Lost Exotics in Bolivia

Roca's Collection

We recently received an email from Christian V and after seeing the image above we knew we had to do more research on the story of these abandoned exotics. In the automotive world, this is about as sad a story as you can get. It all starts with Humberto Roca, former president of the Bolivian airline Aurosur. He is a car collector and has a passion for all things that go fast. He has spent years putting together an impressive collection of the some of the rarest cars in the world. He had the kind of collection all of us dream of. That was until he was accused of embezzlement by the Bolivian Government. He fled Bolivia and came to the States, leaving his collection hidden in various locations. It was only a matter of time before they were discovered…

Exotics in Limbo

We don’t know all the facts of Humberto’s situation and we don’t care to get involved in accusations or conspiracy theories, but we hate to see these cars fall into a state of limbo. We have no idea what might happen to them, but we fear they will either end up vandalized or held by the Bolivian Government until there is nothing left to save. There are some extremely rare cars in this collection, so let’s just hope we are wrong and that at least a few of them either make it back to their previous owners or into safe homes.

Bolivian Find

You might not know it by looking at these photos, but Mr. Roca has a taste for fine German sport cars. He had nearly every generation of BMW M3 and several other Bimmers rare to Bolivia. He obviously didn’t get too caught up in brand loyalty though. We can spot just about every car we have ever dreamed of owning and seeing them like this is killing us. Just four years ago all of these cars were parked in a climate controlled garage and all were looking as good as new. He had everything from an Aston Martin Vanquish to a Chevrolet Chevette. When the collection was together, it was a sight to behold. How often do you see American, Japanese, British, German and Italian cars all sharing a garage, with the likes of Mini and Citroen mixed in for good measure?

We found footage of this collection back in 2010 while it was still under Roca’s care. It is amazing how quickly they have fallen into disrepair. Seeing the entire collection, we can’t help but wonder where many of the ultra-high dollar exotics are. We see a few of them in the photos of the collection today, but many of them are missing. Perhaps they are hidden elsewhere, maybe someone stole them, or perhaps Roca was able to get them out of the country? This is one mystery that we may not get an answer to for many years. If anyone has any additional information about these cars or hears any new developments, please let us know! Our thanks to Christian for this tip!

Source: eldeber.com.bo

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Comments

  1. Don Melcher

    Arrrrrrrgh! I wish I hadn’t viewed that on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. Sad to see some of the same cars as in the photos above. He certainly had eglectic taste.

  2. Mike Burnett

    So where are the exotics that you mentioned? All of the cars shown in the photos are commonplace in England with the exception of the lime green monstrosity in the last photo.

    • Josh Mortensen Staff

      I hadn’t ever really thought about the term exotic being a subjective one, but I can see how it is. An Aston Martin Vanquish is probably more common place in the UK than it is here in Wyoming. Take a look at the video at the bottom of the story or visit Humberto’s youtube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/csgt500 to see some of the more “exotic” cars that he use to have. I think his Ferrari and Nissan GTR are likely the most exotic cars in the collection, but if you live outside the states the Shelby GT500 and Dodge Viper might seem more exotic.

  3. hawk

    Sadly anytime government gets involved in anything it is destroyed with the best of intentions

    • johannesrolf

      this is not the place for political rants.

  4. Dolphin Member

    I don’t know the legal details, but if there was any truth to the embezzlement charge that was upheld up in court, the Bolivian government should have seized the cars with the approval of the court, and put them on a ship, to be sold by brokers in No America and/or Europe, the proceeds going to correct the embezzlement issue in Bolivia and the cars going to new owners who would care for them. As it is, the condition and values just continue to go downhill, and there might not be much left by the time anything gets done. Too bad.

  5. jim s

    i will take the mid 70’s light blue ford truck please. i hope it has a 300ci/3 on the tree.

    • Blake

      Gotta love those big inline 6’s.

  6. MikeH

    Anybody with a 2CV is a connoisseur.

  7. Humberto Roca

    I can give plenty of information.

