15+ Photos Of Cool Cars That Got Abandoned
For most people, a car = freedom. Once a car has stopped running though, most people will trade it in or sell it to buy a new one. Every so often, an owner can't get rid of a car, and they are too expensive or too inconvenient to fix. What do you do with the car when that happens? You might donate them to a charity. Not these cars though. These cars were just discarded in the middle of nowhere. Why did this happen? And were any of them worth anything? Did the owners make a mistake? Read on to find out!
Yes, as you can probably tell, this is a Jaguar XK with a whole tree growing through it! If you think about it, it's not like the car entered from the driver or the passenger's side! The Jag must have been parked just at the right spot, with the right crack in the floor to let a huge three grow into it! How fascinating!
The Car Cemetary
Why are so many junkyards in the woods? Well, it's a good way to hide a bunch of rusty cars. It also keeps visitors out, especially if it happens to be in the middle of nowhere. This one is definitely in the middle of nowhere. For some of these cars, it's too bad that life didn't work out a bit better for them. There's a Porsche in there!
The Shell Among Seashells
Many vehicles are often lost in disasters, and Hurricane Katrina definitely ruined a lot. However, this particular model got caught in Ft. Tilden and Rockaway Shore near New York City. Ironically, this area was known for being a dumping ground for old, unwanted things. Depending on the tidal movement, new treasures end emerging from the sand.
Mossy Morris Minor
This car is a Morris Minor, which is a British car from the 50s. They are rarely seen outside of the UK, and this one has probably never seen the outside of this shed. It's completely covered in green moss, which might be an improvement over the rust found on some of the others in this shed.
Moss-Covered Three-Handled Family Sedan
It's amazing what humidity and just the right temperature can do. This is a mid-century Ford coupe that has been abandoned somewhere by its owners. It's not clear exactly where it is, but it's definitely somewhere hot and humid. That type of moss growing on the car and the amount of it suggests that this is somewhere tropical. The body is in pretty good shape otherwise. Kind of makes you wonder why it has been sitting there that long.
When Doves Cry
I'm going to try and refrain from making a bunch of Prince jokes, but we are talking about two little red Corvettes. This is one of the more controversial models of the classic sports car. Those split-back windows are a serious vision impairment for the driver. That's not a good reason to abandon these two classics though. Maybe purple rain caused all of that rust. Oh...sorry...
This is a first-generation Ford Torino. The Torino was sort of a companion to the Mustang, although they weren't really muscle cars. That hasn't stopped people from putting bigger engines into them and turning them into muscle cars though. No one did that to this one though. It's been sitting for a long time. The car is now green, which was a factory option color. It's hard to tell if it started out that way though.
One Ugly Planter
I guess this is a good example of upcycling? A tree can't just go through an engine compartment like this. The owner had to disassemble the car around the tree. Was this some sort of aesthetic decision? Is there some sort of statement about nature defeating machines?
The Poor, Poor Porsche
Believe it or not, this is a photo of a 1967 Porsche 912. Why is that so unbelievable? Well, they only made 32,000 of them and this one is probably the worst one of all. It's just been smashed into oblivion. This is probably the result of some sort of serious accident. Another sad end to a beautiful car.
Earlier in this article, we saw a Camero and Firebird from the 1970s. This is their updated cousin, the Chevrolet Camaro. It's a later model, from 1984. Pontiac and Chevrolet were both owned by General Motors, and the classic 80s Camaros and Firebirds shared a lot of similarities. This one looks like it may be getting a second life judging by the new air filter. Then again, it's going to need a new windshield too.
The Not-So-Magic School Bus
Kind of a weird one here. This school bus was just abandoned in the woods. Why? Did the kids get so out of control that they caused the driver to just quit? Something about abandoned buses is creepier than a normal abandoned car though. It looks like a monster bit through the front wheel well. You can tell that this one has been there for a while too just sitting around the forest.
Another Mossy Morris
What is it about Morrises that inspires moss to grow on them? And why are so many abandoned? Well, here's another example of both. This one is a Morris Oxford that someone just left out in the woods one day. Looks like they were upset too - the dorr has been torn off the hinges.
