The Ferrari 456 GT Venice is proof that you can have just about anything in the auto world if your pockets are deep enough. That’s because this is a Ferrari-built station wagon commissioned by the Sultan of Brunei. Since the royal family is very secretive with its car purchases, we know very little information surrounding this unusual Italian wagon.
According to Hagerty, the Sultan of Brunei purchased all six production models. A private collector in the U.K. reportedly owns the seventh car, which was the test mule. Despite the small production run of cars, there is one major reason why these cars will likely never see the light of day again.
What is a Ferrari 456 GT Venice?
As its name suggests, the Ferrari 456 GT Venice utilizes the 456 GT coupe as its base. Under the hood lives a naturally-aspirated 5.5-liter V12 pushing out 436 hp and 406 lb-ft. All of that power goes to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic.
As you might imagine, getting Ferrari to build you a station wagon is no small feat. According to Hagerty, Pininfarina designed this unique wagon, completing the project around the mid-1990s. Each of the six examples reportedly cost the Sultan of Brunei $1.5 million. In contrast, the standard model had an original sticker price of $215,000.
Although no official figures exist, the Ferrari 456 GT Venice differentiated itself mostly from the original car, thanks to its extended wheelbase. The extra development cost and design are likely why Ferrari gave it such a massive price tag. Additionally, this is likely why there was a small batch of them rather than just one example.
Where is this ultra-rare station wagon today?
Given the fact that the Ferrari 456 GT Venice is one of the rarest cars the Italian carmaker has ever built, you’d think you would see it around at Concours events around the world. However, Brunei’s royal family has opted to keep its extensive car collection away from the public eye. In fact, most of the surviving images we have of the collection come from the early 2000s.
According to Gizmodo, these Ferrari 456 GT Venice examples and all other vehicles in this collection sit in various warehouses rotting today. Gizmodo points out that the royal family isn’t as wealthy as it was in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
As a result, keeping this fleet of cars that need special attention going just became too financially complicated. Since royals don’t exactly make garage sales, these cars have been sitting in place for well over a decade.
How many cars does the Sultan of Brunei own?
Part of what reportedly made keeping the Ferrari 456 GT Venice and all of the other cars going difficult comes from the volume of the collection. While experts differ, rumors suggest that the Sultan of Brunei owns anywhere between 3,000 to 7,000 vehicles in total.
This collection includes plenty of one-off models from Ferrari, Bentley, and Mercedes. Additionally, there is an extensive volume of ultra-rare cars such as the McLaren F1. Unfortunately, we will likely never see these cars out in the open again.