Automotive

Published on August 26th, 2020 | by Amirul Mukminin

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Millionaire Bought 50 Classic Cars and Left Them to Rot in a Forest

Most millionaires who own a collection of classic cars probably keep them in the best possible condition (e.g. in a garage) to preserve their value and condition. But not Michael Froehlich. The former racing driver from Germany had the craziest idea for his 50th birthday which he celebrated in 2000. He went and bought 50 classic cars and left them all to rot in a forest near his home in Mettmann on purpose.

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This might be a painful sight for classic car lovers but to Froehlich, it is his very own pride and joy that he dubs “Auto Skulpturenpark” or Auto Sculpture Park. According to him, this is a place where he can demonstrate that nature is stronger than human technology. And indeed it is.

Interestingly, all the residents of the park were made in 1950, the same year he was born. Each and every one of them was tracked down and purchased by Froehlich himself and was in running condition when brought here. But now these pieces of history are all covered with rust and moss. Some are in even worse conditions – crashed against trees and half buried in mud.

Regardless of what Froehlich thinks about his park or why he decided to have one, it is a crying shame to see these cars deteriorate because his collection includes some of the world’s most prestigious automobiles. For instance, there is a Jaguar XK120 which used to be his race car. A quick search on RM Sotheby’s website shows that the roadster can fetch anywhere between £89,600 and £320,000.

One particular car that caught my attention is a gold-tinted Rolls-Royce with a statue of Queen Elizabeth behind the wheel. If that is not weird enough, the car has a ‘Buckingham Palace Shutter Service’ sticker emblazoned on the side with an F replacing the B. I can’t help but wonder where he got that car from.

Other notable members of the collection include a big black Buick, which looks like a Special, a Volkswagen Type 2, a Cadillac, a BMW 340 as well as a Porsche 356. Froehlich also went the extra mile to find a piece of the Berlin Wall and make it the pièce de résistance of his park.

However, it is understood that Froehlich rarely lets outsiders visit his park. He might have his own reasons but I think it is to save people from the agony of witnessing beautiful vintage cars dying a slow death.

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