This may look like half a car, but it's been there for almost a full century. This car is located near Joshua Tree National Park in California. It looks to be a super-long bodied car with a trailer attached. It's very possible that this was a car used during the Dust Bowl-era, similar to the one seen in the book Grapes Of Wrath. At least, that's what it makes think about when we see it.
Not Too Shabby
This beautiful vehicle was known as the Pontiac Firebird and lasted many years in circulation. It was very common to see them on the street from 1967 to 2002. This model came out in the 70s, but it is not too damaged by the years. In fact, its interior doesn't look too bad, so it could be restored with some effort. Although it is clearly covered with rust, it may be possible to make it run freely again with some work and many new parts. There's also a Camaro Z28 in this picture. We'll talk about both of these models a bit later on in this article.
The Dangers Of Racing
This is the big brother of the Pontiac Firebird, the Pontiac Trans-Am. If a Firebird is like a rocket ship, this car is like a warp-speed ship. The primary difference was that the Trans-Am had a nice T-top and a much bigger engine. Unfortunately, that bigger engine made some of their owners do stupid things. In this case, it looks like someone went racing and got knocked off the road. It has serious damage, and it isn't from neglect.
These two cars were found in an abandoned airport. One is a hatchback and one is a Magnum model. This is another one in which no one is sure how they got there. Perhaps the owners decided they didn't want to pay the airport parking fees.
The Abandoned Lot
This one isn't nearly as odd as you might think. These trucks are all uniform and rusting all in the same place. They're all about the same degree of rustiness too, which suggests they've been sitting together for a long time. Most likely, this is a "dealer dump" from the 1960s. When cars don't sell today, dealers either auction them or sell them back to the companies. Those options weren't available ad mid-century, so they would just park old cars in the woods and leave them.
A Classic Jaguar Champ
In the small town of Chattilon, back in the day, a mechanic opened a shop to repair American cars that belonged to Canadian troops deployed by Nato in Belgium and France. However, long after France left NATO, the car graveyard was still there, and it was forgotten until a documentary aired on TV. People began to both take pictures and steal car parts until the owner's son cleared out all the cars and destroyed them.
This Jaguar Mark II was found among a bunch of other objects all covered in dirt. No one seems to know how it got there, but the distinctive grill gives it away. Seems as if it was impossible to fix, but a car that nice is bound to be repaired someday.
This picture is from photographer Alicia Ruis. A few years back, she did a series of photos that showed what abandoned cars look like when they are exposed to the elements for a long time. Most of them have nature adapting around them, and this is a good example. This car actually has become part of the environment around it, with trees and plants growing all around. We'll see more from this artist later.
Red and Black and Rusted All Over
This car is an Oldsmobile from the 1930s. Despite its current appearance, it wasn't originally red. These cars were almost always painted black, and you can see that underneath the heavy coating of rust. It looks like a lot of the useful parts were stripped out: the car is missing tires, glass, and the engine. This one has been sitting here for a long time, and no one has ever taken the time to try and move it.
High Upon The Mountain Top
Somehow, this old car made it all the way up a mountain in New Mexico. Given the 1930s vintage of the car, this would have been very difficult. There were no off-road tires back then, and judging by the wheels, they may not have even been inflatable. Combine that with an underpowered motor and primitive brakes, and it's no wonder why the owner left it up there.
Sunburned in The Meadow
This is definitely a beautiful grave for a beautiful car, and we are sure that it is now rusting in peace. This looks like a Ford Oldtimer, and back in the day, it was a car that could only be afforded by the very wealthy. As you can see, the paint is slowly being eaten away, but even with this decay, it still looks beautiful.
This is a Citroen Traction Avant from the 1930s. The Traction Avant is notable because it was one of the very first cars to have front-wheel drive built-in. Front-wheel drive was more expensive to produce and it made it trickier to get the steering mechanism right. They were also built with extra crash zones and a very tough material was used to produce the outer body. As you can see, this one is still in great shape despite neglect and its 80+ years of age.
