Massive 230-car hidden collection is heading to online auction


Barn-find cars are the ultimate fantasy for enthusiasts, but most of us won’t have the luck to stumble across one in the wild. Imagine finding not one or two but 230 rare cars stashed away, waiting for a good cleaning and a backroad flog. That’s the size of the Ad Palmen collection, which was recently opened and shown to the outside world in all its glory. The former Netherlands car dealer’s collection spans decades and is heading to auction next month.

Classic Car Auctions is handling the online event, which begins May 19. Palmen collected everything from rare Alfa Romeos to classic Jaguars and BMWs. The auction house hasn’t issued an estimate on the cars, but some of the lots will likely draw heavy bidding action. Palmen’s heavy hitters include a Mercedes-Benz 300S Roadster and some of Italy’s best, including Ferrari and Maserati.

Interestingly, Palmen collected a few American cars, including a Cadillac Eldorado, a Lincoln Continental, a few Ford Thunderbirds, and a Corvette. There’s also a Mazda RX-7 and a handful of scooters, including some Vespas.

Most of the vehicles appear unrestored and in original condition, though the auction house said Palmen frequently started the cars to keep them running. That said, winning bidders will likely have some work to do before driving any of the cars. Looking at the volume and variety of cars in the lot, it’s clear Palmen cared deeply about his collection. The cool backstory of a hidden European car collection may be enough to overcome any maintenance difficulties for potential buyers.

If you’re hoping to get ahold of one of the cars, you’ve got some time. The auction lots are open for viewing in May, and the auction runs through the first week of June. Even so, the collection is in Europe, so even if you win an online auction, getting the car to the U.S. might be a hassle.

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