Man Finds Safe Containing $7.5 Million In Cash

man fins millions in safe

A man who purchased the contents of a self-storage unit for $500 discovered a safe inside containing $7.5 million in cash, according to Dan and Laura Dotson, owners of American Auctioneers, the company that presided over the sale. The couple, who star on the A&E reality television series “Storage Wars,” learned of the discovery through a third party earlier this month and shared the story via Facebook video. They didn’t reveal the man’s identity or where the auction took place.

Dan Dotson was attending the Cars, Stars, Rock ‘N’ Roll & BBQ Festival in Indio, Calif., Nov. 2-4, when a woman whose husband works for the lucky auction winner approached Dan and shared the tale. According to the video, the man sought the services of two locksmiths before finding one who could or would open the safe.\

After the discovery, the man was approached by an attorney representing the safe owner, who offered him $600,000 to return the money. He declined the original offer but settled on $1.2 million, refunding the remainder of the cash. It’s unclear how the attorney learned of the auction or tracked down the winner.

 

What they would do in this situation?
Would you give the money back? Would you ask for a finders fee?

You would be surprised, at what you can find in a self-storage auction. Sometimes it might be more than just furniture and photo albums.

 

 

Source:
Daily Mail, Buyer Finds a Safe Containing $7.5M Inside Unit He Bought From Storage Wars Host.

This Car Was Hidden Away For 30 Years

hidden treasure in storage unit

The Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe prototype sits in its rightful place, a museum founded by its current owner. The first of only six ever built, it was the first American manufactured car to defeat the Ferrari on its own turf, was engulfed by flames in Daytona, was driven through Los Angeles by a popular musician and then restricted to a storage unit for over 30 years. Many had believed the vehicle had been lost. Today though, over 50 years after being built it was found.

 

Created by American automotive entrepreneur, Carroll Shelby, who wanted to beat Italian designer Enzo Ferrari. He had previously done so as a driver with the Aston Martin, winning the FIA World Sportscar Championship in 1959. By 1963 Shelby had hung up his racing gear but wished to win as a constructor, and with an American Car that he created. With designer Pete Brock, hired to shape the car for maximum speed the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe was born. Two years later in 1965 Shelby took first place at the FIA – the first American to do so.

 

After years of events surrounding the car such as surviving a fire while refueling in Daytona 1964 and setting 23 national and international speed records it ended up in the hands of music producer Phil Spector. Spector chose to use the vehicle as a cruiser but wound up getting an extraordinary amount of speeding tickets, eventually being suggested by his lawyer to get rid of it. In light of this Spector decided to sell the prototype to his bodyguard, George Band, for $1000. Brand then gave the car to his daughter, Donna O’Hara, who then decided to hide it away in a California storage unit, where it remained for over 30 years.

 

Interest over time mounted around the car and O’Hara received multiple offers for it, but she always refused. With the help of a lawyer, Martin Eyears, car collector and retired neurosurgeon Frederick Simeone managed to convince O’Hara to sell him the car, for an unknown amount, but believed to be up around $4 million. In 2008, he founded the Simeone Automotive Museum in Philadelphia, where the car now sits amount 65 other classic racers. It is unfortunate that a happy story also included a strong downer. After the sale of the car O’Hara willed the proceeds of the sale to her mother and then set herself on fire. This was after the deal had been done.

 

After the owner’s surprising demise a legal battle ensued around the car that lasted for months. When information that the car was discovered and was being sold to a private party, many buyers desperately pleaded to the judge to put it up for public sale. Even Phil Spector tried to reclaim ownership over the car stating he never truly sold the car to his bodyguard but simply loaned it to him for safekeeping. In the end the judge concluded that the Daytona Coupe prototype had already been sold legitimately to Simeone.

 

It’s hard to put a price on the car today, almost 15 years after the sale. The other five Daytonas – produced in Italy – are already in the hands of private collectors with one sold in 2009 for $7.5 million. It is safe to assume that Shelby’s first prototype would get significantly more due to it being the originator, the last to be in competition, and still in its original state with no replaced parts or repainting. Not too bad for a car sitting inside a storage unit for over 30 years.

Ranking The Top 25 Crazy Finds In Storage Lockers On Storage Wars

storage facility

Storage Wars the hit A&E Network reality show about a group of professional buyers and bidders going to storage facilities to buy units that have been left by their owners. The laws differ from state to state, in California the filming location for the TV series, the law states that storage units can be auctioned off for bidders if the owner has not paid after three months.

There have been times over the years where the legitimacy of Storage Wars finds have been called into question such as when one of the main bidders, Dave Hester, was caught in a lawsuit claiming he had planted items within the lockers to increase the excitement of the show.

Regardless of the validity of the finds, they do make for great television, certainly with the assortment of crazy things they have come across over 12 seasons. Ranging from the bizarre and fantastic to the outlandish and peculiar, screenrant ranks their top 25 items found on Storage Wars. Below we pick out a few of our favorites.

