(CNN) – Car buffs will be able to get their hands on a rare Lancia B24 Spider America next month, when an impressive fleet of 230 classic cars unearthed in warehouses and an abandoned church in the Netherlands goes up for auction.
According to auction organizers, the collection of classic cars, valued at millions of euros, belongs to Ad Palmen, an 82-year-old businessman from Dordrecht, the Netherlands, who started collecting 40 years ago.
Due to his health issues, Balmain can no longer keep the vehicles, which were recently purchased by Aaldering Gallery, a car dealership run by Nico and Nick Aaldering, for an undisclosed sum.
The Palmen Barnfind Collection will be auctioned in the Netherlands on May 19th in an auction organized by Gallery Aaldering and Classic Car Auctions.
“This collection of finds is truly a unique opportunity for car enthusiasts and collectors from all over the world to add to their collection,” Nico and Nick Aldering said in a press release.
“We are very pleased to be able to auction these cars through Classic Car Auctions and look forward to seeing the interest in this fine collection.”
The Balmain treasure, which includes a white Mercedes 300S convertible, a blue Ferrari 365 and an unassuming Alfa Romeo Spider, was a closely guarded secret until a fire broke out at the gallery, Carlo T. Lintello, head of marketing at Gallery Aderling, told CNN on Friday. last year. in its largest warehouse. The quick intervention of the firefighters prevented the cars from catching fire.
It is believed that Balmain has a deep appreciation for cars, rather than a passion for specific brands. And according to Te Lintelo, many of the models, such as Maserati, Jaguar, Aston Martin, BMW and Facel Vegas, are in good condition.
“These cars are in very good condition and very diverse. What you often see is that people focus on one brand when they collect cars like Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar or BMW. Mr. Balmain not only collects very expensive or exclusive cars, he also buys Lintello: “Everything seemed beautiful to him.”
He added, “This group includes very special cars. Such as the Lancia B24 Spider America. To give you an idea, this car alone would sell for between 600,000 and 700,000 euros (between $660,000 and $770,000 USD). They are so rare, only two of them are made. If only In perfect condition, they could sell for up to 1 million euros ($1.1 million).
Cars were his life.
According to Te Lintelo, there are still many unanswered questions about the group because Palmen is too ill to tell his story.
“We have hundreds of questions about why he started collecting,” said T. Lintello. “There is a lot of mystery around the cars because he can’t answer. [Es] very sad”.
But one thing T. Lintello believes is true: Cars were a passion of Maine.
He said, “He lived in the warehouse, not in luxury. Cars were his life.” “We want to honor his legacy. This was his whole life.” Gallery Aaldering brought the cars, but we chose to name the collection after him in his honour.”