Abandoned, Mysterious Property Hides Big Stash of Classic Cars

abandoned classic cars 10 photos
Photo: The Bearded Explorer/YouTube
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We usually associate abandoned cars with junkyards and old barns. But millions of classic vehicles are still rotting in groups stashed away on properties hidden from the public eye. This abandoned mansion, for instance, has a few buildings packed with old cars.
Documented by "The Bearded Explorer," the location of this place remains a mystery. But based on what type of cars our host discovered in these old buildings, it's safe to say this abandoned mansion is somewhere in France. Yup, the property is packed with vehicles made in the country that gave us cheese, baguettees, and Napoleon Bonaparte.

If you're a fan of Renaults and Citroens from the past, this is the best place to be. Assuming you don't mind dust, grime, spider webs, and deflated tires, that is! Not surprisingly, these buildings are home to a few Citroen Traction Avants. One of the company's most iconic nameplates, the Traction Avant was built from 1934 to 1957 and brought quite a few innovations to the market.

While front-wheel drive and the four-wheel independent suspension weren't new at the time, Citroen pioneered integrating these features into a mass-produced vehicle with a monocoque body. It was also one of the first cars to use rack and pinion steering. And needless to say, the Traction Avant is quite a pretty automobile, even in barn-found condition.

Of course, no abandoned French car collection is complete without a 2CV. Unlike the Traction Avant, which was a bit fancy for its era, the 2CV was conceived as an economy car. Simple and affordable to maintain, the 2CV arrived in 1948 and remained in production all the way until 1990. Produced in 11 factories across Europe and South America, the 2CV featured flat-twin engines exclusively and sold in 9.25 million units.

This collection also includes a Citroen Mehari, a lightweight utility roadster built from 1968 to 1988. The Mehari was nowhere near as popular as the 2CV (Citroen sold only 145,000 units in 20 years), but it was also produced across Europe and South America and was a common sight in the French military at the time. The SUV was briefly sold in the US in 1969-1970.

Moving over to Citroen's Boulogne-Billancourt-based rival, you'll see a few classic Renaults in here as well. There's a Renault Dauphine, the predecessor to the 4CV, and a Renault 8. The latter is known for kickstarting the Dacia brand, which built this compact under license from 1968 to 1971.

But this stash isn't just about Citroens and Renault. The buildings also house vehicles from French orphan brands like Panhard and Simca. Founded in 1877, Panhard was one of the world's oldest car-making ventures. It stopped making automobiles in the 1960s but built military vehicles until it was integrated into Renault Trucks Defense. Simca disappeared in 1970 after spending more than a decade under Chrysler ownership.

French cars aside, the property also hides examples of the iconic Volkswagen Beetle and Fiat 500. I also spotted a couple of American rigs, including what appears to be a 1937 Plymouth DeLuxe. These Mopars are extremely rare in Europe.

So what are all these cars doing here? Well, it looks like they've been sitting for decades, so it's safe to assume they were simply left behind when the mansion was abandoned. The owner likely ran a repair shop.

Many of these cars are still in relatively good shape, given how long they've been sitting. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like they're going anywhere soon, so I have a feeling they will eventually rot away beyond salvation. Check them out in the video below. The car footage starts at the 16-minute mark.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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