    • Josh Mortensen Staff

      Please feel free to fill us in on the details. How did your collection end up in these old warehouses? Where you able to get any out of Bolivia? And what will happen with them? Or any other details you feel comfortable sharing, we would appreciate it!
      Thanks,
      Josh

  8. paul

    Nice 72 ( about) AR GTV.

  9. Jim-Bob

    I’m digging the Toyota Corolla and the Mini. There’s just something about basic cars like these that have survived all these years that does it for me. Plus, the Mini is such a small thing by comparison to today’s barges that I can’t help but want one.

  10. Brian

    To be auctioned soon I’m sure, but not until the powers have claimed what they want to keep…

  11. Dan10

    So he was convicted of embezzlement but you can be sure that several politicians in Bolivia will end up with these cars and pay well below market value if anything at all. This is just speculation but I doubt I’m wrong.

  12. Humberto Roca

    Well, first of all this collection had more than 80 cars. My father and I started the collection back in 2000 with just 1 car, This is not an exotic collection instead its a collection of cars we loved either by their model or because the meant something to us. In 2010 my father started a battle against the government ( FIDEL CASTRO LIKE) because the government started an airline and it was an unfair competition (fuel costs, ticket prices, etc…). At that time we had something like 80 cars so the Vice-President (who is a terrorist) started an illegal action against my father and I. It said that my father had earned illicit money but that law was for public employees and my fathers airline was private (Aerosur). After commiting that illegal action the government sent their man to investigate the collection and thats were the collection started to suffer. In December 2010 my father had to go to Barcelona for a treatment of his cancer, I was also there for vacation but the government acted while we were out and sent an army of policemen to break in ILLEGALY ´´The Garage´´ were the cars were. My father was a public figure because it helped a lot of poor people and who ever needed help, so all of them plus some of my family members including my sisters and grandmother. The policide didnt care and starte shooting gas at them EVEN THOUGH WHAT THEY WERE DOING WAS ILLEGAL. On the other side of the globe we were impotent that they acted knowing we couldnt do a thing. Its April 23rd 2014, And we havent got back to Bolivia. But that was not over back in 2013 the Anti-Corruption Chief of Bolivia came to my house to extort my father. Last month he was sent to jail in USA. Thats what my family and country are living and what I have said is only about my cars I havent even talked about the airline and many other private companies that HELPED the country. These cars were moved to a location that is ours but we have no control over the cars, we cant wash them or whatever and all of this just because they wanted to destroy my father. Now this cars are doomed because no LEGAL action can be done but at the sametime ILLEGAL actions force us to wait for them to die.

    Some other things:

    When the cars had to be moved from the original place to this warehouse the government didnt even let US move it, it had to be done by them and the results were devastating. The green dodge challenger was crashed, the ferrari 308 had its gearbox destroyed and others suffered similar things.

    Here the video of the police breaking in
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ca_o21ng4NA

    Here a link to wikipedia of Aerosur Manipulated by the government. (The largest airline ever in Bolivia)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AeroSur

    If there is any question Ill answer them.

    • Josh Mortensen Staff

      Thanks for sharing with us Humberto. We are sorry to hear about you and your family’s predicament. Hopefully someday it can be resolved and you will be able to get the collection back together, but we know how South American governments can be. If the situation changes, please let us know. We would love to see your collection put back to its former glory.

      Would you mind sharing with us a few of the cars in the collection and which are your favorites? I have read a little about your BMW M3s and I know I would especially enjoy hearing more about those!
      Thanks!

  13. Dolphin Member

    Very sad story. Thank you for telling it here, Humberto.

    From just a few minutes of researching this I found two stories in a US newspaper that definitely support your account:

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/09/05/3607301/bolivias-anti-corruption-chief.html

    http://www.diazreus.com/news-bolivia-ormachea-fbi-arrest-miami.html

    I wish you the best in clearing your name and, I hope, rescuing as much of your collection as possible.

