|Italian dictator Benito Mussolini gave an Alfa Romeo to his mistress Clara Petacci as a gift. The pair met at Lake Como and planned to seek asylum in Switzerland.|
A motorcade they were in, which included a retreating German anti-aircraft unit, was stopped at a roadblock near the town of Dongo on April 27, 1945. The fascist leader and his mistress were both identified before being shot dead and their bodies hung upside down at a petrol station. Petacci’s Alfa Romeo was confiscated and eventually acquired by an American Army Air Corps officer, Major Charles Pettit.
|The vehicle was given a new lease of life in 1970 when it was purchased by Ron Keno of Mohawk, New York for $300. The antiques dealer was eventually put in touch with Franz Spogler, a former Nazi whose job it had been to drive Petacci and Mussolini towards the end of the war.|
Correspondence between the pair convinced Keno that he had ownership of the historic car.
|A no-expenses-spared restoration with Garage Bonfanti followed. The work, which went so far as to recreate replicas of the original dashboard switchgear, reportedly took two years and cost a staggering €500,000 (roughly $625,000 in 2004).|
|The 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C2500 achieved a high bid of €1.8 million ($2.1 million), but failed to meet its reserve price.|
|Dozens of Jaguars, BMWs and Mercedes have been left with the keys in the ignitions by former millionaire owners who have chosen to cut their losses and run back home rather than face potential jail sentences under Dubai’s strict debt laws.|
More than 3,000 cars were abandoned last year — to be sold off by Dubai police or scrapped.
|Recent reports have highlighted high-end sports cars gathering dust at Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports from panicked expats fleeing the country to avoid prison sentences for money owed.|
Under Sharia law which is observed across the Middle East, non-payment of debt is a criminal offence. As the UAE has no bankruptcy laws, there is no protection for those slipping into debt, even accidentally. There have been cases of foreigners being prevented from leaving the Emirates after being blacklisted for missing a credit card payment or bouncing a cheque.
|In the 1950s Newton Square, Pennsylvania was a sleepy farming community.|
On December in the mid 1950s the local paper reported a particularly bad traffic accident. A local family driving home from Christmas services on West Chester Pike shortly after midnight were struck by another car. The entire family—a mother, father, and their teenage son were killed instantly.
Opening of New West Chester Pike — 1956
|It was found that a young male driver who was drunk and driving recklessly caused the accident. He and his one male passenger survived the accident virtually unscathed. |
The young man’s family was well connected politically and he avoided persecution. It was stated he felt no remorse for what he had done. In fact, he joked about the accident and the deaths he had caused several times.
|An early Christmas morning, a year later, the man with the same friend in the car were out driving drunk and reckless—again on West Chester Pike. The 1938 Plymouth hot rod the young man drove overturned on the trolley tracks that went along the highway. |
It was very near the spot were they had hit and killed the family twelve months before. Both men were killed.
Red Arrow cars on West Chester Pike before end of rail service in June 1954.
|That part of West Chester Pike is patrolled by Pennsylvania State Police and municipal police from Newtown Township. Reports soon appeared of a recklessly driven '38 Plymouth that they couldn't manage to bring down. The chase always happened in the early morning albeit it was not dependent on the season. Roadblocks would be set but the quarry would never arrive.|
Once an officer did manage to pull alongside the Plymouth and see the occupants. He wrote that they were "two young men in strangely out-of-style slicked back duck-tail haircuts, with expressions of absolute and abject terror and pain, as though they were seeing Hell and knew they could never escape".
The A3 Burpham Ghost Crash
|On December 11, 2002 at roughly 7:20 PM, drivers on the A3 in Surrey began to call in about an accident involving a car that had swerved off the road with its headlights blazing and went into the underbrush down the embankment off the side of the highway at Burpham near Guildford.|
When officers went to investigate, they found no sign of the vehicle. Indeed, it appeared to have vanished. The underbrush itself was high and thick; it did not look disturbed at all. A further search was ordered, with chilling results.
|Just 20 yards from the reported 'crash scene' and buried in twisted undergrowth was the remains of a wrecked car and the skeleton of a man. |
Police believed that the driver's body had laid undiscovered for five months. Motorists are now wondering if what they saw was a ghostly apparition of the original crash. The body was identified from dental records as that of 21-year-old Christopher Brian Chandler from Middlesex, who had been on the run from the Metropolitan Police since July 16 that year. He was wanted for robbery. Chandler crawled from his Vauxhall Astra, but could not climb the bank of the A3 at Burpham, Surrey, to seek help.
|The inquest was told that the driver's door was badly damaged and it was likely that Mr Chandler had crawled out using the passenger door. A pathologist said it was impossible to establish the cause of death, but Chandler had suffered injuries to his right side consistent with a crash.|