Michel Dovaz (born August 14, 1928 in Geneva, Switzerland), he started his career as a journalist in Paris, France and later taught wine courses at the Academie du Vin in Paris when he served as a judge at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. He subsequently wrote several books on French wine as well as the chapter on Champagne for the Hachette Guide des Vins.
Less well known is the fact, that Dovaz was the owner of a collection of 50+ unrestored oldtimers, which he stored on his estate south of Paris up to 1985. The collection consisted of prewar and postwar cars of the most luxurious brands (nine Bugatti, nine Lancia, four Alfa Romeo, four Lincoln, two Ferrari, two Lotus, two Rolls Royce, two Bentley...). The collection became famous when a German photographer was allowed to take photos of the neglected cars in 1983 in the savaged garden south of Paris. Most of the cars have been sold since then and many have been restored, but some are still asleep.
Two books have been written about the Dovaz car collection. The first was 'Sleeping Beauties' (1986 / 2007) which showed the collection in its dilapidated 'as found' state. The book brought unwanted attention to the Dovaz collection. The second book 'The Fate of the Sleeping Beauties' (to be published 09/2010) gives additional information about Michael Dovaz and how the collection came to be. In addition the book tells the story of what happened to the collection and the single cars.
- Taber, George M. Judgment of Paris: California vs France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting that Revolutionized Wine. NY: Scribner, 2005.