Storms uncover unexpected hidden history in Richmond’s Fan District


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)  —  Last week’s storms did something unexpected: The wind and rain uncovered a bit of history that has a whole neighborhood talking.

In an alley behind West Grace Street in Richmond’s Fan District sits an old Ford convertible.

“Just something that was abandoned one day never to be driven again,” Angela Schoonover said as she walked by with her dog, Winnie.

No one’s sure how long the vintage car sat hidden inside a garage overgrown with weeds and vines.

When storms brought down the door last week, wide-eyed neighbors were in for a surprising reveal.

“Very interesting to walk by and see something that was definitely hidden, gets exposed by the falling door,” Richard Rhemer said.

Neighbor Hans Smetana added, “I’m sure someone drove it and loved it so much and had plans and they never fulfilled the plans.”

“I think it’s kind of cool that it’s so old and it looks like it hasn’t been moved in a really long time,” explained Schoonover. 

They say the owner died a couple of years ago. Since then, the property’s been abandoned.

But it’s now getting more attention than ever because of the 1949 ride.

After someone posted its picture on reddit, people started coming by for a peek.

Even though the car has lost its luster, the rusting ragtop is still a looker.

“Anything can be rebuilt,” insists Smetana, “If a man built it, a man can fix it, right?”

The old Ford is fun to look at, but the garage door is a nuisance; it blocks part of the heavily traveled alley.

Richmond’s Code Enforcement Manager says the city will be looking at the problem on Friday.

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