Every car collector’s dream is uncovering an amazing barn filled with perfectly preserved classic cars.
And for two “motorcar specialists” from auction house Artcurial Motorcars, that dream became a reality.
In rural western France, 60 collectors’ automobiles were tucked away in makeshift, cast-iron cages and underneath outbuildings. They had been rotting away for at least 50 years.
So okay, they weren’t exactly in pristine condition.
“This sort of thing doesn’t happen often enough,” Matthieu Lamoure, managing director of Artcurial Motorcars, said in a press release. “In our jargon, we speak about ‘barn finds’ as cars that are intact, that have remained untouched for years, and are found again. I have to say that when we arrived here, we found ourselves overcome with emotion.”
The cars were collected by French transportation mogul Roger Baillon, who fell on hard times in the ’70s and had to sell his car collection.
But, classic car lover that he was, Baillon couldn’t simply sell all of his cars. He tucked away some of his collectibles in the barn in France, and they were subsequently forgotten about.
Needless to say, time, dust, and rust took their toll on these cars, some of which have become barely recognizable, like the Hispano Suiza H6B cabriolet Millon Guiet below.
Here’s what that same car might have looked like in its heyday.
Many of the cars in this find could be too far gone for authentic restoration, but they may still find a buyer. For instance, chances are this Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport Coupe? Saoutchik could never return to its former glory.
But you never know — with a great mechanic and a new paint job, perhaps the car could be restored with new parts:
Even though they are rusted out, all these old cars have a classic beauty that still shines through, like this Talbot Lago T26 Cabriolet Saoutchik ex Roi Farouk.
And there are still a number of highlights in the collection, including a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder, which was found buried under a stack of magazines, as well as a 1956 Maserati A6G Gran Sport Frua, which is one of only three ever made.
Estimates for the sale of the Ferrari model alone could reach $14.74 million. It’s considered one of the most expensive classic cars in at action, and is one of only 37 that were produced.
This is what that same Ferrari could look like once fully restored.
And here’s a similar model Maserati to give you an idea of what it will look like after an extensive restoration process. The found Maserati is one of only three made in the world and is expected to fetch $1.5 million.
All the salable cars will be auctioned off in Paris next February by Artcurial.