Spain to auction off Ferrari's given to former king Juan Carlos

Ferrari FF
Ferrari FF

Two Ferraris given as gifts to former king Juan Carlos are to be auctioned off by the Spanish government, with starting prices of about €350,000 each.

The two Ferrari FF four-seater models are on display this week for potential buyers. The Finance Ministry says they will be auctioned on November 6. Bidders will have to put down deposits of about 17,500 euro (£12,800).

The hardly used cars - one black and the other silver grey - were given to Juan Carlos by the United Arab Emirates in 2011.

The ministry said that the king donated the Ferraris to the National Heritage institution in 2012, which passed them onto the ministry.

Juan Carlos stepped down last year after a four-decade reign, leaving the throne to his son Felipe.

The money gained in the auction will go into state coffers.

The FF models normally go for about 300,000 euro (£220,000), but buyers must wait several months to receive the car, Guillermo Barrigon Trufero, director of the luxury vehicle World Touring Car showroom in Madrid, said.

He said that the auction starting prices were likely higher as the cars could be picked up sooner and were also a collector's item given they belonged to the former king.

The royal palace said such a donation was not unusual and was in line with the royal family's code of good conduct and less ostentation of recent years.

The gifts had come during a period when Spain was in the throes of a severe economic crisis.

Juan Carlos stepped down last year after a four-decade reign, leaving the thrown to his son Felipe.

The last part of his reign had been marked by several scandals, including one in which he sparked public anger after he took a secret elephant hunting trip to Botswana in 2012.

Felipe pledged to restore public trust in the monarchy on taking the throne.