What happens when a storage unit is abandoned? Eventually, the items might be sold individually at an auction, or the entire unit (and its contents) might go to the highest bidder. The second option is sometimes very popular, but risky for the buyer who can only hope that the unit has worthwhile items. Surprisingly, abandoned storage units are found more often than you’d imagine, and there are also instances of storage units going unpaid until the tenant’s belongings are sold as a means of recouping some of the costs. There are even some TV shows capitalizing on this, although the validity of these shows is steeped in controversy.
While you’re perusing the best deals for storage units, take a breather and check out some of the weirdest items to ever be found in storage units. Clearly, some of these tenants didn’t take the rules of what’s “storable” to heart. From living in storage units to using them as drug manufacturing labs, people can get really creative when it comes to maximizing their space.
A New Yorker bought a “mystery unit” for $100 hoping that he’d find some goodies in an abandoned storage unit, but what he really found was a Lotus Esprit S1 “hidden” under piles of blankets. However, this wasn’t just any old car, it was the one James Bond drove in “The Spy Who Loved Me.” The winning bidder thought the show car in storage with no wheels and just fins was an oddity since he’d never seen a single Bond film. Talk about catching a lucky break.
Nicolas Cage has a penchant for collecting comics, and one of his prized possessions was an Action comic from 1938 which he bought for $150,000. This was Superman’s first appearance anywhere. Cage had lost the book to a burglar a few years earlier and was thrilled when it turned up in an abandoned storage shed in 2011. Promptly returned to Cage, he auctioned it off immediately to the tune of $2.16 million.
Buyer Shannon Whisnant was happy to score a barbecue smoker abandoned in a storage unit during auction, but once he brought it home he discovered a human leg inside. However, there was nothing macabre going on. Police investigated and found that the former owner had a leg amputated following an accident, but he kept his “original” to bury with him when he died.
That’s “stash,” not his notorious ‘stache. Burt Reynolds apparently prefers to keep collectibles and memorabilia in storage, but this once he simply forgot about his unit. During an auction, a chair made out of hockey sticks from “Mystery, Alaska,” the canoe in “Deliverance” and a host of other movie memorabilia was discovered.
Lesson learned: If you store something, pay your rent and don’t forget about it. Otherwise, it might just end up at auction and as a great story for the person who buys the abandoned unit.