Superfinds book review: Scrapyard challenge

A pictorial record of remarkable classic car discoveries from an era when an old car was just an old car, to be abandoned in a yard

Mercedes Gullwing in scrapyard

Old Mercedes, mostly complete, needs some work. Best offers...

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Who doesn’t dream of a forgotten Type 57 Bugatti in a barn

(I actually found one once!) or a mislaid Ferrari Testa Rossa? This is the visual record of a career in which these things not only could happen, they did. From the 1960s Corrado Cupellini followed up hints of old cars across the world, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, but always taking photographs of what he found. Those photos remained unseen until collector/restorer Michael Kliebenstein unearthed them, and some are scarcely believable – an abandoned Porsche 917, an ivy-covered Gullwing, a rotting Maserati 4CLT. Cupellini himself rescued, restored or sold many of these, but some were just photographed and left behind. They’re not all ‘discoveries’: some are mere snaps in private collections, but just as you think ‘this is just pictures of old cars now’, along comes a Porsche Carrera 6 forgotten in a Dakar shed.

The short captions have a frustrating lack of background – I want to know more about the Maserati T26 found in Africa, or the 8C Alfa used on a horse race track – but it’s fun to recall a never-to-be-repeated era of car neglect.


SuperFinds

Michael Kliebenstein

Porter Press, £90
ISBN 9781907085895

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