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The mystery of a buried Ferrari Dino 246 GT

By FaezClutchless on 11 Mar 2012

Attached Image: ferrari_dino_246_gt_buried.jpg

Getting buried in a hole is one of the strangest things to happen to a car especially if it is a rare classic. The car you see in the picture above is a Ferrari Dino 246 GT. It was discovered in a yard of a house in Los Angeles, USA in early 1978. How the car ends up in this manner is still a big mystery to many till today.

Attached Image: 800px_Ferrari_Dino_246_GT_1969__wikipedia.jpg

An example of a Ferrari Dino 246 GT

Pictures of this car have been in circulation for many years but many do not know the real story behind it. In 1978, a group of children were playing in the yard of a house in Los Angeles. The yard was muddy and, being children, they soon began digging into the soft soil. After a short while, just below the ground’s surface, they hit something hard and felt that it was like the roof of a car. They kids then went to flag down a police car that was patrolling the area.

Two police officers went to take a look and suspected the same thing too. Eventually, the two local police officers plus a small group of men equipped themselves with shovels and a small size excavator and soon they began to dig up the dirt and soil of the house’s front yard. Even before they could finish digging up, local news journalists have descended to the site.

One news reporter published an article about the incident the next day. The excavation team unearthed a dark metallic green Ferrari Dino 246 GT. The reporter mentioned that the car was, surprisingly, in a good condition and was estimated to be around $18,000 (at that time). Later on, Ferrari enthusiast note down that the car came with the optional Campagnolo Wheels and Daytona seats.

Attached Image: ferrari_dino_246_gt_buried_2.jpg

Based on the car’s serial number and license plate, local authorities manage to trace the owner, Rosendo Cruz, who bought the car in October 1974. The car was a birthday present for his wife and one night in December 1974, it was stolen while the couple were having their wedding anniversary dinner at a restaurant.

After a week, the local police still could not find the car and believed that it was either, stripped down to individual parts or shipped out of the country. The insurance company eventually paid $22,500 to the legal owner of the car, which was the Bank of America. But the mystery still remains. How did the car end up buried in someone’s front yard?

The current occupants of the house could not offer an explanation as they had only been living in that house for about three months. And none of the neighbours there could remember anything that happened at that house in 1974. This left the local police in a puzzled state. But they believed that whoever did this intends to reclaim the car back.

Since the insurance company has already paid out for the stolen car, it now belongs to them (Farmers Insurance Group). After the news article about the car being in a good condition was published, there were interested buyers for it. But the reports were not true.

An insurance investigator reported that the car was in a really bad shape. Rust has built up on the car’s entire body and it even has spread onto the leather seats. Erosion has eaten up most of the car and the exhaust pipes were filled with mud. The insurance company then put up the car for display and invited interested buyers to submit bids for the car.

The winning bid was made by a mechanic who owns a garage. He did some repair work to the car and eventually managed to start the engine. The car was road registered and with a “DUGUP” vanity plate. After more than 30 years, the car has not been registered in any Ferrari Dino registry and its whereabouts are not known. It might be somewhere out there.

Photo credit: Wikipedia and Jalopnik

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Written by FaezClutchless
Some say that his blood is actually RON98 petrol and some say that his right foot weighs over 20kg. But all that we know about Faez is that he loves to drive and is a JDM enthusiast.

  • 1
RoadTricks Mar 11 2012 09:59 PM
Sad, but oh well...
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