Rare and Valuable Cars Found In Storage Units

What’s the one item that every storage auction hunter hopes to win at auction?

If you guessed mattresses, you’re incorrect. But nobody goes home empty handed, so you’re departing with this lovely parting gift: a year’s supply of turtle wax! If you guessed a car, congratulations!!! You get to leave with the satisfaction that you guessed correctly… and a year’s supply of turtle wax! Everybody’s a winner at StorageUnitAuctionList.

But in all seriousness, finding a car in storage unit auctions is part of why many people start attending storage auctions and it keeps people attending auctions for years. However, I’ve heard many people complain that this is uncommon and that things like that only happen on television; But it’s not as rare as you may think.

In the last three years alone, there have been several rare and valuable cars won in storage unit auctions! Let’s take a look and learn a bit more about three of these storage auction wins.

1957 Bel Air

This original car was found in a storage unit in 2012. For the age of the car, and the estimated time that it may have been in storage, the car is in fairly good condition. For a car enthusiast, this is a dream restoration project. Even for someone with little car knowledge, it is clear just how cool this car is.

1957 Bel Air

1966 Shelby Mustang

1966 Shelby Mustang is both vintage and rare. In 2011, inside a double-long storage unit, an auctioneer discovered this vehicle buried under what he called “the debris of life.” Fewer than 1,100 of the cars were ever made, making the discovery potentially worth as much as 2 million dollars. As you can see, the car cleaned up quite nicely.

shelby mustang


1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster

This car sat in storage for four decades in Greenwich before being discovered!



Do Your Research To Hunt Down Cars Inside Storage Units

How can you be one of the lucky storage auction hunters who finds a car? Well, in some instances, it may fall to Lady Luck, but you can do research ahead of time to try to find out more about the previous tenant-what their hobbies and interests were, what profession they worked in and other information that may help give your information on what you’ll find inside the unit on the day of the auction. To get this information, you can start by asking the facility manager about the tenant, and running with any information that they are willing to give out. You can also use the public notice information to get the tenant’s name and last known address. This information will allow you to begin searching online to find out what you can. When possible, use social media to get to know more and use this information to your advantage. Like in cards, you never want to show your hands, whatever information you find out, you’ll want to play close to the vest at the auction. Bragging about information may psyche out the competition, but it could also back fire and generate excitement on the unit and you could unintentionally create a bidding war.

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StorageUnitActionList.com, a member of the Self Storage Association, provides our customers with a comprehensive auction list in multiple auction formats for all 50 states and over 51,000 facilities. Subscribers can review over 10,000 auctions each month through their personal dashboard making storage auctions easy to find whether you’re treasure hunting for fun or running a profitable business.

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5 thoughts on “Rare and Valuable Cars Found In Storage Units”

  1. I don’t know where they get their information on cars, but the Mustang pictured is a stock factory convertible, not a Shelby.

  2. If that’s a ’66 Shelby convertible, it has the wrong grill and hood. And no Shelby Mustang has yet broken 1 million dollars at auction, so it’s highly unlikely that a car with the wrong grill and hood would be worth two million.

  3. I Found a rare 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass W31. I bought locker and they want give me the car. Say they don’t sale cars. I’m in North Carolna. I know other people who get to keep there cars. I got robbed.

  4. Hi Brian,

    It may be possible that the facility being extra cautious.

    When a storage facility holds an auction, there are many rules that they have to follow, and there are specific laws in NC regarding vehicles.

    (1) If the property upon which the lien is claimed is a motor vehicle, the lienor, following the expiration of the 15-day period provided by subsection (a), shall give notice to the Division of Motor Vehicles that a lien is asserted and that a sale is proposed. The lienor shall remit to the Division a fee of two dollars ($2.00); and shall also furnish the Division with the last known address of the occupant. The Division of Motor Vehicles shall issue notice by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested to the person having legal title to the vehicle, if reasonably ascertainable, and to the occupant, if different, at his last known address. The notice shall:
    a. State: (i) that a lien is being asserted against the specific vehicle by the lienor or owner of the self-service storage facility, (ii) that the lien is being asserted for rental charges at the self-service storage facility, (iii) the amount of the lien, and (iv) that the lienor intends to sell or otherwise dispose of the vehicle in satisfaction of the lien;
    b. Inform the person having legal title and the occupant of their right to a judicial hearing at which a determination will be made as to the validity of the lien prior to a sale taking place; and
    c. State that the legal title holder and the occupant have a period of 10 days from the date of receipt of the notice in which to notify the Division of Motor Vehicles by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, that a hearing is desired to contest the sale of the vehicle pursuant to the lien.
    The person with legal title or the occupant must, within 10 days of receipt of the notice from the Division of Motor Vehicles, notify the Division of his desire to contest the sale of the vehicle pursuant to the lien, and that the Division should so notify lienor.

    Failure of the person with legal title or the occupant to notify the Division that a hearing is desired shall be deemed a waiver of the right to a hearing prior to sale of the vehicle against which the lien is asserted. Upon such failure, the Division shall so notify the lienor; the lienor may proceed to enforce the lien by a public sale as provided by this section; and the Division shall transfer title to the property pursuant to such sale.

    If the Division is notified within the 10-day period provided in this section that a hearing is desired prior to the sale, the lien may be enforced by a public sale as provided in this section and the Division will transfer title only pursuant to the order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

    I would look into this with them and bring along a copy of the lien laws.

    You can find a copy of the NC lien laws here:

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