Slideshow Part5 Kaufdorf car graveyard Spring 2010
Kaufdorf Autofriedhof - Switzerland's vintage car graveyard.
It was the biggest graveyard of its kind in Europe -- a vast metal jungle
of more than 1,000 rusting vintage cars including forgotten British
Wolseleys, "sit up and beg" Ford Prefects, rotting Porsches and even the
wreck of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud.
The collection of decaying old-timers, which go back to the late-1920s,
sits in makeshift corrugated iron garages and among trees on the edge of
Kaufdorf some 10 miles south of Switzerland's capital Bern.
After surviving for 75 years, the authorities have declared that the
collection is an environmental hazard and decided to clear it by court
order. But the plan has provoked uproar among concerned Kaufdorf locals and
more than just a few other Swiss residents. A campaign to preserve the site
was started when an open day was held. The organisers expected about 50
people to attend, but 10,000 turned up. Franz Messerli, whose father
founded the car cemetery, said: "We never expected such interest. Our aim
is to preserve it for posterity as a national work of art."
Mr Messerli's father, Walter, opened what was originally intended as a
vehicle breaker's yard in 1933. A part-time racing driver and scrap-metal
dealer, he was fascinated by cars and even taught himself to be a mechanic.
At its peak, his collection numbered about 2,000 vehicles.
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