Muscle In The Mud
This is just sad. The 1968 Pontiac GTO is a classic American muscle car. It had an engine that could go up to 450HP in the more deluxe Judge model. These were serious business if you wanted to drag race or just outrun everyone on the road. This one appears to have been fully restored, and there isn't a bit of dust on it. Unfortunately, there was a flood and the car was sitting in the dirt. It sank into the ground, and it's going to be difficult to recover. The owner must have been heartbroken.
The Rusty and Shiny Mercedes
This 1960 Mercedes -Benz 190b was found next to old abandoned shed. There are a few odd things about this picture. One, why is the grill so shiny? More importantly, there are two bicycles that have been consumed by the ground sitting next to it. Why wasn't the car consumed also? Just an odd photo all around.
How Badly Do You Need A Car?
This 1949 Ford is abandoned, rusted out, and just generally trashed. Apparently, that isn't going to try and stop someone from making a buck or two off of it. If you look close, someone has the temerity to try and sell this thing for $500. It's in Hawaii too, where there have been a lot of vehicles abandoned since it's so hard to dispose of them there. Do any Hawaiian readers need a car?
This is a hearse from 1919. Notably, unlike today, this hearse appears to have windows in the back to that funeral-goers would be able to view the coffin in the back. Ironically, this one appears to not be dead quite yet. The body is still in good shape, and only the glass and tires are gone. One interesting detail: if you look at the back of the hearse, there appear to be curtains near the windows. On closer examination, those are hand-carved wood sculptures of curtains carved directly into the body of the vehicle!
Why would anyone go to such great lengths to turn their car into a cool piece of artwork and then just abandon it in the streets? Beats us, but that's exactly what happened to this car in Sao Paolo, Brazil. The artwork is very elaborate, and even extend to the tires. Then again, it also has potted plants growing where the engine should be, so it's possible that this is just a cool piece of street art rather than a true abandoned car. Still doesn't make a lot of sense though.
Eat My Dust
This one is another classic muscle car. It's a Dodge Charger 400 R/T from the late 1960s. This is the same type of car that tried to run Steve McQueen's Mustang off the road in the film Bullitt. It looks like something else may be wrong with this one, or the owner just didn't have enough money or time to restore it. That thick coat of dust has been sitting there for a long time. Once it's up and running, it will disappear in no time.
This is an infamous Buick Roadmaster. It was one of the first American luxury cars, and also one of the biggest bodied cars ever produced. These were very popular in the United States among the upper-middle class in the late 50s through the 60s. They were also very damage resistant. Because of the big body, it was difficult to damage the outside of the car enough for someone to get hurt. You can still abandon one in the woods and get it rusty though!
A Diamond In The Rough
This may look like it's just another rusty abandoned car, but it definitely isn't. If you can believe it, it's probably worth in excess of $1 million in restored condition. Why? It's a 1938 Bugatti 57C, which is one of the rarest cars ever made. This one was found sitting in a garage amongst a bunch of other less pricy relics. It's been sitting for decades here though, so it will take a dedicated collector to make it worth anything.
They Don't Make Them As They Used To
Do you ever wonder why people say "this is the Cadillac of so-and-so" when describing something that is really nice? Well, it's because of models like this. This is a mid-century Cadillac, which was the upper end of GM's luxury models. You can see that they built these cars really well, as this one has clearly been sitting around for a long time, but is still in great shape. A little rusty, but even the windows are still mostly intact.
Vans don't always have the best reputations. Windowless vans are even worse. Generally, if a criminal is up to no good in a movie, the windowless van will be the vehicle of choice. They're big, spacious on the inside, and perfect to hide ill-gotten gains. This one definitely looks like it was part of a heist. Otherwise, why abandon a perfectly nice van in the swamp? It's missing its license plate too.
A Sweet Dodge
For some reason, lots of cool stuff has been found in barns over the years. This was no exception. This is a 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona. Only 503 were made, and it's one the baddest muscle cars around. It was pretty trashed when it was found, but they cleaned it up nicely. According to Road And Track Magazine, it was offered at $180,000...but only sold for $90,000. What a bargain!
Light It Up
Ah, the 1970s sub-compact. There's a reason why these cars were never very popular. Bad performance, ugly body styling, and unsafe to drive among many other reasons. This one looks like it was lit on fire. There are two possibilities here. Either it was in an accident and the gas tank exploded, which was not uncommon with these, or the owner just got upset with it breaking down all the time and lit it on fire.
