It’s never nice to see great works of art rotting away. And the most luxurious and exotic cars in the world can definitely be placed in that category of art. Enzo Ferrari famously called his work functioning art pieces (paraphrasing there) and taking one look at the car named after him, you can see why. But we’ll get to the Ferrari Enzo soon enough.
Gearheads and motoring enthusiasts hate to see great cars in poor condition but, nonetheless, it’s a common fact of life. Not every supercar or luxury vehicle has a great fate—especially in countries outside of the US. But even in the States, there are cars abandoned all over the roads. Most of them end up getting confiscated by authorities so they don’t clog up the roadways and create an eyesore. They are then usually auctioned off or used for spare parts for other cars.
In other countries, there are literally airport parking lots filled with the nicest cars you’ll ever see covered in dust and rot and filth. That’s because, in many other countries, not paying your debts on time is an offense and the owners of these exotic cars are forced to flee the country before they are picked up by the law. But they leave in their wake some of the nicest cars imaginable.
In other parts of the world, the cars that are seized by the police are then used by the police. Why let a good car go—especially if your department is driving old, outdated cars—when you could flip it on the bad guys and use it to catch them?
Here are 20 seized cars that have unfortunately been left to rot away.
20 Ferrari Enzo In Dubai
There are plenty of beautiful luxury and exotic cars rotting away in police centers and auction houses but one car you might not expect is the ultra-rare Ferrari Enzo. They debuted with an MSRP of $670,000 but are now worth between $1.6 and $3 million. This car was left in Dubai by an expat from Britain, who fled the country because of a large debt he owed. He fled the country to avoid incarceration, leaving behind his beautiful, cherry-red Ferrari. The car ended up going up for auction, in what might have been the most expensive police sale in history. This isn’t the first or the last abandoned supercar in the Middle East—they’re all over the place.
19 This Range Rover
Here’s another luxury car that was abandoned for good in Dubai, this one in an airport. Each year, roughly 3,000 luxury cars are abandoned in UAE airport parking lots by visitors and expats escaping the country because of debts they owe (usually). These cars become covered in layers of accumulated dust and locals come to write stuff on the windshields through the dust. There is just about every luxury car you could think of in these parking lots, from Ferraris to Lamborghinis to this Range Rover. Under Sharia Law, not paying your debts on time is an offense, which means the owners of these cars felt they had no choice but to flee the country.
18 This Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren
One of the coolest cars from the first decade of the 21st century was created when two huge car companies teamed up: Mercedes-Benz and McLaren, to make the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. It’s quite a rarity to see one of these cars these days, so you might be even more surprised to find one abandoned in a parking lot in the Czech Republic. This car’s actually been sitting abandoned since 2011, when it was impounded by authorities. The authorities, unfortunately, turned to the usual storage procedure of letting this 617-hp beauty rot away. There are many buyers interested in this $300,000 supercar but there are tons of legal issues that arise with the rotting car being technically owned by authorities.
17 This Gold-Plated Infiniti G37
At first glance, judging by the crowd forming and the care that the authorities are taking with confiscating it, you’d think this was a $5-million Lamborghini owned by Justin Bieber or something. In fact, it’s just an Infiniti G37—but it IS gold-plated, making it much more noteworthy than most other G37s. This little exhibition is taking place in a province in China, when the owners of a jewelry store thought they’d come up with a good publicity stunt with this car. Then they tried to park it but forgot to get it taxed and registered, so it was towed away by authorities. It probably wasn’t the publicity stunt they were hoping for but with the crowd it created, maybe it all worked out after all!
16 These Old Police Toyotas And Hondas
Peshawar is a province near Afghanistan and like many other Middle Eastern areas, it has its problems with abandoned cars. In this place, however, the police manage to get away with “borrowing” these luxury cars and driving (or owning) them for themselves. Instead of patrolling in bulky police vans or sluggish cars, senior and junior officials are often seen driving around in sleek Corollas and Land Cruisers, metallic vans, and other cool cars that aren’t typically in the police budget. These cars are not bought or leased, they’re obtained at second-hand car shops and impounded by the police from various culprits of various offenses.
