For 30 years, the world’s most valuable rodent real estate was in a garage in North Carolina. As seen on Hagerty’s Barn Find Hunter, the mice had put down roots inside a 427 Shelby Cobra and a Ferrari 275 GTB/2 Alloy, which are both finally seeing the light of day after an extended hibernation. The next challenge? Finding the cars a more proper home, of course.
Along with the Cobra and Ferrari, the garage had also housed a V-8-powered Morgan and a Triumph TR6 only 9000 miles from new.
Moving the payload
The cars had been languishing in a suburban garage since the late 1980s. I received a phone call from Warren, a friend of the cars’ owner, and he told me the city had just condemned the unoccupied property and scheduled the demolition of the garage and adjoining house. The vehicles had to be relocated.
Moving millions of dollars in historic cars was no easy deal, nevermind the crickets and mice. While the wheels on the Cobra rolled, the brakes on the other three cars had frozen solid. Wheel dollies were necessary to move the cars around the garage and onto the trailers.
Local towing companies were no help, claiming their insurance companies would not cover the valuable payload. So when Warren called me, I told him a friend and I would be glad to facilitate. Luckily, the cars had recently been insured through Hagerty, so trailering them to a storage unit a few miles away was covered. Still, the process of moving immobile cars took a whole 12 hours.
At one point I opened the trunk and saw a few of the resident mice darting about, obviously peeved at my intrusion into their home. “You’re about to experience something you never dreamed of,” I whispered to them as I closed the trunk and pushed the car into my trailer.
A new home for the Ferrari and Cobra
The collector car world has been abuzz with this amazing discovery since Barn Find Hunter broke the news two weeks ago. I’m told the episode has been translated into several languages, letting people around the world enjoy this unbelievable find.
So what happened next? In the heat of the coverage, classic car auction companies began communicating with Warren about consigning the cars.
The owner has decided to keep the Morgan and the Triumph, but the Cobra and Ferrari will be sold. Gooding & Company will offer the dusty duo at their Amelia Island auction on Friday, March 9.
In preparation for that event, both cars have been serviced. I was told their engines started right up, although scattered mouse droppings in the exhaust pipes of both cars spewed across the shop floor once the engines fired. A small price to pay.
The Ferrari was recently displayed at Cavallino, which is among the most prestigious Ferrari events in the world, held annually in Palm Beach, Florida. Like Cinderella, the long-nose GTB was the belle of the ball; attendees could not get enough of the dusty, musty Ferrari and its sensational story.
It’s almost certain that under new ownership, the cars will be cleaned, recommissioned and become part of a collection. After sitting for so many years, both cars deserve some fresh air and a few miles added to their odometers.
Maybe in the future, when these cars are shined up and appear on the lawns of a fancy concours at Pebble Beach or Amelia Island, we won’t mention the glove boxes and trunks that were once mouse condominiums.
That’ll be our little secret.