 

  1. The Elvis Collection
    Newspaper clippings long ago had a lot of value, but today most get their news and information online the value of these clippings have fallen greatly. However, specific newspapers that cover various moments in history can still be quite valuable. Dave Hester wound up bidding on a unit that unknowing to him, included tons of newspaper clippings from the day Elvis Presley died. With the clippings and assortment of Elvis memorabilia and collectibles, the unit was valued to be worth around $90,000. One of the largest finds on the show to date.
  2. World War II Minesweeper
    After a long bidding war between Dave and Ivy in the boiling heat of Southern California, Dave walked away with a fully packed unit using a high bid of $1500. What at first, felt like a bit of a loss bidding so much for a unit ended up being a huge victory when an old army container and the helmet was found in the unit. Upon further inspection of the items, it was determined they had uncovered an old World War II Minesweeper valued at almost $4,400.
  3. Human Skeleton
    On the spookier side of things, Dave Hester as going through a locker uncovered a collection of human bones, skull included. Given the circumstances and for his sake, he brought in an expert to determine whether or not the skeleton was real or not. They were determined to be real but not in a malicious way. The human skeleton was used for medical schools for students to study. The expert was able to determine this by the professional cleaning and nylon strings used to hold the bones together. All in all the skeleton was found to be worth over $1500.
  4. Whale In A Jar
    For a time on the show, Darrell decided with his son Brandon to go off on their own so he could teach his son the ropes of playing the storage hunting game. Unfortunately, Brandon still walked away with many dud units. One find though was quite significant and oddly strange. When picking through a unit he came upon a jar that he could only claim as “whale stuff”. Even experts after the find became baffled by how such an item would end up in a storage unit.
  5. Frank Gutierrez Artwork Collection
    Artwork is not a surprise to find when it comes to storage units. In fact, it is one of the most common items found in abandoned units, but one unit full of it ended up being one of the greatest finds in the show. Valued at over $300,000, it was as if the unit itself had been abandoned by Frank Gutierrez. Containing several pieces from the artist, we are left with many questions. How did the owner attain this artwork and why would they let it go?

Storage Unit Auctioned Off, Terrell Owens’ Loses NFL Keepsakes

found football equipment in storage auction

Someone in Georgia just made off with a bunch of Terrell Owens’ awesome NFL memorabilia … snatching up the Hall of Famer’s storage unit at an auction … and now TO is scrambling to get it back. TMZ Sports had learned Items in Owens’ old storage unit in Atlanta were auctioned off after he stopped making payments to the company.

There was some really cool stuff, from a custom bust of TO, old playbooks, autographed helmets, cleats, and even a copy of an NDA that we’re assuming the NFLer gave to people at parties.

You never really know when you will strike gold with a self-storage auction.

Consider, for instance, Marc Smith, president of Florida-based Personal Mini Storage. Several years ago, one of his facilities was auctioning off a handful of units, and one of the bidders struck gold with a decidedly unusual find.

“The unit’s tenant just fell off the face of the earth and stopped paying. And when the winning bidder looked inside, there were dozens of boxes labeled ‘Latex Examination Gloves,’” Smith said. “The guy who bought that unit paid like $100 for it. But then he wound up selling the gloves to various places like hospitals and fire departments for almost $20,000.”

Hunting for treasure in a self-storage auction can be a rewarding adventure if you are patient and know what to look for.

Warp Speed, Mr. Sulu! Star Trek Props in Storage

star trek

If you’ve ever wanted to boldly go where no one has gone before, you might want to take a second look at furniture finds. Star Trek: The Original Series possesses a campy charm when we watch it over 50 years later. These were the olden days of TV production when custom props were no more than slightly altered everyday objects. Because of this, the future doesn’t always look particularly futuristic; a fact that Dax nods to during the classic DS9 episode “Trials and Tribble-ations.

Read More: Getting Started Reselling Toys from Storage Units

Take Kirk’s chair, for example. It’s a receptionist chair manufactured by Madison Furniture Industries. The original captain’s chair used on the Star Trek set sold for over $300K at auction in 2002, but if you’re handy, you can make your own using the ubiquitous office chair as a base.

The Enterprise briefing room was furnished less elaborately than the bridge. It’s easy to give any place a 23rd-century feel with Burke chairs, models 115 and 116. Dress up the chairs with a few triangles, and you’re ready to explore the galaxy.

Even if you’re not a Trekkie, you can take advantage of this Hollywood intel to market old office furniture to those who might want to reconstruct old set pieces for themselves. Finding these chairs in a storage unit won’t be quite a profitable as finding original props, but you might be able to put some gold-pressed latinum in your pocket nevertheless.

As a lasting pop culture staple, Star Trek memorabilia still sell strong. How can you tell if something is an original prop or a replica? You could look for manufacturer labels. Or, you could look for Tootsie Pop residue courtesy of Mr. Spock. According to props master John Dywer, Leonard Nimoy found it perfectly logical to stash lollipops in the tricorders used on set.

Live long and prosper on your next auction journey.