This unbelievable story happened to a brother and sister from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
In 2009 their rich and eccentric uncle passed away, leaving the siblings a dusty old garage. When they opened it and took a good look around, they couldn't believe their eyes. Hidden in the back of the garage there was the most unexpected thing!
Dr. Harold Carr passed away at age 89, leaving to relatives all his property, including the old garage. He had always been eccentric and became a bit of a recluse in his later years, so his family had no idea what he was hiding. They knew he had a collection of vehicles, but not the specifics.
According to Harold's nephew, it was a bit of local folklore that his uncle had a Bugatti, but no one knew for sure, and certainly no one knew what it was worth.
When Harold's nephew and niece started cleaning out the garage, they were shocked to realize that the rumors had been true all along. And more than that! Their notoriously secretive uncle did own a Bugatti, but it wasn't your ordinary sports car. It was a real treasure, the crown jewel of the automotive history: a Bugatti Type 57S Atalante.
This model's estimated worth is a whopping £6 million (or $8.5 million)!
All Bugatti cars are highly valued, but this particular model is truly one of its kind. The Italian manufacturer only produced 43 of them! This one was completed on May 5, 1937. Its history is quite well known because its first owner was a member of the British aristocracy.
Atalante's first owner was Francis Curzon, 5th Earl Howe, a Member of Parliament and a racing enthusiast. In 1930s the earl had a vast collection of cars that he regularly used to indulge his hobby. Miraculously, Atalante seems to have escaped the racetrack: its mileage at the time of discovery was quite low for a car this age.
After Curzon got tired of the car, it changed hands several times before being purchased by Harold Carr in 1955.
The Bugatti's original license expired in 1960, and it disappeared in Harold's garage. Not a word was heard of it for the next 50 years.
When the car was discovered in 2009 (standing next to a classic Aston Martin), it was papered with decades of notes from collectors offering Carr mind-blowing sums of money for the car.
Several years later the car went up on auction, like many similar vehicles (for example, the Bugatti 57 in the photo, property of fashion designer Ralph Lauren.)
Harold Carr's Bugatti was eventually sold for $4 million. The money was divided between the relatives, none of whom had had the slightest suspicion that they were going to end up becoming millionaires when they were entering that dusty garage. It's amazing how things sometimes turn out!