Châtillon Car Graveyard

THE ABANDONED CAR GRAVEYARD IN BELGIUM


This is the ‘Châtillon Car Graveyard’, a forrest full of abandoned cars. Châtillon is a section of the Belgian town of Saint-Léger, located in Wallonia.

I found rusty Volkswagens, a 1953 Pontiac Chieftain, Renault Dauphine, Studebaker Champion, Ford Thunderbird, a Peugeot 202, Buick Century, Opel Olympia and a Panhard PL 17.

The story goes that these cars once belonged to US soldiers who were stationed in this region. When the Second World War ended, all military troops were sent back to the US, but the cost of having all those cars shipped was way too expensive. They decided to leave all the cars in Belgium. The cars were driven up a hill, one by one, nicely parked and somehow hidden from the outside world.

NATO

The truth is that the cars belonged to NATO employees from Canada living in Belgium and France. Soldiers who came over with their families bought an American car at the local garage in Châtillon. It was specialized in selling and fixing American cars. By 1967 most soldiers had left. The grounds around the garage became a junkyard.

During my visit, after the owner of the garage died, a big forest hides the rusty wagons. Along the road we found a second graveyard. In the gallery you can see photos from both places. I took these photos of the ‘Châtillon Car Graveyard’ in 2008. The site was cleaned in 2010 due to concerns about environmental issues.


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