A collection of vintage cars belonging to a secretive Dutchman are up for auction in the Netherlands, with some likely to earn more than a million euros each.

More than 230 vehicles, including some classic models, were accrued by a reclusive collector known only as Mr Palmen, who sold his haul to Brummen-based car dealer Gallery Aaldering due to medical problems and his age.

Mr Palmen reportedly kept his passion a secret, storing his cars in two old warehouses and a disused church. He was afraid his cars would be stolen so never flaunted them, Nico Aaldering, from Gallery Aaldering, told Reuters. He described Mr Palmen as “a hermit who enjoyed his cars every day”, starting them regularly to keep the engines healthy.

Mr Palmen funded his car habit through savvy investments and smart real estate decisions, said Hans van der Pluijm, from Classic Car Auctions, which is handling the auction.

The collection features cars from brands including Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Maserati, Ferrari, Facel Vega, Aston Martin and Jaguar, among others.

“It’s a collection you will probably never find in this condition, in this quantity, again,” Mr Van der Pluijm said.

He estimated most cars will be sold for between €25,000 and €75,000 each, but added that some could fetch as much as hundreds of thousands.

One car, a right-hand drive Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider America, could rake in as much as €2.5m, as only 240 cars were ever built of this model, and only 57 of them were right-hand drive.

“It also has a very special design. It’s special in every shape and it’s wanted in every collection,” Mr Van der Pluijm said.

2023-05-26T17:13:53Z dg43tfdfdgfd