    • jim s

      thanks for finding the information and the links.

  14. jim s

    this needs all the publicity it can get. best wishes and do keep us updated

  15. mike

    what a strange collection…i want the red/white VW double cab p/u and the 79 or so Jeep Wagoneer woody…

  16. Humberto Roca

    Thanks all for the support, we are trying to do our best with them. Off course Josh. We have or I should say had a very diverse collection but you may ask what requirements had to have the car before we buy it, simple it had to be no older than 1960, why? because we believe that before that cars were not as enjoyable to drive as they were from the 60s till now, another thing is history, some of these cars made history in the world,others in my country and others with us. We may no have super exotic cars because its almost imposible to drive an exotic car in the streets of my city so it would be a pain to have a car just to watch it. But we had some rare cars at least rare for Bolivia, for example; 1989 M3, 1995 M3 and a 2011 Frozen Black M3 only 27 units produced worldwide, we had a 25% smaller exact replica of a jeep willys wich has a video on my youtube channel. we had the first ever Honda Civic to be sold in Bolivia back in 1974, we had 1 presidential car a 1980 Oldsmobile Delta 88 convertible Red with white interior belonged to Hugo Banzer. My first vehicle which is the one that started the collection was a 1981 Cadillac Seville FWD V8 Diesel which also was from a Bolivian President Victor Paz Estenssoro. We Had a Ford Escort MK1 winner of the rally of mexico and then got to Bolivia to win more championships. My fathers first vehicle 1973 Ford F-100. Some other 1978 Chevrolet Corvette 25th anniversary, 1970 Dodge Challenger, 1969 Ford Mustang, 1970 Ford Mustang, 1979 Pontiac Trans-Am, 1962 DKW 2 stroke 1.3 cc, 2003 VW Beetle ULTIMA EDICION only 1500 Aquarius Blue produced. 2008 Mini Cooper John Cooper Works this was special because it was the one MINI showed one of the majors car shows and it was not for sale but my father was well known in Spain also and there is where I bought it. 700 HP 09 Nissan GT-R, Toyota Supra 1996 Non- Turbo Japanese Edition, 1985 Ferrari 308 QV. (2) Lancia Deltas Integrale HF EVO, 1962 Mercedes SL280 from the Vatican, 1966 Ford Mustang, 2002 Ford Mustang GT, 2005 Ford Mustang GT Supercharged 510HP, 2005 Aston Martin Vanquish my fathers favorite, 1973 Dodge Charger, 2007 Lime Green Dodge Charger Daytona 42/1500, Audi S6 V-10, Dodge Viper 2006 SRT-10. 1942 Jeep Willys, 1976 Fiat 600, 1994 Mini Cooper, 1964 Mini Moke. Citroen 2CV cant remember the year. Jeep Wagoneer, 1976 Lincoln Continental Mark V only 2000 miles, 1981 mercedes sl380, 1973 BMW 3.0 CSi, 1992 BMW 850CSi, 1998 BMW Z3 M Package, 2003 Nissan 350Z, my fathers student car in Brazil Chevrolete Chevette 1981, 2007 Porsche Cayman, 1974 Toyota Corolla first ever sold in Bolivia, 1992 Mitsubishi 3000GT, 2004 Veilside Mazda RX-8, 1962 Peugeot 403, 1985 Daimler Jaguar XJ8, Ford Escrot MK2, Afla Romeo Giulia among many others.

    • Josh Mortensen Staff

      What an amazingly diverse collection! Thanks for sharing that with us. I’m sure this has all been extremely difficult, but know that the BarnFinds.com community is behind you and we all hope that you will be reconnected with at least part, if not all of your collection! Again we wish you the best and thank you for answering our questions.

  17. Liam

    Mr Roca, thank you for sharing your very sad story. I hope this situation gets resolved to your satisfaction, and you are reunited with your country and your collection. I wish you the very best with this.

