Monday, 3 March 2014

The Hunt - Part XV - The final chapter

I just saw it's already more over a month since I wrote about my hunt. This is going to be the final chapter. It's somewhere in the end of April 2013. Since Jos was over for business in NL that week I invited him for the weekend and do a joined visit. In fact I worked out a complete program:

1) A visit to "Big Boys Toys" (for me that would be the 3rd visit of this 412 : ).

2) A visit to "Joop Stolze" (for me that would be the 2nd visit of this 400:

3) A visit to "Kroymans"

4) A visit to "the Gallery" in Brummen to inspect two 400's.

Since we had enough time on Friday evening we decided to visit item 1. Resulting in a more flexible time planning on Saturday. Although Jos liked this 412 very much it still could not convince me. This was more based on a gut feel and some details. Next I preferred a carb version and with the classic wooden midconsole. Recently the car moved to another dealer (now in Belgium), see blog: I sense this is one of those mystery cars that shuffles around.

The next morning we went to Stolze first, which is a very cool place to visit. Especially if you fancy projects and a huge variety of unique cars. Again, this 400 still could not convince me either for various reasons. And we definately had to move as Jos got slightly carried away with seeing so many unique cars.

The visit at Kroymans was more an informal visit with nothing particular in mind. If I remember correctly they were running that weekend a special on James Bond. In any case, we had a small break and browsed around and moved on.

So somewhere in the afternoon we arrived at the Gallery in Brummen. A place I had never been before. Definately worthwhile a visit and enjoy all the cars at display. All very professional and equipped with a small cafe to take a coffee or lunch break. But I was there of course to inspect 2 400's. The first one was a brown 400i which looked very decent and well maintained. It was repainted but professionally done. The interior was also repainted. Again, very well done. Also the engine bay looked proper and the paperwork revealed the maintenance done. I was intrigued by the car as the advert said it had a bespoke made interior on request by the previous owner. I could however not find anything unique about it. It had only a name tag somewhere on the dashboard. Apparently this was some kind of silly salesman story. The name tag appeared to be placed by the previous who was some kind of Belgium airpilot. Later on a Dutch article was written about it, see blog:

Also a YouTube reportage was made about it:

All in all this looked to be a very good candidate. But mostly the price tag (and the plastic midconsole) put me off.

The other one offered was a red 400 automatic. First of all I don't like this color for this type of car. Next it had a lot of minor things like the roof ceiling hanging lose/detached, worn door rubbers, window rubbers detached, etc. Strange enough I didn't make any pictures. It was pretty clear within 5 minutes this wasn't the one for me.

It appeared they had another 412 (manual) in the basement which they recently obtained. A very nice dark blue with a dark blue leather interior - I liked that combo very much. Again the price tag did put me off.

So by now I think it was going to be clear what my target was going to be. The next chapter will be about the purchase.

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