Slideshow Part1 Kaufdorf car graveyard September 2007
Kaufdorf Autofriedhof – Switzerland’s vintage car graveyard. It was the biggest graveyard of its kind in Europe — a vast metal jungle of more than 1000 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 intend to clear it by court order later this year. 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 last month when an open day was held. The organisers expected about 50 people to attend, but 10000 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 2000 vehicles.
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