A £1 million Aston Martin that was stolen 14 years ago is up for auction after the owner died before the car was recovered.
The rare DB2, which competed in the 1949 Le Mans race, was stolen in 2002 from owner Christopher Angell.
He died before the prototype racer was recovered by police this year in a dilapidated state at a storage facility in Holland.
The motor passed to Mr Angell’s relative Ashley Mack, who has been forced to put it up for auction because it could cost “many thousands” to have it restored.
He said: “Christopher was devastated by the theft of his car and just before he died in 2003 he was still asking ‘has that nice policeman got my car yet?’
“Even at this stage my heart will be pleased if it doesn’t sell but my head has to acknowledge that it will cost many thousands to restore.”
The vehicle is due to go under the hammer at Bonhams’ Goodwood Festival of Speed sale in West Sussex on 27 June and is expected to sell for around £1 million.
It is estimated it will cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to renovate and Mr Mack is keen for the car to go to someone who is passionate about motor vehicles.
Out of three Aston Martins entered into the Le Mans endurance race, the DB2 with the registration plate UMC 65 was the only one to cross the finish line and came in at seventh place.
The green prototype, which was built as a test-bed for the later production of the DB2, was also raced in the Spa 24-hour race in the same year and finished in fifth place.
Officers travelled to Eindhoven, Holland, to seize the vehicle in April this year after it was used as a surety for a loan.
Detective Sergeant Jo Goodson said: “It was extremely satisfying. It was quite emotional because it’s a lovely car with an exceptional history.”
Bert Anton Visser, 64, and Heerke Jan Visser, 53, were convicted in 2003 of stealing the car, which was taken in July 2002 from the garden of a property off Hinxworth Road in Hinxworth, Hertfordshire.