Mechanic Finds Pot of Gold in Dumpster…


Ever heard the saying, ‘one man’s trash is another’s treasure?’ well, in this case, it’s most certainly correct. And it teaches a life lesson about what a little hard work and hope can do.

It all began back in 2017 when a mechanic in Connecticut got a call from a friend about some “car parts” he found in a dumpster. Apparently, the friend saw the pieces and immediately thought of Jared Whipple, a lifelong car mechanic with a deep love of all things relating to automobiles.

But when Whipple arrived at the dumpster to collect the parts, he was shocked to see they were not really car parts at all. Instead, they were massive, six-foot-long canvases painted to depict car parts. And there was a lot of them, according to the Connecticut Post.

Now, to be sure, they were filthy, covered in grime, dirt, and dust from years of just sitting in this dumpster.

Still, Whipple was interested and decided to take them. As the owner of a local indoor skateboarding park and, of course, a lover of autobody, he thought they would make a fine addition. After all, they were rather good, filled with bold colors, graphic images of chrome, stretching pipes, and mag wheels.

But as he looked closer at them, he wondered who had created them all. And so, set out on a mission to find the artist.

After conducting some research on the internet, he learned of a Washington-born artist named Frances Hines, who had specialized in just this type of art. He had died in 2016 at the age of 96. And these looked like they could be his.

For the next four years, Whipple made it his mission to learn all he could about the late artist and how he could verify if these were, in fact, his works. Eventually, he was able to contact a few of the artist’s friends and family, including his two sons. These contacts and the mountain of research done on Whipple’s part made it hard to imagine that anyone else but Hines had created these amazing pieces.

As I mentioned before, Hines was known for creating all kinds of abstract art, with most of his works being related to the car industry. One of his more famous creations is a series of 50 numbered paintings titled “Hoboken Autobody.”

But he also created three-dimensional art featuring what is called “wrapping.” Basically, it’s where 3D objects such as car parts or even whole cars themselves are wrapped in fabric. One of Hines’s more well-known pieces features five complete cars stacked in a pyramid shape and wrapped in synthetic cloth.

Whipple was permitted by Hines sons to keep the art if he wanted. And as I said before, that was the plan originally. But after finding such a deep connection to the pieces, Whipple knew that he could not be selfish with them. Instead, the world needed to see these and know about their existence.

And so, he continued contacting Hines friends and family until he could make a real connection in the art world, one that might be able to get at least some of these into a museum or two.

As The Post reported, he found Muldoon Elger, a retired art dealer who had once worked with Hines himself back in the 1980s. Elger was able to connect Whipple with a curator and historian, Hastings Falk.

And with Falk at his side, Whipple has come to understand more of the true value of these works of art and what the world could gain by seeing them.

According to Falk, some of Hines’s previous and similar pieces went for as much as $4,500, with some of his larger “wrapping” art going for around $22,000. This means that altogether, Whipple could make quite a pretty penny off of the sale of these if he chooses to do so. They could, in fact, be worth millions.

Of course, that’s not Whipple’s main goal here. As the told The Post, “My purpose is to get Hines into the history books.” And with a massive collection like this and Whipple’s determination, that’s bound to happen.

So the next time you see something that’s been thrown out, don’t assume it’s just trash. It could perhaps be the find of a lifetime if only you have the determination to see it through.