We’re in the middle of a series of articles that covers cars and vans hiding in an abandoned campground located on the outskirts of Marseille, France. All of these cars were stolen, stripped and hidden out of sight decades ago. The ones that we’re showcasing were all built in either the 1950s or the 1960s, but the odd part is that there are also a handful of more modern cars like a Peugeot 306 and at least two first-generation Renault Clios. The place looks like a stolen car depot passed down from father to son.
We’re featuring the cars in the order that we photographed them in: Walking clockwise through the vast, wooded plot of land. The campground hasn’t been used in decades and it is littered with car parts as well as miscellaneous scrap metal, construction debris and so forth. The only indication that this was once a place where families went on vacation are dark green portable plastic toilets (visible in the background of some of the pictures below).
Folks who have been following the series closely have likely noticed that, so far, all of the cars have been vandalized and/or tagged. The 403 is the only exception, not because vandals admire Pininfarina-designed lines but because the sedan actually fairly well hidden. It took us two trips to the campground before we found it, stashed away at the very far end of the lot behind several trees that were knocked down by a storm years ago.
Like all of the cars we’ve covered so far, the 403 has been pretty well stripped – all of the body panels have been removed and the interior is gutted save for minor parts like the steering column, the blower motor housing and the shift lever. The top end of the engine (head, carb, manifolds) is missing but the bottom end is intact and the transmission is still in place.
The 403 is over 500 yards away from the nearest road. We think that it was the first car hidden in these woods, meaning that it has been in this very spot for over thirty years.