Well, we never thought storage units would be the subject of a hit TV show, but we’ve certainly been proven wrong. The most notable storage-based TV drama is, of course,  A&E’s “Storage Wars,” which has been going strong since 2010.

The show focuses on a specific aspect of self-storage facilities called auctions. From time to time, people who rent storage units stop paying or otherwise disappear for a period of time long enough for the owners of the storage facility to auction off the items in that unit. (Don’t worry – storage facilities don’t just sell your stuff willy-nilly and even mildly-responsible storage users shouldn’t be concerned about this).

However, the point we’re getting to is that there have been some truly crazy, unique, and valuable items found in these abandoned storage units over the years. In today’s blog, we’re going to take some time to highlight some of the most bizarre.

Crazy Storage Auction Finds

  1. Nicholas Cage’s Comic Book Sells Big: We promised bizarre stories and we’re here to deliver. On its surface, it seems incredibly lucky that a bidder in California won a storage auction that uncovered a mint-condition copy of the first edition of Action Comics — also the first comic where Superman made an appearance. It seems a miracle that this copy sold for over two million dollars (you heard that right). It’s downright bizarre that this exact copy once belonged to actor Nicholas Cage, who bought it in 1997 for $150,000 and later reported it stolen.
  2. Elon Musk Buys James Bond’s Submarine Car: In a shocking turn of events, a man in 1989 bid less than $100 on a storage unit. When he opened it up he found a white sports car without wheels. As he drove home with the car haphazardly strapped to his truck, he was contacted by other drivers through a CB radio and told that he was carrying a submarine car from The Spy Who Loved Me. In 2013, the car was auctioned off in London and bought by none other than Tesla founder Elon Musk for some pocket change of $997,000.
  3. Read All About Elvis: In 2010, a huge collection of newspapers were found in a storage unit. This isn’t uncommon, but here’s the crazy part: these papers were all from the day Elvis Presley died. We’re sure that the person who nabbed this find said, “Thank you, thank you very much,” to the person who paid a whopping $90,000 for this stack of newspapers.
  4. A Leg, A Bidder, And A Circus Attraction Walk Into A Legal Battle: When Shannon Whisnant bought won a bid for a storage unit in 2007, he was not surprised to find a meat smoker in it. He was, however, shocked to open the meat smoker to find an embalmed human leg. He called the police and a man named John Wood came forward to claim the limb. Wood had lost his leg during a plane crash several years earlier and had it preserved in the hopes that he would one day be buried with it (why he chose to keep his leg in a smoker, we’ll never know). Believe it or not, it gets crazier. Because the story made the local news, Whisnant began charging a fee for people to peek inside the smoker and see the leg. Wood hired a lawyer to try and gain back possession of his limb – even after Whisnant offered to split the profits with him. The police returned the leg to Wood, and Whisnant countersued. Eventually the courts ordered Whisnant to give the leg to Wood and for Wood to give Whisnant $5,000.
  5. Fun, Fun, Fun Til The Bidder Takes The Beach Boys Memorabilia Away: Perhaps the auction that led to the most media buzz, a Florida radio station purchased a storage unit for $300. The locker had been rented out for over 30 years but had not been paid for several years at the time of the auction. The unit contained hundreds of documents relating to The Beach Boys. These included handwritten lyrics, photographs, royalty checks, contracts, and more. The remaining members of the Beach Boys engaged in an eight-year long legal battle over the documents to reclaim ownership. However, the items were eventually sold for over $6 million.

Choose Chapel Hill Self-Storage

Whether these stories scare or excite you, you’ll be happy to know we offer a convenient online payment feature and affordable self-storage units. In all seriousness, we think these finds are super interesting and hope you did too! If you are interested in renting a storage unit in Akron, we’re the people to call! Our self-storage units have video recording and an electronic gate entry to make sure your belongings are secure, and our on-site manager is happy to assist with anything you need during normal business hours. Get in touch with our Akron self-storage facility today!