15 Rusty Property Vehicles In Police Station
The pictures you see above are the before, so to speak, of the cars seized by authorities in Peshawar. They find these Corollas and Hondas and the like and then fix them up and get to drive them around themselves. Many of these late-model vehicles—including wagons, pickup trucks, and motorcycles—have no formal documentation, such as proof of ownership or shipping details. They go unsuspectingly into the local customs lots, they remain unregistered, and they can easily be used by the police. They can also easily be moved to other parts of the country, if someone wanted to do that...
14 Rusty Cars From Different Property Cases
Here we see the red markings that police make on cars, with the markings designating what property case the car belonged to. This is their way of keeping track of the overabundance of abandoned and seized cars they have in their lots. Under the law, the police are responsible for handing over all vehicles that get confiscated. They are then supposed to label each item. But this doesn’t always happen. Once the property’s particulars are noted, its owner is given a six-month period to claim the vehicle. But this rarely happens, since the cars seized were usually owned by questionable characters. So then, they belong to the police, to do as they want with them.
13 Police Impounded Cars Abandoned On The Roads
Sometimes, the police stations become too packed with the amount of seized and confiscated cars they have in their lots and they have to put them somewhere. Typically because of overcrowding, after a certain time period elapses, they’ll abandon huge shipments of cars on the side of the road, dumping them off and allowing people to have their way with the parts. According to Ishfaw Anwar, in an interview with Dawn, each police station in Peshawar has a junkyard with over 100 cars abandoned and there are at least 100 hospitals and other stations with the same amount of abandoned or seized cars. So there’s really not enough room for all of them. Officers pick their favorites, then dump the rest.
12 Rusty Dumped Toyota Corolla
Here we see an old, rusty Toyota Corolla that is just barely teetering on the edge of this trailer before it plunges into the canal below. This is another property case vehicle that was found dumped by the Pishtakhara Police on the bank near Ring Road. Rims and tires are missing from the car (because those are worth money), as is much of the interior. This car and others like it have been in these spots for a long time and there doesn’t seem to be any way to get rid of them. It’s difficult to find a solution for the process of exchanging abandoned and seized cars in Peshawar.
11 This Bulletproof Range Rover At A Customs Yard
It’s sad to see this N298M Range Rover, which is bulletproof, rotting away at a customs yard. It clearly belonged to some dignitary or important political person, because who else needs bulletproof cars? Indeed, this particular Range Rover Sport belonged to Senate President Bukola Saraki, from Nigeria. It’s now rotting away at the NCS (Nigeria’s Customs Service) yard, where it sat for nine months. Sources said the vehicle was seized after the chassis number of the car was found to be held over from “evasion of Customs duties” and for having fake documents. After seizing the car, it became “government property,” though whether that’s legal or not, we don’t know.
10 This Row Of Luxury Cars In Delhi
There are 20 luxury cars and bikes that the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) impounded in Delhi, and that’s where the cars sit, awaiting their fate (which isn’t looking good). For many owners of these luxury cars, apparently, it is cheaper to let their cars stay safely parked here, gathering dust, instead of paying hefty duties and fines that are involved in importing them. As you can see, there are Lexuses, Bentleys, Range Rovers, and more all sitting in a neat row here, looking a bit worse for wear. Guards roam these premises but people often come by inquiring about “recruitment” into various military forces, with the actual intent of just getting a glimpse of these cars.
9 This Abandoned Chevy SUV
Exotic and luxury cars aren’t just abandoned in Middle East countries or in other parts of the world—we have our own abandonment issues right here in the US. Namely, in New York City. The city is already hostile to automobiles and there are tons of rusty husks of steel just left out to rot on public property, existing as ornamental pieces for photographers’ galleries and portfolios. For instance, this abandoned Chevrolet SUV, which has clearly seen better days, was one of the cars lucky enough to find its way to an auction. The auction was held at Ken Ben, with a group of NYPD officers inspecting all the cars before they went on the slate.
8 Assorted Rolls-Royces And Bentleys In Lagos
Here’s another picture of some very sleek, very expensive luxury cars that are all sitting impounded in Lagos. Here we see an assortment of Bentleys, Rolls-Royces, and more. They were seized by the Nigeria Customs Service as contraband items: 31 assorted vehicles in all. Most of these vehicles were intercepted along the Ijebu Ode Expressway, while others were evacuated during various raids. The owners of these vehicles were urged to come forward to claim their cars with valid customs clearance documents, otherwise, they’d be liable to seizure and subsequent forfeiture within the boundaries of the laws. Judging by the way they were confiscated, we can’t imagine that too many of these awesome cars were claimed.
