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230 Classic Cars Discovered in a Church Going Up for Auction

What may be the greatest kept secret car collection in Europe will be heading to auction in May....

An amazing discovery was made in a Dutch church wherein 230 classic cars have been uncovered. The collection is thanks to Dutch collector and businessman, Ad Palman, who accrued vintage cars over the past 40 years. The best part is that they are all going up for auction via Gallery Aaldering with Classic Car Auctions.

All images credited to Classic Car Auctions

Palmen’s first car was a yellow Lancia B20, marking the start of his collection which he would eventually store within a church and two warehouses. With 230 cars in the barn, that means that over the course of 40 years, he bought 5-6 cars a year. The variety is something to be applauded given his extensive knowledge regarding rare and special cars thanks to his professional dealings with cars like these in the mid-60s. 

This may well be one of the best-kept secret car collections in the history of Europe as Palmen rarely showed his collection to anyone and even did the maintenance himself. Once a car was in his collection, he rarely sold them. 

Most of the collection is unrestored and in its original condition which will have collectors slavering. So theoretically you could buy an original Alfa Romeo, Maserati, BMW, Ferrari, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Cadillacs, Imperia, Rolls-Royce, and the list goes on.

The only reason we know about this, and the only reason they are being sold is due to Palmen’s age (82) and dementia diagnosis.

These aren’t all crazy rare cars, most are actually rather attainable but wonderful cars, though there are some pieces like the rare Lancia B4 Spider America and a Ferrari 365. The more reasonably budgeted cars are things like a Jaguar XJS, Chevy Corvair, second-generation Mazda RX-7 convertible, MG Midget, and a Mercedes-Benz C107 SLC. 

Gallery Aaldering owners, Nico and Nick Aaldering, believe “it is unlikely that anyone will ever see a collection of this calibre and condition again in their lifetime.” 

We can only guess as to how much this entire collection will sell for but there is a Mercedes-Benz 300S Roadster, a car that has previously sold for $500,000 USD at Bonhams last year in an unrestored condition.

The cars themselves have been kept in good condition in dry but admittedly dusty warehouses, but nothing that a good scrub and polish won’t take care of. Given that this collection will be attractive to enthusiasts and other collectors, part of the fun is restoring these old models.

The auction will start on May 19 and end on June 7 though you may actually have to visit the Netherlands to pick up your new old car.


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