That Time Two Kids Dug Up a Ferrari Dino 246 GTS in Their Front Yard…


We’ve all heard about great barn finds. But did you ever hear the story of two Los Angeles boys who made an amazing yard find? 

It happened in 1978, just three months after their family moved into a rental home. Perhaps pretending to search for buried treasure, the boys were digging in the yard when they heard the unmistakable clink of metal-to-metal. A bit unnerved at the thought of what they might find if they kept digging themselves, the boys quickly flagged down a passing sheriff’s cruiser.

What happened next made the boys’s pretend search for buried treasure a real-life amazing discovery. With the help of a skip loader, a team of shovel-wielding workers and two sheriff’s detectives, uncovered something no one expected – a Ferrari Dino 246 GTS.

More digging revealed that the car had been wrapped in plastic sheets and towels were stuffed into the car’s intakes, likely to keep dirt, worms and bugs from working their way into the mechanics. A little more investigating turned up the truth of just how the rare sports car had come to be buried in suburban LA. Turns out it was the subject of an insurance scam run four years earlier. The car’s owner had hired a couple of shady characters to jack the pricey ride while he and his wife dined at a nearby restaurant.

Perhaps he should have picked a more professional pair of ne’er-do-wells. As per the agreement, the thieves were supposed to roll the car over a cliff into the Pacific Ocean. Instead, they were so taken with the gorgeous ride that they nixed the plan and instead buried it in what, at the time, was a mechanic’s pit. Their new plan likely was to wait until the insurer’s investigation was a done deal, then dig up the flashy ride and keep it for themselves.

Ultimately, the car ended up acquired by Ferrari enthusiast Brad Howard, who restored it to its pre-burial glory. At the time, detectives estimated that the rare car was valued at around $18,000 – That’s upward of $68,000 in today’s dollars.

Check out the Jalopnik video for the full story. In the meantime – Do you have a great barn find story? Post it on the E3 Spark Plugs Facebook Fan Page.

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