Econoboxes found in Edinburgh's abandoned 'robot car park'

Several cars were found preserved in Edinburgh's "robot car park", abandoned for 15 years, as it was being demolished.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
2 min read
Motacilla/Wikimedia Commons

In 2001, Edinburgh had the parking structure of the future.

Now abandoned cars have surfaced in the defunct robotic multistorey car park that was being dismantled 15 years after it was shuttered without warning.

Users could pull into one of four bays and have their vehicle whisked away robotically, not having to worry about untrustworthy valets or losing their car in a labyrinth of ramps and stalls. It was like a dream, until 2003 when the company who ran the structure went out of business and closed the garage without notice to customers or employees.

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Edinburgh's Skypark robotic parking structure held secret treasure in the form of several abandoned economy cars, discovered untouched after 15 years of dormancy while the building was being demolished.

Reddit user ieya404

The garage is finally giving up her secrets, most of which seem to be in the form subcompact cars from the late 1990s. The company that found the vehicles is dismantling the building after years of neglect so that it can be replaced with an office block. It's unclear why these cars were never claimed, whether the owners tried or if they just left them to their quiet, dark fate. Though, to be fair, these weren't exactly dust-covered Ferraris and Bugattis being left to rot in a Middle Eastern palace.

The Edinburgh Evening News reports Austin Maestros and Unos among the cars, and while I have only the faintest of ideas what those are, they sound like penalty boxes to me. The demolition company which found the vehicles has taken on preserving and returning them to their respective owners as a project, perhaps hoping that it becomes the next Scottish cause célèbre.

Cue "In the Arms of the Angels."

We hope that these terrible econoboxes, so well-preserved, go to kind and loving homes where they will be nursed back to rude health and set loose upon the wild, untamed streets of Edinburgh once again.