Panda In The Woods
The Fiat Panda was never the most inspiring car on the planet. It was a subcompact sold during the 1980s I guess that the owner didn't find it especially inspiring since they dumped it in the woods. Even the kids' "Dance" sticker on the side wasn't enough to keep it running.
More Nature Photography
The same artist, Alicia Ruis, who took the picture a little earlier in the article took this picture too. Once again, it's interesting how the environment adapts around the abandoned car. In this case, it has adapted a bit differently, though. The natural world seems to have consumed this car and will continue to do so until it's gone.
This looks like it was a nice vehicle a long time ago. Like a lot of cars in this article, it was abandoned in a forest. Judging by the damage, it must have been a long time ago. Leaving a car out in nature for so long can really damage it. In this case, nothing was stolen from the car. It has just degraded naturally, with rust steadily taking over the outside.
An Abandoned Buick In A Desolate Desert
When we see photos like this, we can't help but ask a lot of questions. First of all, why on earth is this classic Chevrolet Buick abandoned in the middle of the desert? Despite a little rust, this car still looks great. Why was it left there? The car looks so comfortable in the desert that it's starting to camouflage with the environment.
A Borgward Hansa 1500 Lies In Eternal Rust
If you've never heard of Borgward, classic cars are definitely not your thing. Borgward was a German company, and this is the Borgward 1500, the first car to release in Germany after the ravaging war. You may see similarities with the 59 Ford, but Borgward fans will tell you that's not true. Today, the company has teamed up with another one, and they produce electric cars in China.
Interesting Fertilizer For The Flowers
This beautiful picture shows you nature's sneaky side as this old forgotten car has literally been left to the forces of nature. It's difficult to tell what this once was, but it looks like a Chevy truck without the hood or the engine. We bet it prefers this place full of flowers and rolling hills than the bumpy road of asphalt jungle it got accustomed to in its previous life.
This truck looks like someone had a bad night, swerved and ran it into a tree. It's a pickup truck from the 1950s, so it's been there a while too. The woman standing near the open door is what really puts this photo over-the-top. It looks like she's just a disembodied head and her "dress" is actually part of the door. This was a pretty bad accident too. Notice how the tree has grown around the truck in the years since it happened.
Ghost Cars Lay Strewn In A Ghost Town
This is Nelson, an old mining town in Nevada that is now an abandoned ghost town on the bucket list of many people around the world. In this town, debauchery was the norm, and the gold fever powered this city. However, Nevada and Reno started to become strong townships, and Nelson crumbled. So, today, it is filled with classic cars lying around like skeletons.
A Rolling Car Gathers No Moss
What is sadder than two cars abandoned in the forest with moss all over them? Well, one of them all alone. At least in this photo, these two cars are spending their sunset years together, letting the moss eat away slowly. It's difficult not to look at this photo and suddenly feel a little nostalgic.
Station Wagon Out To Pasture
This is a station wagon, but this one is clearly an empty husk of its glory days. To give it a little more life, someone had the ingenious idea of planting a bush in the hood and give it a fresh new paint job. Also, somebody added a light to make it shine from the inside. As you can see, you can easily make abandoned things look beautiful again!
Four Cars In One
Another oddity. This looks like the transport driver got lost in the woods. Judging by the four 1957 Chevy Bel Airs on it, it must have been quite a while ago. The rust pretty much confirms it. What happened here? Who knows. At least the driver hid it well so it wasn't an eyesore.
Bugatti Had A Tough Run
So, apparently, in Dubai, even if you leave one of the most expensive cars in the world with the key in the ignition, it will not be stolen. Perhaps this has to do with the strict local laws. On the flip side, this means that when rich people cannot pay taxes or fines, they sometimes park their cars somewhere and just disappear, just like the owner of this Bugatti did.
Fast Car, Fast Dump
Pretend that you have $200,000 in a bag. Would you dump that in a parking lot? That's what the owner of this Jaguar XJ200 did. These are the fastest production cars ever made, and someone just dropped it in a parking lot somewhere. Too bad, because when it was found, it was sold at auction for exactly that amount.
