Sunday, 4 September 2016

Prince Bernhard Ferrari 365 GT4 2+2

A few times before I had written small blogs about the Ferrari's of Prince Bernhard. By now I have discovered a little more information and also spotted some small mistakes. I'm not going to provide the links to the other blogs, just search for it. As this blog keeps growing somehow I will add a section called 'celebs' and tag these blogs accordingly. As the title indicates this blog will be about the 365 GT4 2+2 owned by Prince Bernhard. Likely something known for the incrowd, this car got involved in a car crash. The second car was purchased in 1973, the exact date of delivery is unknown to me, with the registration number 17391. It got the Dutch license plate 87-BT-01. Some while back I was able to find two additional pictures about this car with both Enzo and Bernhard posing next to the car.

The picture is one out of a serie of twelve photos and taken in Modena on 20 or 21 November 1973.
Three pictures were signed by Prince Bernhard. This is one of them. It's is unknown to me who the third person is on this photo:

In the Dutch book "de automobielen van Prince Bernhard" the following picture from the same serie is published (sorry about the poor quality scan):

As mentioned, apparently these pictures are taken on the 20th of November 1973.

The actual car crash happened earlier in the year on the 19th of juli 1973. It was reported the car was fairly new and only had driven 1500 km so far. On the accident itself there are a couple of versions around, ie he got hit in a traffic jam, he got hit by a car in a roadcurve and the official (and more heroic) version: he saw the car dangereously approaching him and diverted the car in a ditch to avoid a collision but still got hit by the car.  Fact is, he crashed his car somehow during his holiday stay in Porte Ercole. To be precise the car accident happened in a nearby place called Orbetello.

The only Dutch online resource I could find regarding this accident:

PORTO ERCOLE — Prins Bernhard is gistermiddag in Italië betrokken geweest bij een auto-ongeluk. Hij liep vlees- en snijwonden en enkele bloeduitstortingen op. Bij het ongeluk kwam de 21-jarige Italiaanse elektricien Roberto Present! uit Orbetello om het leven. Hij stierf aan een schedelbasisfractuur. Het ongeluk gebeurde op de tweebaansweg tussen Porto Ercolo (150 kilometer ten noorden van Rome aan de Tyrrheense Zee) en Orbetello. De prins en de Koningin houden vakantie in hun zomerverblijf De Gelukkige Olifant in Porto Ercolo. Prins Bernhard stond met zijn Ferrari- sportwagen in een file toen hij plotseling werd aangereden door de Italiaan, aldus een zegsman van de prins. Prins Bernhard trok zich het ongeluk erg aan. Hij stapte uit om zich op de hoogte te stellen van ''t lot van de Italiaan. Die werd meteen naar het ziekenhuis van Orbetello vervoerd. In de auto van prins Bernhard zat nog een ander. Diens identiteit was gisteravond nog niet bekend. Hij mankeert niets. De auto van de prins liep geringe schade op.

At June 14th 1974 the car got a new license plate, namely 83-DA-00. I was unable to find much more history on the usage of this car since. The car got eventually got sold and was bought by KC Jessen on 18-2-1982 but the actual handover only happened on 13-6-1983. According to the RDW register he's likely still the current owner.

When doing a little more research about the current owner I noticed he was also on Facebook. As such I left him a PM in order to find out more detail. Unfortunately my request remained unanswered. However one week later I got an email from his son. Apparently he found my blog (coincidental?) and commented on one of my blogs which had the picture of Enzo, Bernhard and the 365GT4 2+2. He mentioned they posses the photographs and the car since the eighties. He had fond memories about the car, when he was a young boy he spend much time on the backseat. The car was partly restored about more then 20 years ago and then was put away unfinished. The past weeks he was considering to fix up the car and get it ready to put it back on the road again. Perhaps that triggered him and resulted in finding my blog.

The text above was written somewhere in January 2015. Today, 1st May 2015, I got approached by a Dutch 365/400/412 enthusiast who does happen to be involved with a potential buy of this car. He was curious to know if I had any further supporting information about this car. Apparently the car has been put up for sale using a 3rd party: Hermes Consulting, their asking price is € 70.000. The car is currently registered at the Ferrari Club UK. I guess they lost their appetite in fixing it up. It also explains why recently I noticed on my blog stats some searches regarding this car (or more specific about Prince Bernhard). In any case it came to my attention that I again was wrong in my assumptions, something that I easily should have spotted using the register.

Bernhards first 365GT4 2+2 was having chassis nr: #17129 using license plate AA-13 and got crashed. Whilst I thought it was being restored (maybe it has?) a new one was ordered for him, having chassis nr: #17391 using license plate 87-BT-01 which later on got replaced by 83-DA-00. Perphaps the other one belonged to his first 365?

Update 5-9-2016 : Typical, after yesterdays posting the FB group "Les 100GT" ( post this unique photo today:

I wonder where they got this from? Likely from the same source.

I can't stay behind, so here two more photo's from the same series:

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