Some might say that these rides are better off being left behind instead of locked away in a museum. This can lead to some tremendous barn finds as we’ve seen in the past. The only problem with this, the car tends to lose so much value the more it stays outdoors or in a barn untouched, especially in the case of race cars. These rides need to be restored and properly maintained. If not, it’ll lead to some poor outcomes as you’ll see in this article. Whether you’re a fan of Formula 1 or rally cars, prepare to be dumbfounded at the conditions of these former racers nowadays. From scrap yards to backyards to barns, these legendary race cars have been completely forgotten about.
Among the notable rides featured includes a former F1 car driven by the great Jacques Villeneuve during his Williams days. We’ll also shed some light on a forgotten Ferrari 250 GTO. Lancia, Porsche, Peugeot, Bugatti, and BMW are just some of the other abandoned rides to be featured in this article. In one specific case, a race car collector saw his set of F1 cars worth more than $50 million get completely destroyed because of a hurricane. Whenever you’re having a bad day, just think about that poor dude who got back a measly $3 million in insurance money.
Enjoy the article, folks, and like always, be sure to share it with a friend. Without further ado, here are 18 sad photos of race cars that were left behind. Let’s get started!
18 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3 Rally
It’s not in the worst condition, especially in comparison to other rides on the list. However, the ride still sits alone on the grass out in the open. The only thing protecting the ride is a couple of sheets on the interior windows. Aside from that, the car just stands there untouched out in the open.
The Evo 3 has a strong history with Mitsubishi. It became the first ride to win a WRC title for the car company. It has a storied history as a rally car, including enjoying its biggest success throughout the '90s.
17 Williams FW20B F1 Race Car
The great Jacques Villeneuve signed his first F1 deal with the Williams team. He made an instant impact by placing second during his first race. This wasn't replicated till Lewis Hamilton did the same over a decade later.
He ultimately finished second in his debut season with Williams, a remarkable accomplishment. Speaking of remarkable, his old Williams ride is completely abandoned these days, and it appears to be in rusty condition.
Villeneuve himself likely doesn’t care for the ride all that much; his feelings towards Williams’s future in F1 isn’t the greatest despite his history with the team:
"'The team is dead,' he told Motorsport-Total.com. 'There is no management. There was a choice back then [in 2013]; you either put the heiress or the heir [in charge]. And they put Claire instead of Jonathan [Williams, Claire's brother]. Big mistake. Obviously, just look where the team is at now.'"
16 Dirt-Track-Oval Race Car
This abandoned find is thanks to the Moto Broo via YouTube. During his journey to find a moto ramp, the biker instead stumbled upon this abandoned ride in an area that happened to be completely secluded. The biker thought it was a NASCAR ride. However, it was later deemed as an abandoned dirt-track-oval race car.
The modified ride was just lying there completely out in the open with various parts disassembled and just laying there on the side. We hope someone gave it attention; however, in truth, it's likely still in the same place and still completely untouched.
15 Vintage F1 Rides (Including Ferrari)
It might resemble a pile of complete junk or, for an Italian family, something that resembles their basement or garage. The sad reality of this image: there's a lot of value completely buried and destroyed. Among the collection is a Ferrari Formula 1 ride along with some other racers from the past. According to 95 Customs, the junk belongs to Walter Medlin, a Florida man known for collecting Ferrari models.
Sadly, the destruction wasn’t his fault.
Hurricane Charley is the reason for the destroyed cars out in his backyard area.
The barn had an insane worth prior to the hurricane. As you might imagine, he was awarded with peanuts from the IRS and nothing close to the actual value.
14 Toyota F1 Car
Just imagine driving down the street and casually seeing a Honda F1 car routinely parked out in the open and surrounded by bricks that are holding it in place along with old dirty leaves that might've been under the car for years. Sadly, nobody rescued the ride, and it was seized in Dubai after failed payments.
Nobody rescued Toyota’s racing history in F1 either... Their roots in the racing world began way back in 1957. They didn’t have the best history in F1 during the 2000s. Eventually, their spot was given to Sauber, and the car company fled from F1 in 2010. They endured eight seasons before calling it a day.
13 Caterham CT05 F1 Car
There's something about an abandoned F1 car that just breaks our hearts. However, this abandoned ride has a better conclusion compared to most of the other racers on this list. According to Road and Track, the current owner of the Caterham plans to restore the race car after completely abandoning it in his shed for years.
The Caterham F1 team completely abandoned their headquarters after a failed stint in the racing business.
Ultimately Kevin Thomas was the one that ended up with the F1 ride. As for his reason for restoring the abandoned ride, it's actually quite admirable:
"I'm not rich, don't have a Ferrari, and work in a normal job for a normal company, I have built this car back up as I owe it the dignity a Grand Prix car deserves." (Source Daily Mail)
12 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia
“This is a car that had many different lives. Here’s a twin-plug competition car, re-bodied to carry its current torpedo body. It has been known to have belonged to René Dreyfus, then lost in a card game in Paris. It was pushed into the lake, it became a part of local lore, it became a tourist attraction. Depending on what part of its lifespan you focus on, you come away with a different appreciation.”
Talk about a story, huh? The car currently sits in a museum. Andrew Reilly, the museum curator details its wacky history in the quote above. Shockingly, the Bugatti was found underwater in a lake 73 years later. Built in 1925, the roadster had quite the speed capabilities of near 100 miles per hour – during the 1920s that was a great accomplishment. Despite its sad condition, the historical ride sold for $360,000.
11 The Graveyard
Some of us cringe at the visual of a broken-down abandoned race car. Dale Earnhardt Jr. chooses to see things in a different light. The NASCAR driver instead celebrates the rides... well sort of.
In one of the most bizarre things you’ll ever see, Dale created a NASCAR graveyard featuring several broken down racers from the past.
