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7 of the Most Amazing Scrapyard Finds

Scrapyards only house junk, or so the theory goes. Old machines, vehicles and other miscellaneous cast-offs are sent to the scrapyard and eventually end up as recycled goods.

However, this is not always the case. Sometimes, amongst all the clutter, we can unearth some hidden gems. From treasured vehicles to precious jewelry, there are plenty of valuables lying around at scrapyards just waiting to be found. So, to whet your appetite for buried treasure, this article will provide seven of the most amazing scrapyard finds.

Long lost bowling trophy

Around 25 years ago, Robert Blair from the parish town of Workington stumbled across a trophy while searching in his local scrapyard. The trophy turned out to be the Commercial Travellers Cup – a cup which belonged to Selkirk Bowling Club and was last presented 139 years prior to the finding.

Gold, gold, gold!

In a scrapyard in Houston, Texas, a safe containing £2 million worth of gold and silver coins was found. The safe was given away to be sold as scrap, but was first given to a locksmith to identify the contents. The locksmith got a big surprise, namely, a £2 million surprise in the form 50 Krugerrands and thousands of uncirculated, silver dollars.

Maps of the British Empire

scrap copper map plates
(c)British Library Board: Provisional Shelfmark – Maps 188.v.41.

Elsewhere, ten copper plates engraved with detailed maps of the British Empire dating back to 1779 were found in a scrapyard in Norfolk. One plate was bought by a local who intended to use it as a mudguard, before noticing the markings and contacting an archivist. After identifying the plates, the archivist made sure the plates went on display at a British Library in North London.

Rudi Caracciola’s Mercedes-Benz

Out in Los Angeles, Rudi Caracciola’s 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500k was found neglected in a scrapyard. Rudi was one of the most celebrated race car drivers of his era and was gifted the car for his commitment to German racing – it was one of a kind. Based on recent auction figures, Rudi’s 500k could be worth up to a ceiling of £8 million. Not bad for a rusty, old banger found in a scrapyard!

LS Lowry’s belongings

Perhaps the oddest of the bunch is this: LS Lowry’s letters, accounts and bank statements were found by a man in a scrapyard in Manchester. What’s more, the papers showed just how cheaply his paintings were going for in the 60’s. One of them, Old Houses, sold for £45; it’s now worth around £500,000.

McQueen’s Mustang

Over in Mexico, however, a Ford Mustang driven by Steve McQueen in Bullitt was found after it went missing for 50 years. The car was involved in one of the most adored on-screen car chases of all time, and is now owned by the founders – two automobile enthusiasts who wish to restore it to its former glory!

£20 million egg

Perhaps the most incredible find – and certainly the most expensive – a Faberrgé egg was discovered by a scrap metal dealer in the American Midwest. Starting life in Tsarist Russia, the Imperial Easter Egg was designed by Carl Fabergé in 1887 and seized by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution. The dealer, who bought the egg at an auction for £8,000, sold it years later to a collector for £20 million after reading a Telegraph article on the very same ornament, changing his life forever.

Hill Metal Recycling are the metal recycling experts, with services spanning scrap metal, copper, lead, brass, zinc, aluminium, steel and stainless steel recycling along with cable recycling, scrap metal collection and scrap car collection and depollution. We’re open to public, trade and businesses and offer the best scrap prices in Essex. If you’re looking for an easy in and easy out drop-off recycling service, you can always count on the friendly professionals at HMR. Contact one of our friendly team today for more information.