasure! Just how much was it worth, you ask? Well…
As it turns out, this treasure on wheels was worth a whole lot. Despite having been built nearly a quarter of a century earlier, it was worth exponentially more than what most modern cars would sell for, including some luxury models.
When it went up for auction in 2009, it sold for a cool $4.4 million. There’s a lot that can be done with that kind of money! That’s enough to buy a nice house, pay off your student loans… oh, and buy a new car while you’re at it!
Owning a Bugatti from that era would have been incredible enough. After all, after the brand was founded in 1909, it was sold to Hispano-Suiza in 1963, then again to Volkswagon in 1998. In 1937, it was still very much its own company.
But this particular Bugatti was even more special, as it was once owned by Francis Curzon (also known as Viscout Curzon), the 5th Earl Howe, who was a member of Parliament in the 1930s. He was also an accomplished British naval officer.
Willy Pragher / Wikimedia Commons
In addition, Curzon was also a race car driver and even a promoter. It’s really no wonder that a vehicle as special as this rare (even for the time) Bugatti would have been attractive to him.
One can’t help but wonder why a notable and wealthy man such as the 5th Earl Howe would ever give up such a valuable vehicle? Not only that, but how did such a seemingly ordinary man as Dr. Harold Carr come to acquire it? We may never know for sure…
Sporti / Wikimedia Commons
Not bad for an inheritance, huh? Who knows what else this uncle was hoarding?
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