  18. Dolphin Member

    Certainly a diverse and interesting collection, with excellent taste in both vintage and modern musclecars, performance BMWs, and European and Japanese performance cars, including race and rally cars. And to round out the collection some of the most interesting econo cars, some with personal or political connections. A nice diverse collection that any of us would be very happy to own, I think.

    Thanks for the details on the cars, Humberto.

  19. Me

    Since it is a semi-civilized country that is just one revolution away from being a “turd world country”, this sort of thing is hardly surprising

  20. Frank Spain

    The Fiat 500 have a december 2009 Spanish plate!!!! 7438 GSG

  21. Horse Radish

    Before even reading Humberto Roca’s statements, my thoughts were, that in ‘those’ places, invariably, it’s just a matter of time, before the mob (INCLUDING Police AND Government) finds out and things get vandalized, destroyed and conveniently misplaced….
    (case in point : Mobuto’s Mercedes 600 Limos, $1 million cars, all vandalized, beat to sh*t)

  22. Don Melcher

    What do you mean including? Police/Government = Mob. All the same no matter where u are – even in the good ol’ U S of A….

  23. Harit Trivedi

    So sad. Here in India we also have Indians, so similar culture. I am one.
    We have also screwed up our airline industry, even the national carrier, and when our authorities seize anything its turned to scrap in short time.
    And there is nothing one could do about it till now. India is voting, hopefully for a change and hopefully things will improve.
    I sympathize with Humberto, hopefully things will improve. Changes are happening in this world.

    Keep it up

    • Horse Radish

      No news ro me that there are Indians in India (lol, just kidding)
      Hopefully, things improve.
      However that is a personal perception, I believe.
      I have the impression, that with a worsening economy most individuals are struggling more and as a consequence their apathy towards government increases.
      Unfortunately voting will most likely not solve the problem, but put new corrupt individuals in power. It’s a cycle.

  24. C Bryant

    Lean into the wind.

  25. Dan R.

    Some nice stuff, but a chevette?….

  26. Don Andreina

    I have to hand it to you, Jesse and Josh. You turn up the most interesting finds and it just adds to the excellence when the owner chimes in. Sorry to hear of your travails, Humberto. My understanding of your country is that the pendulum of democracy still swings wildly, so in some senses you are fortunate to have your freedom (of sorts). Good luck in your future.

  27. Gerardo Mascorro

    God, a Brazilian Charger, a Last Edition VW ‘Vocho’… Gotta love this man. As someone said, whoever have a 2CV is a car guy. Love the Japanese plates in the GT-R. More info in that Escort? Would love to know wich rally ran here. Painful story, for sure. Who cares if they were ‘common’ cars like those Jags? Certainly not me. Even if it where a Prius collection, is sad. They are his things, the cost money and efforts. And, for those saying the ‘only’ exotics he have are the GT-R and Aston, know anything about other rare models. God, that’s a Mini Moke. And the Alfa…

  28. Ricardo Ventura

    regrettable.
    regardless of the reason, the government should ensure the cars.
    as I am Brazilian, I understand but do not agree with what was done by the government and police.
    inconpetente government.
    The Chevette “SR” 1.6 is now rare here in Brazil.
    good luck Humberto Roca. their cars are wonderful.

  29. Old Bobby Friendship

    Humberto,
    as you see, there are a whole load of supporters for you.
    It sucks that you are treated like this, but anyway, like others here, I wish you the best of Luck, not just for the cars, but for you too!
    Thanks for letting us know about it all.

  30. Humberto Roca

    Thanks to everyone!! I am very happy to have you all as a support, I will try to keep things updated to you guys just to show how much i Appreciate this support!

    Once again thanks all!

  31. MarkA

    As a UK based Subscriber I’m absolutely in LOVE with the Ford Escort Mk1 with the Bubble Arches! Any UK Older (Boy Racers) would adore that vehicle especially if it happens to be a RS1600 with the Lotus BDA twin cam! And as its Rally Prepared I’d LOVE to hear it singing through the Twin 48 Webbers (Mechanical Music!)

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