7 This Aston Martin Vantage In Mumbai
India is another country where countless exotic and luxury cars go to pass the time and rot away. Car enthusiasts love keeping cars in top condition, which is why it’s so painful to see so many extraordinary vehicles gathering dust and rotting. This Aston Martin Vantage is a great example of a $150,000 car that is an absolute beauty on wheels—in any other situation. Here, it looks sad, surrounded by a blue tarp and old trucks. It totally sticks out like a sore thumb, even with its impeccable, hand-built quality. This Vantage belonged to a famous personality in Delhi before it was seized by the DRI and it has been left to rot ever since.
6 This Porsche Carrera 2 Targa In Goa Customs
This Porsche Carrera 2 has obviously seen better days. It’s so heavily layered in dust that you almost can't tell what the car is—if it weren’t for the telltale headlights, that is. But you can’t even see through the windshield, at all! Popularly known as the Type 964 by Porsche enthusiasts, the Carrera 2 Targa was the rear-wheel drive model of the car. The removable Targa roof makes it a bit of a rarity to have after production ended. That’s another reason gearheads hate to see the car like this now—covered in filth and hand-drawn graffiti. This model is lying around in Goa waiting for the owner to clear customs.
5 This Blue Rolls-Royce Ghost Seized By Cops
The Rolls-Royce Ghost is no ordinary luxury car, especially when it’s colored blue and gray like this one. This is one of the most luxurious cars in the world, made by one of the most famous luxury car brands ever. Even though it might be one of the cheapest cars sharing the Rolls-Royce badge, it still runs upwards of $311,000! To see one dusting and rotting away like this is truly a travesty. This car carries a price tag that could probably buy the entire lot that it’s sitting in. The luxury car was abandoned in Bengalaru, in India, where it still sits.
4 This Classic Rolls-Royce
This appears to be an old model of the Rolls-Royce Phantom, the company’s most popular brand and flagship model. New versions of this car go for $450,000! This is clearly no way to treat a Rolls-Royce, but what can you do? According to data released by the car company itself, about 65% of all Rolls-Royces ever sold by the company are still operating in the world. The cars are built to last. Unfortunately, this Phantom is still out there, but clearly not “operating” by any means. This Phantom was abandoned at a port in South India, where authorities then seized it.
3 This Old Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow
This old Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow has clearly seen better days. Left to rust in the shadows, with a bevy of littering underneath it, is no place to house your classic luxury car. Built between 1965 and 1980, this Rolls was abandoned in India, like so many others, and left to rot. It was originally found in a farm, then seized, then abandoned once again. When a Rolls-Royce owner decides to stop using their car, it seems like an angel loses its wings, because no one likes to see a vintage car of this nature and esteem become relegated to such a fate. It’s a sad day for gearheads everywhere!
2 This “White” Range Rover
Here’s another beautiful Range Rover—one of the best and most luxurious SUVs around—that was left to a dismal fate in India. You can tell this car used to be white, but it’s become brown and splotchy from months in the elements. The robust SUV has a good reputation of being made with quality products but not every Range Rover is treated equally. This RR Sport is standing deserted in one of Mumbai’s police stations, but it’s unsure why it’s been abandoned there for so long. Hopefully, someone, someday, comes forward to claim their beauty before it’s trashed in the junkyard forever and used for spare parts.
1 This Abandoned Lamborghini Gallardo
As the king of exotic supercars—or at least, on par with Ferrari—you might’ve shed a tear when you saw the shape this Lamborghini Gallardo was in. The Gallardo supercar isn’t even made anymore, making it more of a rarity than ever—and to make matters worse, this is the ONLY Gallardo Balboni limited-edition car in India and there are only a few left throughout the world. This limited edition Lambo met its unfortunate fate after meeting with an accident on the roads of Delhi and since then, no one has come forward to try to repair it, which means this rarest piece of art has been left to wallow away!
Sources: Cartoq, Jalopnik, Dawn, Premiere Zone, and India Times.