A brother and sister from Newcastle, England, inherited their uncle's old, dirty garage and all its contents when he died at the age of 89.
Nobody was reportedly aware Dr. Harold Carr stored a vintage Bugatti in the garage, Little Things reported. Carr, an eccentric recluse, had been hiding the antique car for years from his relatives.
“It was a bit of local folklore that he had a Bugatti, but no one knew for sure, and certainly no one knew what it was worth,” his nephew told the Mirror.
The car wasn’t just any Bugatti. It was a Bugatti Type 57S Atalante -- one of the rarest in the world, and estimated to be worth $8.5 million.
The vehicle was just one of 17 ever created of its class, made on May 5, 1937. Not much is known about the exceptional car, besides that it was originally owned by a member of the British aristocracy.
Francis Curzon, the fifth Earl Howe -- a member of Britain's parliament and a car-racing enthusiast -- was the first owner of the Atalante. The earl then sold it to London dealer Car-Mart, where it went to a showroom and was refinished.
The car was purchased by Carr in 1955 and parked in his garage from the 1960s until it was discovered in 2007, after his death, Autoweek reported.
The doctor had a fondness for mechanical things, his nephew recalled.
“When he tinkered with his cars ... he wore a piece of rubber tube round his head to stop the oil [from] getting in his hair,” he said.
When Carr died in 2007, the Atalante was parked alongside a classic Aston Martin and littered with decades worth of letters from collectors offering to buy the car for huge sums of money.
The Bugatti eventually sold for around $4.4 million at the Bonhams Retromobile auction in Paris in February 2009. The proceeds were distributed among Carr's relatives.