A treasure trove of ultra-rare classic car parts worth over £1 million has been found in a shipping container.
The discovery, made by Coys auction house, included valuable spares from great Italian marques like Ferrari, Abarth and Maserati.
Contents from the “Aladdin’s Cave” of classic car parts will be put up for sale by the auction house at Blenheim Palace later this month.
The parts come from a private collection, with many still in their original wooden packing cases dating from the 1960s. Other parts were found in their original boxes and wrapped in oiled paper.
A team from Coys spent days meticulously going through the container, cataloguing every part and spare and attempting to value each piece.
Although most of the collection are bits for road cars, included in the discovery are spares for some classic Italian racing cars.
Among the haul, there are parts for some legendary cars, including the Ferrari 250 SWB and GTO, F40 and 512LM, the Maserati 250F and various other Italian competition cars.
These models are some of the world’s most desirable cars, with a Ferrari 250 GTO recently selling for over £50 million in a private sale.
Chris Routledge, the managing director of Coys who made the discovery, called the find “unprecedented”.
He said: “Something of this scale, and with the importance and rarity of the cars they are related to, is unprecedented. We are looking at at least £1 million pounds worth of spares, probably more. I have never seen anything like it.
“It’s an Aladdin’s cave which is going to excite people all over the world. There are wire wheels in their original wooden boxes, carburettors in their original oiled wrapping paper, exhaust pipes, radiator grilles, dashboards, the list goes on and on.
“It will take us several days to catalogue the parts and once we have done that we will issue a full list of the spares.
“I feel a bit like Howard Carter uncovering Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922. Every time we remove one box or item there is something else of huge interest hiding behind.”
The parts will be auctioned by Coys on June 29 at the Oxfordshire stately home, one day before the Coys Blenheim Palace sale.