When their uncle passed away at the age of 89, a brother and sister from Newcastle, U.K., inherited his old, dirty garage and all its contents.
No one seemed to know the uncle, Dr. Harold Carr, stored a vintage Bugatti in the garage, according to Little Things. Carr was an eccentric recluse and his relatives had no idea he’d been hiding such a valuable car all these years.
“It was a bit of local folklore that he had a Bugatti, but no one knew for sure, and certainly no one knew what it was worth,” his nephew told the Mirror.
Not just any Bugatti, the vehicle is a Bugatti Type 57S Atalante -- one of the rarest in the world -- estimated to be worth $8.5 million.
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The vehicle was just one of 17 ever created of its class and was made on May 5, 1937. Not much is known about the exceptional car, except that it was first owned by a member of the British aristocracy.
Francis Curzon, the fifth Earl Howe, who was a member of Britain's parliament and a car-racing enthusiast, was the first owner of the Atalante. The earl then sold the Bugatti to London dealer, Car-Mart, where it went to a showroom and was repainted a maroon color.
The car was ultimately purchased by Carr in 1955 and parked in his garage from the 1960s -- when its tags expired -- until it was discovered in 2007, after his death, according to Autoweek.
The doctor had a fondness for mechanical things and his nephew recalls “… when he tinkered with his cars … he wore a piece of rubber tube round his head to stop the oil [from] getting in his hair.”
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When Carr died in 2007, the Atalante was parked alongside a classic Aston Martin and littered with decades worth of letters from envious collectors offering to buy the automobile for large sums of money.
The Bugatti eventually sold for around $4.4 million at the Bonhams Retromobile auction in Paris on Feb. 7, 2009, and the proceeds were distributed up among his relatives.