The Haunting Car Graveyard of Chatillon, Belgium

chatillon-car-graveyard (Image: Theo van Vliet, reproduced with permission)

This haunting series of images by Theo van Vliet and Marcel Wiegerinck explores one of the world’s most intriguing vehicle cemeteries. Located in a small forest near the southern Belgium village of Châtillon, urban legend has it that these rusting automobiles in the ‘car graveyard’ once belonged to US servicemen stationed in the area during World War Two.

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chatillon-car-graveyard-belgium (Images: Theo van Vliet, reproduced with permission)

The story goes that, after the war ended, departing US soldiers hid their cars in the forest due to the cost of shipping them overseas. Plans to retrieve the vintage vehicles at a later date were never realised, and the cars steadily deteriorated as the decades passed.

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chatillon-car-graveyard-7 (Images: Theo van Vliet, reproduced with permission)

Left to the mercy of the elements, souvenir hunters and enthusiasts on the lookout for spares, their rusting shells gradually became part of the forest. But over the years, more cars have been added to the corroding collection, explaining why many of these vehicles don’t actually fit the wartime story, and most likely rendering it an urban myth that has blown a pile of old wrecks out of proportion.

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chatillon-car-graveyard-9

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chatillon-car-graveyard-11 (Images: Marcel Wiegerinck (website: fotoclub.nu), reproduced with permission)

Today the vintage vehicles make for an unusual sight in the woodland – hardly the most environmentally friendly auto collection, but nonetheless one that has been woven into the fabric of the local landscape.

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chatillon-car-graveyard-14 (Images: Marcel Wiegerinck, reproduced with permission)

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  • UKJeeper

    “urban legend has it that these rusting automobiles in the ‘car graveyard’ once belonged to US servicemen stationed in the area during World War Two.”

    Urban Legend is about right. Every one of those cars dates from the mid 50′s and newer….

 
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