Even Jay Leno would be jealous.
We’re used to seeing rare, private car collections going under the hammer at auto auctions. But what you’re looking at here is an entire museum’s worth of automotive treasures. Located in Hillegom, Amsterdam, the Den Hartogh museum houses more than 200 Ford and Lincoln cars and commercial vehicles, as well as more than 50 motorcycles. Soon, every single car from the extensive collection will be sold with no reserve at an upcoming Bonhams auction in June.
It’s believed to be the largest private collection of Fords in the world, ranging from the Ford Model A, B and C, to commercial vehicles including ice cream vans, ambulances and fire engines. The museum is the result of Dutchman Piet den Hartogh’s lifelong love affair with Ford cars. He bought his first Ford in 1956, and his collection grew from there as he sought to own an example of every Ford model ever made. The museum first opened in the 1990s and has been open to the public for over 20 years. Sadly, falling ticket sales has forced Hartogh to replace the pre-war collection with more modern vehicles to attract younger audiences.
Among the highlights in the vintage collection include a 1903 Model A, more modern camper vans, and even a Canadian police-issue snowmobile. There’s also an American cash transport car, a police car, and a fire truck from 1929. "This is an extraordinary opportunity, and one which Bonhams is delighted to have been selected to undertake," said Rupert Banner, Bonhams Group Head of Motoring. "The Den Hartogh collection is legendary throughout Europe, and has been a pilgrimage for Ford aficionados for many years. It will be a pleasure to offer this astonishing range of Fords and Lincolns on site at the museum which has so carefully housed them for the past 21 years."
Every vehicle must be sold and each lot is offered without reserve, meaning that both Ford enthusiasts, and the wider collecting community, will be able to bid for their own piece of the marque's history." The collection will cross the auction block on June 23.