A most convenient venue to sell the late Prince Bernhard’s Ferrari 212 Inter: that is Concours d’élégance ‘Het Loo’ in Apeldoorn. The unrestored car will be auctioned at the Dutch royal palace on August 31.
We had never heard of ‘Royal Car Auctions’ before, but apparently the newborn Dutch auction house will be selling some interesting cars during the concours d'élégance that takes place at ‘Het Loo’ this year for the eight time.
One of the auction's highlights will be a 1938 Bugatti Atalante that is expected to fetch 675.000 to 700.000 euros. More interesting perhaps, will be a Ferrari 212 Inter with Berlinetta coachwork by Pininfarina that was originally owned by the late Prince Bernhard of The Netherlands. According to the auctioneer the car is of 1955-vintage.
The Ferrari-mad Prince Bernhard bought the Ferrari - his first - second hand from a Belgian owner in the early fifties. It is said that when Enzo Ferrari heard of the buy, he sent out for two of his mechanics to check the car over in The Netherlands and update the car to a more modern standard, because he found it very important to have the prince as a very satisfied customer.
However, other sources state that the Prince received a whole new car. It seemed Enzo gave the order to build a new car and use the chassis number from the second hand example to avoid import taxes. This way the car did not need to be imported from Italy into Holland as being a new car. The new car with the second hand chassis number was imported to Belgium and the Prince imported it to Holland. Car #0139 may have been renumbered to #0269, #0269 was renumbered to #0387 and #0387 is now renumbered to #0139. We wonder where the Belgian second-hand car went...
Bernhard kept the car until the winter of 1957. It is unknown where it went, but was found in a private California collection a couple of years ago and brought back to The Netherlands then. According to the seller it is unrestored and in running order. The black paint and grey leather interior might never have been changed before, but the bumpers are not the original one-piece bars and the chrome strip on the bonnet seems to be missing. The 27.000 kilometres that can be read on the odometer could be original.
Royal Dutch Car Auctions have estimated it between 430 - 500.000 euros, but the car is offered for sale on the internet by Historic Motoring for 425.000 euros only now!
You might just make a bargain then…
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