He basically sticks them anywhere in the forest, including on top of a tree as you see in the photo above.
According to Jalopnik, Dale ships the collision rides to his cemetery and basically puts them on display. Among his notable “treasures” includes Danica Patrick’s broken-down Wonder Woman ride from the Go Bowling 500.
10 Lancia Stratos Rally
Sadly, the rally car just sits in complete abandonment in some scrap yard. It’s broken down, to say the least. But hey, the animals seem to be enjoying the ride!
Lancia Stratos had a short run in the automotive business. The company produced a sports car along with the rally car you see above. The racer had a great run as a rally car, winning the World Rally Championship in three consecutive years during the 1970s (1974, 1975, and 1976). The Lancia legacy is still alive today with several replicas and concept vehicles.
9 Peugeot 905s
This race car was officially unveiled back in February of 1990. It would later make its racing debut during the World Sportscar Championship season by appearing in both the Montreal and Mexico circuits. The peak run for the race car took place in 1992, when it won the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. It only took part in 17 races, but it won more than half of them with 9 victories.
Along with its success, the race car has a unique and futuristic look. Sadly, nowadays, it’s just wasting away outside of a French shop. The car hasn’t been restored, and it remains in the same condition these days.
8 Mazda RX-3
According to Road and Track, this ride is among the greatest Mazda sleepers of all time.
The RX-3 has some deceptive power with 400 hp — that’s something you just don’t see every day with a Mazda.
Celebrity Jay Leno noticed the ride and was stunned by its performance capabilities.
David Meditz is the current owner of this beaten-down Mazda RX-3 rally car, according to 95 Customs. It seems to be rusting away in his garage these days. Clearly, the Mazda hasn’t been touched or restored in any capacity. Despite the poor condition of its frame, the ride is apparently still running and driveable.
7 Renault Alpine M65
Alpine began manufacturing in 1955. They created both sports and racing cars. Alpine maintained a tight relationship with Renault. In fact, in 1973, Renault officially bought the company. Production officially ended in 1995. However, it will excite fans of the French car manufacturer that they recently relaunched with the Alpine A110.
That’s the good news. The condition of this car is the dark side. Oddly enough, ex-racer Gerard Gombert is the one that owns this former racer. We say "oddly" because you'd think he would've kept the ride in better condition. The reality is that it’s completely rusty and covered in dirt and leaves. The car has just sat in the backyard for years, deteriorating day after day.
6 Gremlin Drag Car
If you thought a Gremlin had no business being on the road, we can only imagine the way you might feel given its short-lived racing history. However, Gremlin did, in fact, create a rally car that might look just as bad as the actual everyday-driver Gremlins. Some might say it’s for the best that the car remains left behind these days.
Meant to be a subcompact automobile, the car entered the market during the wacky '70s era. Turns out, folks back then weren’t feeling wacky enough to give this car a legitimate chance.
Despite over 600,000 models created (mainly due to the cheap costs), the ride wasn't to be, and it vanished during the later portion of the '70s.
For what it’s worth, the car was better as a drag racer than as an everyday ride.
5 Maserati A6G Gran Sport
“It is a model with its roots in racing, the twin-cam engine (introduced in 1954) derived from that of the A6GCS and A6GCM race cars of the time.”
David Lillywhite of Drive My gives us a little insight into the beauty of this ride behind the hood. It’s a performance beast and one of the biggest Maserati legends. However, what if we told you that alongside a Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider, it just rusted away in a shed? Yup, it’s true.
Despite its diminished condition, the rare ride sold for over $2 million at auction.
As for the changes to the car, the auction winner made the car drivable once again by changing the fluids, spark plugs, and points.
4 Devin SS Race Car
Talk about a vintage barn find... This race car dates back to the mid-1950s. According to Barn Finds & Deals, the ride was untouched for over 30 years and found in a garage.
The Devin SS has a racing history over in California. It was eventually put to rest in the '70s and kept in a Connecticut garage since. Its condition is pretty bad, according to the publication:
“There is no motor or transmission, but it does roll and steer.”
The condition on the outside isn’t great either. Clearly, the race car was poorly maintained even before its time of abandonment.
3 Mirage M2-BRM
Unlike the other rides, despite its abandonment, the car appears to be in decent shape. In all likelihood, it was at least covered despite being another race car that was totally left behind.
Mirage entered the racing business alongside the Gulf Oil Corporation.
The car was no pushover back in its heyday; it finished in top positions throughout the mid to the late '70s.
The M12 was the final version created. The ride shown above, the M2, was built way back in the late 1960s. Unfortunately, the model wasn’t used as much compared to the other racers.
2 Porsche Rally Car
This ride is in absolutely poor shape. The ride is parked in the grass and surrounded by dirt and trees. Whoever owned this ride didn’t even bother to cover up the exterior nor the interior. It was completely left out in the cold and forgotten about. The Porsche is filled with rust and dents to make matters that much worse.
Porsche has a pretty lengthy history in motorsports dating back to the 1950s. The Porsche 917 became one of the all-time greats in the late 1960s. The Porsche 935 Turbo and the 911 Carrera RS also turned into legends of the auto track during the '70s.
1 Ferrari 250 GTO
“It was 1982, and the Ferrari, with hand-applied red paint, windows missing, and an interior strewn with dead leaves, was astride a trailer in a field in Cleveland, Ohio.”
Classic & Performance Car details the tragedy behind this gem. The previous owner had donated the ride to a school. Due to high maintenance costs, the school had to give up the ride. It led to its complete abandonment after being towed, and it was basically left to die in a field on top of a rusty old trailer. Thankfully, a man from Switzerland ended the madness, and it finally has a home.
The 250 GTO branched into auto racing during the early 1960s. It impressed during the decade by taking home several victories.