A Portuguese barn with a big secret

We recently took a look at a massive Chevrolet dealership that had been left abandoned for the better part of the last century with mint condition classics sitting in the wings, many of them with only a couple of miles on the odometer and factory seat covers still intact. While this find, and the auction that is set to take place this September, had many classic American car enthusiasts salivating at the prospect of taking the wheel of a factory-fresh hot rod – the equivalent of entering a time machine to the 1960s – fans of European sports cars probably heard about a similar discovery made back in 2007.

An urban myth had gained steam across the internet when a photographer posted more than 100 photographs on various forums and websites of a barn that had allegedly been filled with classic Porsches, Lancias and all manner of gorgeous export. From Italian convertibles to German luxury cars, it was an amazing, unbelievable discovery that had an equally astounding story to go along with it.

Apparently, the man who now owns the property had bought the land unaware that such a treasure trove of classic cars existed. According to the photographer, these cars are located in a suburb right outside of Lisbon, Portugal that is considered a very scenic and highly sought after region for real estate. He discovered a barn that had long ago had the door soldered shut, piquing the owners interest, leading him to take a torch to the door in order to break in. When he opened up the massive barn, this collection appeared before his eyes, having accumulated significant dust, although most of the cars still seemed to be in pristine condition.

Allegedly, the previous owner of the property had been the owner of a lucrative car dealership that specialized in a wide array of sought-after European brands. Whenever a particularly nice car came into his possession, however, he would drive the vehicle up to his estate and lock it up in his barn.

Why he hid the cars in the barn in the first place we may never know, but it's clear that he had begun taking on the tendencies of a hoarder in the years leading up to his selling the property. Once he had accumulated 180 classic cars, the doors on the barn were welded shut so that no one could break in.

It's likely that he hid all of the cars in his barn so that he wouldn't have to pay taxes on any of them. After all, the bills would certainly start to pile up if the government happened to stumble upon your almost 200 car garage. But why the owner left all these vehicles – a collection today that is worth millions – will remain a mystery.

The current owner of the barn who inherited the collection from the mysterious previous owner has requested that the photographers who took pictures of his rides maintain his anonymity and the details about the barn's exact location. If classic car fans had any idea where these rides were hiding, they would certainly swarm the place to take a look.

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