Purchasing storage units left abandoned by others, and all their contents, has been popularized by the television show “Storage Wars“, leading to legions looking for that one rare find. Here’s some of the rarest and greatest items ever found in storage units. What will your next “pick” bring?
1966 Shelby Mustang
Lecompton, Kan., auctioneer and businessman Bill Fair was hired by a court-appointed attorney to clean out a storage unit. Fair has performed this task many times, finding everything from skulls and body parts to rare items worth thousands or more. But this 1966 Ford Shelby Mustang was Fair’s rarest find and one of only around 1,100 original genuine 1966 Shelby Mustangs. Similar cars have sold for up to around $2 million, but unfortunately since he didn’t buy the storage unit himself, Fair won’t see that money.
Original Amelia Earhart Photos
Diane Brown of Tracy, Calif. was cleaning out the storage unit she’d just purchased when she stumbled upon a manila envelope, thinking it was trash. It turned out the envelope contained priceless photographs of Amelia Earhart, the legendary female pilot who died while attempting to fly around the world in 1937. Brown contacted the “Antiques Roadshow” about appraisal and was then referred to auction, where the photos were expected to fetch at least $1,000 each.
$500,000 in Gold and Silver
“John” of San Jose, Calif., who didn’t reveal his full name to the media, purchased an abandoned storage unit in Contra Costra County, Calif., and did not even need a trip to the “Antiques Roadshow” to figure out what his find was worth: it came in the form of gold and silver totaling more than $500,000. This pirate’s treasure was reportedly found in a Rubber-Maid container and was so heavy that three men had to lug it out.
A near-mint copy of the most sought-after comic book in existence was found by the winner of a storage unit auction in the Los Angeles, Calif., area. This copy was once owned by Nicolas Cage. One of the first comics ever to be published sold for the exorbitant sum of $2,161,000 at an internet auction, its lucky finder the recipient of one of the largest-paying storage finds ever. You can even read how the Cage comic saga may be turned into a movie!
Civil War Antiques
An auctioned storage unit in Virgina had been owned by a former World War II general and contained priceless military-related antiques leading all the way back to the Civil War, including multiple documents signed by U.S. presidents. The total value? $200,000.
Casey Haslem is a writer and a hobby painter. She writes often about storage and organization. If you’re in need of help with storage, contact Philadelphia self storage units or Chicago Extra Space Storage.