A while back I came across a story about an abandoned stone quarry in France that was jam packed with cars, but I struggled to find the source of the images or the whole story. Well after featuring the Hawkeye Collection, reader Mike H sent us a link to a Flickr account of the photographer that captured the amazing images of this incredible find. They also share the history about it, but admit it could all be fiction. Whether it is or not, this is an amazing sight to behold.
Vincent Michel is a part time photographer that is known for taking amazing photos of abandoned buildings, rusty equipment and forlorn automobiles. His photos are shot in what’s known as HDR (high dynamic range), making them a bit more dramatic than the real thing, but they look so good that’s alright with me! So let’s get into the story behind these cars, please be aware though, there are a lot of stories out there about this place. And who knows which is the most accurate?
According to Vincent, the story starts in 1940 when France is attacked by the Germans. Their overwhelming lighting warfare lead to France having to quickly surrender to the Germans and part of that surrender was providing resources for the war effort. Many people had to give up their personal property so that it could be melted down to build weapons and equipment. Obviously, that didn’t go over well with most people, but standing up to the German army wasn’t a wise decision. That didn’t stop one village in central France from taking some type of action to protect their vehicles though.
Apparently the community got together to come up with an idea of how to keep their vehicles from going to their captures and that’s when someone had the idea of driving them to a nearby quarry that was no longer in use and was unknown to the outside world. So on an agreed upon night, they drove their cars out to the quarry. Then one by one, they were driven into the massive man made caverns. To fit them all, they had to be parked as tightly together as possible, but somehow they made them all fit. Once they were all tucked away safely in their new home, the entrance to the quarry closed and locked up.
No one seems to know why the cars remained in the quarry after the war had ended, but for whatever reason the place was simply forgotten. Perhaps people felt it wasn’t worth the work to drag their old cars out or maybe none of the original owners survived the war? We may never know whether this story is true or not, but one things for sure, somehow a lot of cars ended up in this stone tomb.
Looking at the condition of all these cars, I think calling this place a tomb is rather fitting. It might have protected the cars from being melted down and turned into weapons, but it definitely didn’t protect them from the ravages of rusts. When the place was finally opened back up, most of them were beyond saving. The ones that were worth saving were supposedly auctioned off.
I’d highly recommend checking out Vincent’s Flickr, it’s loaded with all kinds of amazing photos. I just wish we knew more about this place and whether this is the real story or not. Special thanks to Mike for the tip and Vincent for taking these incredible photos! If any of you happen to know more of the story, we sure would love to hear it!