Featured: GALLERY: A Forest Full Of Rotting Classics Is Eerily Beautiful

GALLERY: A Forest Full Of Rotting Classics Is Eerily Beautiful

By Ted Gushue
December 13, 2016
16 comments

Photography by Petra Sagnak

Retired German racing river Michael Fröhlich lives a pretty quiet life these days in Dusseldorf Germany. His racing career is accomplished, his place in life sound and spoken for, but his home? It’s surrounded by a massive graveyard filled with one car for every year he’s been alive. He’s not quiet about this collection of rotted masterpieces, he’s actually been interviewed dozens and dozens of times about it.

In an interview in the UK’s The Sun, Fröhlich explained “The story of this park is a story of my life. There are 50 pieces of my life, 50 pieces of the year of myself. I wanted to demonstrate that nature is stronger than human brain, or human engineering. It’s a matter of taste and a matter of freedom and what you can do – what you’re allowed to do. When I started with this they looked nearly not new, but they looked a little bit ugly – used cars – and now you can see the nature. The nature is the boss.”

I’d actually wager most of you reading this have seen a photo or two of his collection at some point during the last five years. But when Petra Sagnak, one of our most talented photographers mentioned that she was paying him a visit, we jumped at the chance to share her work.

Scroll through the gallery for an eerily beautiful look into Michael’s collection.

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Kenneth Geelhaar
Kenneth Geelhaar
5 years ago

I think these photographs would make a wonderful 2017 or 2018 calendar myself. My father drag raced a 1938 Chevrolet coupe during the sixties and early seventies. Mom and dad separated until that car was sold then she came back. The guy that bought it sold it to another guy (Flipper). That guy put it on the street and lost his license with it. To make a long story short, that car has been rotting away in a field for years. Many people have offered to buy it from him and he will not part with it. I think it is a sickness. Maybe a way to get even with the car for some reason. Or maybe as long as he owns it, he is somebody to the people who want it. Either way, I remember what that car was back in the day and no matter how much money you throw at it, it will never be the same. As likely as these cars featured in this article. Maybe it is a bolder statement from nature. That mother nature will win and everything that man makes will be lost in decay.

De Dion
De Dion(@de-dion)
5 years ago

Quite a powerful art piece and I really like it.

There is enough (or too much) cars for people to enjoy. No reason to cry for 50 rotting ones

Dieut et mon Droit
Dieut et mon Droit
5 years ago

Dementia? who knows..A powerful, albeit disturbing statement no less. One would hope his will does not instruct the destruction of the remains; though, I am not sure whether the alternative of vulture auction houses and profiteering merchants would be a better fate.

As for the photography, it does convey the horror feeling of the auto cemetery, but it is overpowering and closer to post-processed art style renderings than snaps, Maybe less is more sometimes.

Bill Meyer
Bill Meyer(@jack-straw)
5 years ago

Lordy, that fella would probably burn Buddah’s baby pictures and then brag about it.

John Darlow
John Darlow(@john_darlow)
5 years ago

This is a conceit only the wealthy, jaded, self obsessed could perpetrate. How sad.

Andrew Salt
Andrew Salt(@nacl)
5 years ago
Reply to  John Darlow

Agreed. I used to have a Classic Range Rover that was always needing various parts which were expensive, even by aftermarket manufacturers. I was out walking with the family one time in some woods in Worcestershire and came across a farm with 20 to 30 RR Classics in various states of decay – clearly never again to turn a wheel on the road. I approached the farmer to see if I could have a few bits and pieces (for suitable payment, of course) to keep mine running, but was told to bugger off.
Very sad that some people allow this to happen. I’m sure it’s akin to an illness sometimes.

Mark
Mark
4 years ago
Reply to  John Darlow

Well said.

Viktor Koot
Viktor Koot(@kotomoto)
5 years ago

My hands itch to get there and try to save what I can…. Maybe that’s the real power and beauty of this place. I understand, can appreciate, but it’s hard to accept.

Mark St Clair
Mark St Clair(@fb_10154261807253636)
5 years ago

Yes, “death by HDR” would be a more apt title. As for the owner of the cars… What a waste, his to do with how he sees fit but there is no respect here.

Petra Sagnak
Petra Sagnak(@petrasagnak)
5 years ago
Reply to  Mark St Clair

Sorry, but I have to say: I didn’t`t use HDR… Anyway…

Andrew Salt
Andrew Salt(@nacl)
5 years ago

HDR photography can be just too overpowering sometimes. Clever, but sometimes less is more.

Petra Sagnak
Petra Sagnak(@petrasagnak)
5 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Salt

I never use HDR, because I don`t like it. I use my own way to handle the colours and contrast. Anyhow, you can not make it right to everybody. Thank you for your feedback. 🙂

Emil
Emil
5 years ago

What happened to all those beautiful ?

bozatwork
bozatwork
5 years ago

I think the same point could be made in a more subtle, less destructive way.

FH944
FH944(@fh944)
5 years ago

These photos make me cringe… I’m thoroughly disturbed now.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger(@gtrslngr)
5 years ago

Eeesh … maybe I’m the only one but to be honest I find all that decay , rot and destruction to be on the verge of depressing as well as creepily vulgar and profane . I’ mean seriously … what a waste ………….

As for the photographs themselves though apart from the subject matter ? Yeah … now those are beautiful