Aussie billionaire's vintage car splurge

MATT CAMPBELL
Last updated 10:54 15/08/2012
1911 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

SOLD: This 1911 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost is one of 17 vintage cars bought at auction by Australian mining billionaire Clive Palmer.

Aussie mining billionaire Clive Palmer.
Getty Images
VINTAGE CAR SPLURGE: Aussie mining billionaire Clive Palmer.

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Mining billionaire Clive Palmer already has one of Australia's biggest car collections – and he's just added 17 more cars to the list.

Palmer sent a team of bidders to the RM Auctions sale in Denmark, where he snapped up NZ$3.2 million worth of vintage cars from the Aalholm Automobile Museum sale.

Palmer's purchases included the star of the show, a 1911 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. It was expected to sell for 2,225,000 Danish Krone (NZ$450,500), but the winning bid was kr5,264,000 (NZ$1.08m).

Interestingly another 1911 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost is due to go to auction in England on September 1 and is expected to also fetch over NZ$1m.

Palmer's other big purchase was a 1931 model Bugatti Type 40A Tourer – one of just 32 ever made – which went for kr1,904,000 (NZ$391,500), almost a quarter of a million dollars over the high estimate.

All 17 cars bought by Palmer were built between 1900 and 1937, and are set to complement his expansive anthology of cars, which includes vehicles such as the first Fiat ever sold in Australia, and a pristine 1948 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith.

''Vintage cars have always been a passion of mine,'' Palmer says.

''I now own some of the rarest and most sought after vintage cars in the world, including a large Rolls-Royce collection and several cars dating back to 1900.''

To cap it all off, Palmer has announced he is building a museum to show off his cars. The museum will be located at a hotel on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, with Palmer claiming there will be ''up to 50 cars at any time'' – all of which are in working order.

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