The Best Encounters at Barnyards
While a barnyard is a great place to store an old car, it’s also very likely that it will get forgotten there. This has happened often with muscle cars because owners parked them to work on but are later too busy. The vehicles collect dust, and it’s also clear that this model has not been protected from snow or rain. Luckily, the paint job is still pretty great.
The Volkswagen Beetle in the Forest
Obviously, the Beetle was one of the best-selling cars back in the day, which is evidenced by how many you can find abandoned all over the world. There were two important runs for the vehicle, and the New Beetle was particularly popular in the 90s. Even shells of the last two Beetles were preserved in wax for the Volkswagen Milton Keynes shop.
Like a Drive-In Movie Theater
This picture might remind some of our readers of a simpler time. Our dads and our grandparents probably drove one of the vehicles in this picture. Sadly, although no one wants to throw away a car, maintaining a vintage model can become pretty expensive. They will always end up at the junkyard. Here, we can see some Impalas, Thunderbirds, Oldsmobiles, Buicks, and even Camaros.
The Deserted Racer
The desert is no place to live. The scorching heat coupled with the presence of deadly insects and predators is enough to scare anyone. This image almost seems like a movie, especially because the model is clearly a racer. It’s like the father of muscle cars, and a functional version can be as expensive as a classic Ferrari.
Fields of Gold
Looking at this picture, it’s easy to think of the Sting’s song ‘Field of Gold’, and also the popular nursery rhyme that goes, “And the green grass grows all around…” This vintage vehicle is being swallowed by the grass and hay around it. The paint is almost gone, as it is covered with pure rust. Additionally, there are no glass windows either.
The Car Garden
We have already seen a bunch of abandoned Jaguars, but Tom Merkel founded the Cuyama Historical Car Garden. It consists of 80 acres filled with around a thousand classic junks vehicles scattered all over the area. There are around 1200 to 1800 models in this makeshift museum. This model was probably someone’s dream car at one point.
Becoming the Forest
There is an artist known as Dan Rawlings that loves to work with scrap metal, and he decided to turn this old delivery van into a forest. He called it “Nature Delivers”. It’s not an old model per se, and we have to assume that it still runs because Rawlings has shown it at several locations, but it’s obviously not meant for its original purpose.
The Abandoned Trail
Hurricane Katrina was one of the worst tragedies in New Orleans’ history, and this Six Flags suffered greatly too. They hoped to open a week later, but it’s been more than ten years. It’s still abandoned, and all its rides, including these Jeeps from the “Jungle Tour”, are just sitting there. Luckily, it seems that the vehicles are still holding on. They might be able to restore them.
One More Bug
The Beetle was such a ubiquitous car that it even looks good as a relic in the forest. When it was first released, the Bug was known as Volkswagen Type 1, but people referenced the insect so much that the company officially changed its name to Beetle. Of course, it had a different name in every country such as Coccinelle (ladybug) in France. In Bolivia, it was called Peta (turtle), and in Indonesia, it was known as Kodok (frog).
Not Herbie The Love Bug
These are the remains of a Karmin-Ghia coupe. Fortunately, they did make it into a junkyard. Unfortunately, the car is sinking into the ground. It has been there for a long time, and that can't possibly be good for the environment. The detached headlight is especially creepy and resembles a floating eyeball.
The Fossilized Dino
Believe it or not, this is a Ferrari. A Ferrari Dino from the 1970s to be exact. The corrosion has become so bad that the front end has actually rusted off of the frame. The owner apparently just left it out on the driveway to fall apart into this state. This was one of the more affordable Ferraris, but it was still a Ferrari.
The Bentley, Abandoned
Somehow, this incredible specimen of a Bentley got abandoned in the woods. It's a mystery as to how this happened because that's like filling a bag with $80,000 and just putting it down. Whatever it is, the owner is certainly missing their car and we hope they found it.
With the sad end of that car, we are brought to the end of our list. Would you ever abandon your car in the woods? I know I wouldn't! What I would do though is share this story with my friends! We hope you enjoyed enough to do that, and thanks for reading!