A 1960 MG MGA roadster was found in Dorset, covered in debris and stored in a garage for about 20 years.
The vehicle was discovered by the auctioneer Charterhouse after being instructed by the executor to visit a cottage near Shaftesbury to identify valuable items, only to find the wrecked engine in the garage.
After removing the MGA from among piles of wood, plastic, cables and general household waste, the car is set to be auctioned off in April at an estimated value of between £ 8,000 and £ 15,000.
Fully restored, it could be worth up to £ 44,000, experts say.
Buried Treasure: This 1960 MG roadster has been in a garage for about 20 years and is hidden under a pile of debris, clutter, and trash. After it has been taken out of the warehouse, it will go under the hammer in April
The car, painted in Iris Blue, was believed to have been lost after being stored about two decades ago.
However, after significant excavation by auctioneers in January, it will find a new owner when it goes under the hammer in an online auction at the Haynes International Motor Museum in Sparkford, Somerset on April 11th.
Charterhouse, which revealed the details of the find to Hagerty, said the 1960 model – license plate 190 RTJ – had completely flat tires and sagging seats after the open engine carried the weight of the clutter for nearly 20 years.
Boxes, cans, broken wicker furniture and even the chassis of a remote-controlled car had been strewn across the body and the interior for years and seemingly stacked on top of each other.
Richard Bromell, director of the auction house who was on site to locate the vehicle, said it had always been a childhood dream “to drive through the countryside in search of classic cars and classic cars that have been locked away for years”.
The auctioneers were directed by the executor to visit a cottage near Shaftesbury to evaluate the items on the property, only to find the car among cans, plastic, broken furniture, and even the chassis of a remote-controlled car
Auctioneers said it was a tedious process last month removing the car from the garage where it has been standing for two decades
The interior of the car was full of boxes and other clutter. Now removed and freed from rubbish, it will be auctioned in April
He told the classic car insurer, “Although it is rare, there are still discoveries like this beautiful MG today, although it took a long time to dig it out of the garage.”
He said the discovery of the car was part of an extended effort to locate valuables on the owner’s property after their death.
While jobs like this typically take two days to complete, the auctioneers, who specialize in everything from silver, jewelry, watches, and wine to watches, coins, stamps, and vehicles, said they were on site for a total of 10 days.
Next to the car, the auctioneers found photographs that documented the history of the classic car.
The car is expected to sell between £ 8,000 and £ 12,000 even in its current condition. Experts say it could be worth up to £ 44,000
Next to the car, the auctioneers found photos that document the history of the classic car. The picture here shows the car in far better condition than it is now
It turned out that the MGA had undergone a partial restoration in the 1980s, but was put in the garage shortly after and before an engine conversion could be completed.
Photos also showed that the car had arrived at the cabin about 50 years ago and was driven by the hands of three owners from the same family, who all lived in the same thatched 16th-century cabin over time.
“The car appears to have been physically restored and then driven back to the garage to work on the engine, and maybe it all got too much or life got in the way and it went unfinished there,” Bromell said to Hagerty.
“If the engine were reassembled it would be a nice Sunday driver, the perfect car to get out of the morning and pick up the papers, eggs, and bacon, and it would get a lot of attention along the way.”
Photos were found documenting a partial restoration in the 1980s just before the MG was put in the garage
The restoration work three decades ago consisted mainly of body and chassis overhauls. Work on the engine was never completed, says Charterhouse
The photograph also confirms that the car arrived at the cabin about 50 years ago and was driven by the hands of three owners from the same family, who all lived in the same thatched 16th-century cabin over time
The auction house, which estimates the car’s value at £ 8,000 to £ 12,000, said the car’s mileage cannot be verified.
However, the multitude of documents and accompanying photos that fully document the gradual steps of the unfinished restoration could be used to clarify its authenticity.
If the winner is willing to spend the necessary funds to get the best out of him, he could make a small profit.
Hagerty, who lists the values of all classic cars in his price guide, says a mint condition concours version of the MGA, unveiled at Earl’s Court Show in October 1955, could be worth up to £ 44,000.
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