One morning in 1958 the young baker Thomas Busk Rasmussen was delivering bread in his Opel Rekord van when he was overtaken by a Ford Thunderbird: On the spot the young man decided that he would have a car like that – on a few months later he bought a brand new bright red Thunderbird. The first of many car, it turned out. On April 13 he is selling them all on auction with no reserve.
Of course the Thunderbird was not a classic car then nut merely a new convertible, suitable for a young man with a very thriving business. The overtaking manouvre made a huge impression on the now 80 year old Busk Rasmussen and he never forgot the sight and sound of the car and to this day still loves the sound and feeling of an American V8 streching its legs.
What he has forgotten is why on earth he sold that first Thunderbird of his! But he did. However this baker is not known for repeating his mistakes, neither in business nor with cars. He says that he has never sold a car again since! His collection today counts 28 cars, including a red Thunderbird similar to the first one. Now they are all to be sold.
It is no exaggeration to say that the cars in the collection are very different: The oldest is a Ford A 1929 , the newest a Mazda MX5 from 1993. There is not much V8 in those two, but the baker’s passion for V8 is visible otherwhere – in cars as diverse as a Bentley S2, a Mercedes 350SL, a Maserati Quattroporte, a Jensen Interceptor. Now how do you want your V8, Sir? One of his most driven cars is a newer Thunderbird from 1977, which suited his taste for comfortable and effortless cruising perfectly: As an old man he like its powered everything from seats to steering – and yes, he did deliver bread in that one as well!
In fact he almost HAD to combine work and pleasure with his cars as he was so preoccupied with his businesses: Thomas Busk Rasmussen opened his first bakery in 1955, others soon followed and at the age of 25 he was a millionaire. ”We only started at work at 3:30 a.m.” he says with a twinkle in his eye. So make no mistake, all that money came with hard work and lots of it. The cars were as a way well deserved treat afterwards.
The common denominator in the collection is not easy to spot, but Busk explained it himself: ” They just have to be beautiful”. That beauty is in the eye of the beholder is rather obvious when looking at the purchases he has made – or perhaps this is just one very openminded baker: Surely his taste is extremely versatile, as shown by the small Lomax Roadster at one end of the scale and the Jaguar XJ-S HE at the other: From French interpretation of the classic roadster but based on 2CV mechanicals to British Heavyweight Champion in the V12-Supercruiser-class.
Personally I could not get my eyes of the huge Maserati Quattroporte: Beautiful? Well , excess, generosity, exaggerated and similar superlatives are probably more appropriate , but the word impressive also describes the large car well. Here we are really talking about a car for presidents – and very wealthy bakers, of course. The Quattroporte was, like all the baker’s cars, purchased as it was, and the two-tone paint resembling the tones of a bun with chocolate was not the idea of Busk Rasmussen. The car was purchased in Denmark by an Italian businessman who suggested that it had previously belonged to a certain Signore Beslusconi. In this case it is certainly nice to know that the smooth and very brown leather provides for dissolute behavior. And I must say that I found myself extremely well behind the wheel of Quattroporte wheel, fantasies and all.
Unfortunately for me that was also the case with several other cars in the collection, and suddenly I seemed to understand the baker’s choices better: A black Mercedes SL with gold BBS rims? Why not? A metallic blue Jensen Interceptor? Absolutely. A sleek Riley One Point Five? Very much so, yes please! A very nice Volvo 544? Well, this is one car everyone should have. A DeLorean? Especially in this condition, yes, I certainly would. Borgward Isabella? Well, beauty is there in abundance, but this car is really one of the few cars in the collection that is a project. The baker must have been blinded by its beauty: There is a lot of work waiting here, nothing for a busy businessman really.
Which brings me to my personal favorite, the 1962 Bentley S2. What a stately vehicle! Again we are back in V8-territory as the S2 featured the now legendary 6,75-litre engine, providing the large car with a more contempory performance than the old ‘six. Here we have traditional, conservative even, beauty in a car that is easily as impressive as the Maserati Quattroporte but infinitely more dignified and discreet in its actions. This particular car was further distinguished by its fine color combination and I could barely keep my eyes off the fine details in everything from woodwork to leather. I chose to sit in the back seat, fittingly for such a vehicle, although I guess the baker did not have the patience nor mindset to be chauffeured, even though it would be suitibly relaxing after a hard morning in the bakery. The spacious trunk might well have held a lot of bread too.
Sentimental about his cars he is not, the 80 year old Busk and the sale of his collection does not bother him at all: ” Thank you , it was a wonderful time,” he said. Hard-pressed he admits that he would in fact like to keep the black Willys Jeep as this can take bread and more anywhere anytime. And for that matter the red Chrysler Le Baron could stay as well, as he finds it so comfortable and good with the ladies. However the baker is not that fit anymore: Last year Busk nearly drowned in the sea at the Maldives, swimming ”like I thought I was 16 ,” he joked. However, the subsequent loss of sense of balance made the decision easy and now all cars will be sold off .
Without a reserve price. Which makes this auction a place for dreamers like myself: Is this where you can bag the dream car for a fraction of the market price? Or is it here that Campen Auctioneers will repeat the Aalholm Slot-feat and make prices soar? We’ll see on 13 April, when the auction starts at one o’clock. It would be advisable to book a bidding seat here.
By the way the baker’s cars are not alone either. Another collector will sell a series of stunning Volvos and registration for other sells is still open as well.