What did your crazy uncle leave you in his inheritance? Big Mouth Billy Bass? His favorite pair of long johns, with the button flap in the back? If you were lucky, maybe some old baseball cards? That’s the kind of thing Harold Carr’s nieces and nephews expected when their uncle left them the contents of his garage, which had been locked up for the last 40 years.
When they went inside, and cleaned off all the dust, they found a trove of classic cars, including a 1937 Bugatti racing car, one of only 17 left in the world. Thanks, crazy uncle Harold!
Carr was a severe obsessive compulsive, though apparently a useful one since his obsession was to hoard sports cars: also in the garage were a Jaguar and an Aston Martin. But the Bugatti Type 57S Atalante is the true star: when it goes up for sale, some estimates have it going for a record $10 million.
He drove the car for a few years but by the early 1960s it was parked in his garage, where it remained until after his death. It has exceptional originality, retaining original chassis, engine and drivetrain. Even the odometer reading gives a mileage of only 26,284, despite the vehicle being almost 72 years old.
Between then and his death at the age of 89 in 2007, Dr Carr left the sports car to gather dust in his garage, ignoring the dozens of letters from would-be buyers who knew of its whereabouts.
A severe obsessive compulsive who never married or had children, the former surgeon grew increasingly reclusive in his later years. The letters were discovered only when the property was cleared out.
Dr Carr’s nephew said: “It was one of the original supercars. When it was built it could reach 130mph when most cars could only do 50.”