60 Rare Cars Worth Millions Found in French Countryside, Untouched for 50 Years
Pictured above is a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder and a 1956 Maserati A6G 2000. The Ferrari is expected to fetch between $11.7 and $14.8 million while the Maserati A6G 2000 is expected to fetch north of a million. There are some 58 more cars going up for auction on February 4, 2015 at Retromobile Salon at the Porte de Versailles Exhibition Centre in Paris, France.
What’s even more astounding is how this rare collection was discovered, untouched for over 50 years in the French countryside. In the excerpts below, Matthieu Lamoure and Pierre Novikoff of Artcurial Motorcars tell us about their incredible find.
The story begins with Roger Bailon, an inventor and automobile enthusiast who made his fortune manufacturing trucks. After the war, the transport business was booming and Bailon had a monopoly on transporters for dangerous liquid chemicals, thanks to his design of a secure, watertight tank. Between 1955 and 1965, Bailon began to amass a significant collection of cars with the goal of one day opening an automobile museum on one of his properties. Bailon wanted the collection to celebrate the art of automotive engineering. [source]
During the 1970s before Bailon could carry out the necessary restoration work, his dreams were shattered when his business suffered a major setback. He was forced to sell some fifty cars. Since that time the remainder of the collection has remain untouched, subject only to Father time and the forces of nature. [source]
The two most notable finds (the Ferrari and Maserati) were sheltering in a garage, conserved in good condition. The Maserati is one of just three Maserati A6G Gran Sports with coachwork by Frua, dating from 1956. Beneath piles of newspapers, a Ferrari 250GT SWB California Spider, with covered headlights. It had been first bought new by the actor Gérard Blain who then sold it to fellow actor Alain Delon, who was photographed several times at the wheel of this machine, including in 1964 with Jane Fonda during the filming of ‘Les Félins’ and on the Côte d’Azur with Shirley MacLaine. It’s only 1 of 37 in the world. [source]
The Bailon collection will be displayed and sold as they are, just as they were found (less some dust and cobwebs). All the cars are significant for their heritage, and Artcurial hopes that some of them will join big collections in and outside France. Perhaps even museums. Amongst the 60 cars, the estimates vary from $600 to multi-millions. [source]
The Bailon Collection: Complete List
Amilcar C6 berline, Amilcar CGS, Ariès coach, Auto Union cabriolet, Avions Voisin C15, Avions Voisin limousine C15, Avions Voisin C7 par Gallé, Ballot 8 cyl limousine, Barré torpédo, Berliet coupé chauffeur, Berliet Type VIGB 10HP Taxi Landaulet, Bugatti 57 Ventoux, Citroën Trèfle, Delage D6, Delage D8 coach, Delahaye 135 cabriolet Faget Varnet, Delahaye 135 coach Chapron
Delahaye 235 coach Chapron, Delahaye 235 coach Chapron, Delahaye 235 coupé Chapron, Delahaye Type 43 coupé chauffeur, Delahaye GFA 148 L, Delahaye Type 43 camionnette, Delaunay Belleville limousine VL8, Facel Vega Excellence, Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider, Ferrari 308 GTS i, Ferrari 400, Ferrari Mondial 3.2L cabriolet, Hispano Suiza H6B cabriolet Millon-Guiet, Hotchkiss cabriolet, Innocenti S cabriolet, Jaguar type S 3.4 L, La Buire 12 A
Lagonda LG45 cabriolet, Lancia Thema 8.32, Lorraine Dietrich B3/6 plateau, Lorraine Dietrich B3/6 torpédo par Grumman, Lorraine-Dietrich torpédo, Maserati A6G 2000 Gran Sport Frua, Mathis cabriolet, Mathis FOH, Packard cabriolet Super Eight, Panhard-Levassor Dynamic berline X77, Panhard-Levassor Dynamic coupé X76, Panhard-Levassor limousine X72, Porsche 356 SC ex-Sonauto
Renault AX torpédo, Renault Vivastella cabriolet, Sandford cyclecar 3 roues, Singer Cabriolet, Talbot Lago 11/6 cabriolet, Talbot Lago Baby cabriolet, Talbot Lago Baby cabriolet, Talbot Lago, Cadette 11, Talbot Lago coach, Talbot Lago T26 coach, Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport coupé Saoutchik, Talbot Lago T26 Record coupé Saoutchik, Talbot Lago T26 cabriolet Saoutchik ex-Roi Farouk
– Artcurial Motorcars: Retromobile Salon 2015
– Press Release: BREAKING NEWS: ARTCURIAL DISCOVERS A FORGOTTEN TREASURE IN FRANCE
– Retromobile Salon: February 4-8, 2015
– New York Times: Trove of Valuable Antique SPorts Cars Headed for Auction in France