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If you love a good classic car barnfind story, then get comfortable, for this is a good one. The subject of this story is the Palmen collection and it is probably one of, if not, the most significant barn finds of all time.
The story surrounds an Ad Palmen, a Dutch gentleman who began collecting cars which started with a Lancia Aurelia B20, according to auctioneers Gallery Aaldering. It soon swelled until the collection grew to three locations and a whopping 230 cars and motorcycles strong. For 40 years, the Palmen Collection became the subject of rumour and speculation.
Word began to spread about a vast and diverse collection of rare and collectable cars and bikes. Fast forward to this month where Gallery Aaldering announced the entire collection will go under the hammer in May.
A private man, Palmen stored his collection in two warehouses and even an old church. This was done to keep it secret from the outside world. It is said that many requests were made to view the collection but Palmen always turned them down.
Very few people ever had the chance to see these incredible cars. Palmen would go around and start every one to prevent the engines from seizing. He also carried out all the maintenance himself in secret. Every car in the collection is in original condition. Palmen never sold any car he acquired during his four decades of collecting.
While there are not enough hours in the day to talk at length about every bike and car in the stable, Palmen had an eclectic taste in automobiles. Alfa Romeo, Ford, Maserati, Ferrari, Lancia, Matra, BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce, Rover, Triumph, MG Chevrolet, Alvis and even Tatra all feature.
Some standouts included a Lancia Aurelia B24 Spyder, Alfa Romeo 2600SZ, Matra Bonnet Tjet, Mercedes 300S Roadster, Ferrari 365 GT4 2+2, a Maserati Bora and a number of rare Facel Vegas.
It is highly unlikely a collection of this size and rarity will see the light of the day again. Therefore, better raid your piggy banks and get bidding.