Last week we posted an article featuring a series of abandoned motorsports car images that stirred up a ton of emotion, and an equal ammount of interest in tracking down these perceivably forgotten cars.
Over the past week, we've been able to get more information on many of the cars in the piece. Here's what we know as of now:
The Lancia Stratos
It seems from at least 2 sources that the car was too damaged to bring back from an incident at a Kenyan Rally, so it was left at a ranch there. Eventually it ws put in a storage container and returned to Biela Italy for full restoration at Facetti - a reputable restoration shop. Disaster averted.
We were unsuccessful in finding any updated pictures of the car, but have been assured it is in good hands. Let's hope
The Peugeot 905s
They're not abandoned. Reader Allan Walsh provided some valuable background, and we dug a little deeper. That led us to this link, which, although in French, details things much better. At least the pictures make us feel better about things.
They reside in a 'rustic' shop, as Allan so eloquently put it, named Ecurie Europe, where they appear to be competing for attention with several other highly desirable projects. The shop appears to be top-rate, and is so busy with work that several of the projects are stored in conditions that are, let's just say not ideal, to some purists.
At least we know they're not forgotten. You can even see in these images they are actively the focus of well-deserved love.
The Mazda RX-3
We heard directly from reader David Meditz that the orange Mazda RX-3 belongs to him. The ex-SCCA ST-2 car is actually in his garage. The picture was taken some time ago when he was in Iraq, but the car is still in running and driving condition.
It simply received some significant body and frame damage from an incident, and he didn't have time to tend to it before leaving. Best of luck making her whole, David. Our readers are behind you.
The Formula Cars & Avanti
The pictures of the Ferrari Formula cars and the Avanti were part of a collection owned by noted Ferrari collector Walter Medlin of Kissimmee, Florida. According to an August 25, 2014 article in the Orlando Sentinel, when Hurricane Charley hit Florida in 2004, it blew by Medlin's lakefront Kissimmee home, ruining his metal barn on West Lake Tohopekaliga, which, sadly, held 18 Ferraris and a Studebaker Avanti.
According to the Sentinel, "Years earlier, Medlin had invited automotive writer Bill Warner to take a look at the barn's contents that were estimated to be worth $50 million to $60 million. Within months of Hurricane Charley, the IRS filed a $3 million tax lien against him and seized a 1967 Ferrari 330 P4 valued at $10 million.
Shown a picture of the destroyed barn, Warner said it held different cars but estimated a Ferrari 275GTB and a Formula 1 race car in the wreckage might be worth $1.5 million. Days later, the vehicles were removed to an undisclosed location.
In 2005, as the IRS auction of the 12-cylinder race car was going to be held, Medlin paid the $3 million he had owed since the 1980s.
"I'm sure he's very happy," said his Orlando attorney, Mark Horwitz, after Medlin's payment stopped the sale." The 71 year-old Medlin is currently serving out a 30 month prison sentence for tax evasion.
We were unable to find any recent authenticated images of the cars. Let's hope the 'undisclosed location' better protects these treasures, and that they're getting the attention they need.
The Toyota F1 car
There have been unsubstantiated reports that the car pictures is nothing more than a promotional simulator used at shows. Let's hope that's the case.
The Renault Alpines
We wish we had better news for these cars, but alas, it doesn't sound good - and it may be far more tragic than we originally thought. According to this piece by the wonderful site carbuildindex.com, somewhere deep in Provence, France, the Alpines are part of a collection of roughly 60ish deteriorating, rotting and dilapidating classic cars, left outside exposed to the elements to return to the earth. Even more shocking is that their owner is ex-race car driver Gerard Gombert. One would think an ex-driver would hold such things dearer.
As stated in this piece from their site, "The obviously eccentric man last parked the cars there sometime in the 70′s, and include many gems such as a Gordini R8 and an R12, a Lamborghini Miura engine, an AC Cobra, a BMW 700 Coupe and many others as witnessed in the collection of photos on the following page. One of the many crown jewels is a Renault Alpine A210 that he won his class with at the 1968 Le Mans, still wearing its victory wreath on its roof. But before getting too excited at the magnitude of possibilities that these pictures and story here present I should forewarn that his sacrilegious and soulless last request is that the whole lot of them are crushed upon his death. We can’t imagine an acceptable answer why, we can only hope that there is some form of intervention and amendment before that atrocity can occur, or that his estate lawyer is a fellow gear head and his family will intervene to save them from being destroyed. Tell us that this ain’t true!"
Well said, guys.