The American Who Got a Windfall of Vintage Cars When He Bought a Farm in Portugal –The Pictures are Truth! But the Story is Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

The story of a retired American businessman who bought an old farm in Portugal then discovered that a barn that had been sealed for many years had nearly 200 vintage cars stored inside. 

The Truth:

The cars are real.  The story is not.

Someone fabricated the story about the retired businessman who unwittingly bought a farm with a fortune of cars stored on the property.  The email then provides a link to a collection of pictures of valuable but dusty cars that have obviously been sitting in storage for a very long time.

This eRumor has circulated on the Internet since January, 2007.

It took the sleuthing of Tom Cotter from Sport Car Market to get the truth about the cars.  He reported that the owner was a car dealer in the 1970’s and 1980’s and decided to keep some of the more interesting cars that came his way.  The mans identity and the exact location of the cars are a secret but Cotter found the photographer, Manuel Menezes Morais, who was hired by the collector to document the cars in the barn.  Morais said that the owner kept storing the cars in the barn until it got full then he simply soldered the doors shut and the vehicles have been sitting there collecting dust for years. 

There is no word on what the owner intends to do with them.

Updated 8/23/07 

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:


A New York man retired. He wanted to use his retirement money wisely, so it would last, and decided to buy a home and a few acres in Portugal . The modest farmhouse had been vacant for 15yrs.; the owner and wife both had died, and there were no heirs. The house was sold to pay taxes.

There had been several lookers, but the large barn had steel doors, and they had been welded shut. Nobody wanted to go to the extra expense to see what was in the barn, and it wasn’t complimentary to the property anyway……so, nobody made an offer on the place.

The NY guy bought it at just over half of the property’s worth, moved in, and set about to tear in to the barn…….curiosity was killing him. So, he and his wife bought a generator, and a couple of grinders…….and cut thru the welds.

What was in the barn……………?

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