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Say "Sleeping Beauties" to committed car enthusiasts and they will immediately know what you're talking about: a world famous 1980s photo series, showing an extraordinary collection of classical automobiles rusting away in a French barn, neglected by their owner. Famous brands like Bugatti, Lancia, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Cord and Aston Martin, laying under thick layers of dust, spending their remaining days falling apart in isolation. Many have tried to find out what happened to these cars over the last twenty-five years - decayed? destroyed? sold? - but all leads fizzled out...until two Dutchmen and a German hung on where others had given up. In true Boy's Own style, their book tells of the three-year-long search for the fate of the cars from that French barn. It tells the story behind the collection's origins in 1948, through the moment in 1983 when the famous photos were published, up to the day in 2007 when the authors talked to the current 79 year old owner - a man who finally broke his silence about the fate of his collection for the first time in 25 years.
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About the Author

Ard op de Weegh is a schoolprincipal in Arnhem. His father had a fascination with cars, which he passed on to his son, and Ard is very proud to also have a son who shares this passion. Ard began looking into the fate of the 'Sleeping Beauties' when one of his teachers, who was fond of the Alfa 6C2500 Competizione of Dovaz, said shortly before he died that he had planned to research the collection. When the teacher passed away, Ard started to investigate, at first with his son Arnoud, and since December 2006 with Kay Hottendorff, too. Kay Hottendorff, born in 1969, is an electrical engineer from Northern Germany. He has been fascinated by classic cars since his childhood. Kay began investigating the background and fate of Michel Dovaz's 'Sleeping Beauties' collection in 1996, when he first came across the famous 1983 photo series. The cars have haunted him ever since. Nowadays, Kay prefers cars in unrestored or even 'barn find' condition over any restored classic. In his opinion, over-restored cars, looking newer than the latest Volkswagen, lose their identity and history. Arnoud op de Weegh is a student at the technical university in Arnhem. He and his father, Ard, share a lifelong fascination with cars; Arnoud is particularly interested in pre-WWII models, especially Bugatti. He began investigating the Dovaz collection in 2003, taking many trips to France with his father to view barn finds or prewar cars, which resulted in them writing this book in collaboration with Kay Hottendorff.

Reviews

"All the important details are covered - relocation, barn find museum, sale and restoration. There are detailed descriptions of every one of the 55 Sleeping Beauties, with more than 250 color photos." - Old Stager "If you like the drama of finds and discoveries, this one will be for you." - The Automobile "Interviews with the owner of the collection and great 'before and after' pictures makes this the ultimate bible for classic fans." - Auto Express "Really fascinating stuff." - Classic Motor Monthly "It's a great story ... the research is impressive ... there's a great amount of detail here." - Classics Monthly "The book is workmanlike and straightforward in its presentation as it introduces us to Monsieur Dovaz and then, car by car, to the various vehicles heretofore known merely as photos of well-worn sleeping beauties. This is truly a book of provenance." - SAH Journal "All the important details are covered relocation, barn find museum, sale and restoration. There are detailed descriptions of every one of the 55 Sleeping Beauties, with more than 250 color photos." Old Stager"If you like the drama of finds and discoveries, this one will be for you." The Automobile"Interviews with the owner of the collection and great 'before and after' pictures makes this the ultimate bible for classic fans." Auto Express"Really fascinating stuff." Classic Motor Monthly"It's a great story the research is impressive there's a great amount of detail here." Classics Monthly"The book is workmanlike and straightforward in its presentation as it introduces us to Monsieur Dovaz and then, car by car, to the various vehicles heretofore known merely as photos of well-worn sleeping beauties. This is truly a book of provenance." SAH Journal" "The discovery of the automotive hoard of Michel Dovaz in 1983 is legend, but the subsequent history of the barn-find exotics found in Villemarechal is less well known. Now Dutch enthusiast Ard op de Weegh, son Arnoud and researcher Kay Hottendorf have brought the gripping saga up to date." - Classic & Sports Car "The lovingly researched tale of one of France's most mysterious automotive collections." - Telegraph Motoring "The author carefully charts the story of the eventual transformation of the Sleeping Beauties from wrecks to show cars. Enjoy this book containing an equally gripping and tall tale, which runs to 160 pages and has 277 fabulous before and after photographs of just the kind of sleeping beauties we'd love to awaken with a kiss." - Gay Classic Car Group "This sympathetically written, beautifully illustrated and engaging hardback tells the story of how the collection came to exist and how many of the models were restored and have become impressive showpieces." - Hull Daily Mail "Painstakingly researched, with detailed descriptions of each of the 55 cars, their histories, their current locations and their physical states - and that's everything from a Bugatti T55 to a VW K70." - Octane "For anyone who was left dreaming about those beat-up Bugattis and corroded Cords, 'The Fate of the Sleeping Beauties' is heavenly reading." - Old Cars Weekly

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