It was a private museum that had been closed for years.
Teenagers broke into an old building in the city of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, only to discover a massive collection of classic cars with a thick layer of dust covering them. The kids filmed their escapades and shared the video through a WhatsApp group. Now, it has become a police matter.
The vehicles belonged to a collector who basically kept a private museum there. In addition to the cars, there was a technical library, various parts for the machines, a collection of gas pumps, and even a reconstruction of an old coffee shop.
The vehicles in the building spanned the period from the 1920s to the 1970s, including a Ford Model T and Citroën DS. The first floor alone included a Chevrolet Corvair, 1952 Chevrolet Styleline, Fiat 124 Sport Coupé, Simca 8, Renault Dauphine, Morris Oxford, and Hudson Hornet. All of them were complete, and the license plates indicated they hadn’t been on the road in decades.
On a second floor, rare vehicles were on wooden planks that appeared ready to collapse. The machines included an Austin A90 Atlantic coupe and convertible, Chrysler Airflow, 1938 and 1940 Ford coupes, a 1951 Ford van, Standard Vanguard, Renault Gordini, Ford Consul, Ford Taunus, and even a three-wheeled Goliath pickup truck!
This private museum was never been open to the general public. Until the 1990s or 2000s, it was visited only by collectors and friends of the owner. Time passed, and the owner locked the building. Among the heirs who were twins, one wanted to keep the collection together, and the other preferred to sell everything.
Storming The Castle
Over time, the place began to look abandoned. The bushes grew tall on the land, and dust took over the cars. That was when, one Thursday afternoon, a group of 10 teenagers, who were around 15 years old, decided that it was time to find out what was inside that “castle” and invaded the private property.
They broke into the collection and got into the cars without the slightest ceremony. They screamed with excitement at their magnificent “discovery.” Instead of keeping it a secret, they preferred to film everything and spread the images through WhatsApp. The next day, the police were already on the scene, and the cops were in contact with the kids’ parents.
Now that they have been alerted, the owners have already taken some of the cars to another location. They washed the Fiat 124 Sport Coupé and put it up for sale for R$65,000 ($12,372 at current exchange rates). A truck removed the Citroën DS and Renault Dauphine from the site.
If there’s a bright spot from this, it’s that the new owners can return some of these vehicles to the streets and take them to car shows, so that people can appreciate them.
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