The largest private collection of old Fords

It’s not every day that a classic Ford goes up for auction. Well, try more than 220, ranging from Model A’s and T’s to wood-panelled station wagons and vintage buses.

This breathtaking array of vehicles – recognised as the largest private collection of classic Fords in the world – formed the Den Hartogh Museum, a 50-year labour of love for Piet den Hartogh, in the Netherlands.

Piet’s love affair with Ford began after his father bought a Model T truck in 1924 and later, as an adult, he bought cars, buses and vans from all over the world – including a popcorn van, a police snowmobile and a truck that was fuelled by wood.

Sadly, Piet passed away in 2010, and the museum closed its doors to the public two years ago. Now the family have placed the whole collection under the hammer, in the belief that these treasured vehicles should find new homes where they can be as cherished as they have been at the museum near Amsterdam.

Pieter den Hartogh, Piet’s son:
Without Dad, it’s just not the same. My father was a passionate man and he wanted to share this obsession with everyone. All of the cars were a big part of our lives.  

The complete collection was auctioned by Bonhams on site in Hillegom on June 23. Every vehicle on offer was sold during the 10-hour sale, attracting bids from around the world. The combined total from the sale was a staggering €6,157,353 (approximately £5,409,000). The longest bidding exchange involved a 1905 Ford Model B Side Entrance Tonneau that sold for €419,750 (£368,700) – more than seven times its estimate and a world record price.

Rupert Banner, group motoring director from Bonhams and one of the auctioneers for the sale:
We were bowled over by today’s result. A 100 per cent sold auction is a rare occurrence, especially one with such a vast quantity of lots. It was a pleasure to be able to find new owners for vehicles that had been treasured for so long."

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