Story of the French Sleeping Beauties

The Fate of the Sleeping BeautiesThe Fate of the Sleeping BeautiesThe Fate of the Sleeping BeautiesThe Fate of the Sleeping Beauties
Back in 1983, a set of images taken on a rural estate in France captured the attention of classic car lovers from around the world.The pictures revealed a previously unknown collection of Bugattis, Lancias, Ferraris, Alfa Romeos, Cords and Aston Martins that had been neglected for years. These vehicles became known as the “sleeping Beauties,” but vanished into anonymity for the next 25 years.

Fast-forwarding to 2010, we can finally see the complete story of the stunning collection told in “The Fate of the Sleeping Beauties”, a creation brought to us by Ard op de Weegh, Kay Hottendorff and Arnoud op de Weegh.

The authors needed three years of see what had happened to the cars. In 2007, they talked to the current owner, Michel Dovaz (79), who for 25 years had refused to give any details about his collection. Dovas has created the foreword for this book, explaining the reason behind his long period of complete silence.

Fortunately, many of the cars have been give a complete restoration, with the difficult process being shown in the book.

As the result of extensive and painstaking research by the authors and with the assistance of Dovaz, the history of each car is unveiled,” explained the press release.

For example, the cover illustration shows a 1928 Bugatti Type 44 Fiacre which was bought new by banker, Baron Léo d'Erlanger It was then sold and fitted with different headlights and wheels before Dovaz bought it in the 1950s. Stored in an open barn it soon deteriorated, as the cover photograph shows. In the 1990s it was sold and then restored to concours condition and subsequently displayed at the Louis Vuitton Classics show in 1997.

The book, which retails for GBP30, is now available in the UK in “all good bookshops” or direct from Veloce Publishing.
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About the author: Andrei Tutu
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In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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