Incredible Treasure Trove Of Rusting Classics Found Languishing In A Farm Garage In France After 50 Years..

A £12m treasure of 60 rusty vintage cars left on a farm in France for 50 years has been put up for auction. A range of engines, including dozens of classic sports cars, were found covered in dust under piles of newspapers in the garage and barn on a farm in western France.

Among the cars for sale are a Ferrari once sat by Jane Fonda and a Talbot-Lago formerly owned by the lavish Egyptian King Farouk. The cars were collected from the 1950s to the 1970s by businessman Roger Baillon, who dreamed of restoring them to their former glory and displaying them in a museum. However, his plan fell through when his business hit a snag, forcing him to sell about 50 cars.

Since then, his collection has lain dormant in makeshift corrugated iron huts and ranch outbuildings. Mr. Baillon died about 10 years ago and his son, Jacques, heir to the collection also died last year. Mr Baillon’s grandchildren, unaware of the size of the collection, called auto experts Matthieu Lamoure and Pierre Novikoff of the auction house Artcurial Motorcars to estimate its value.

They found a 1956 Maserati A6G Gran Sports built by renowned designer Frua, one of only three in the world, estimated to sell for under £1 million. But the auctioneers’ greatest find was a 1961 Ferrari 250GT SWB California Spider with its headlights obscured, hidden under a pile of newspapers.

The car was previously owned by French actors Gerard Blain and Alain Delon, who were photographed with Jane Fonda and Shirley MacLaine, and is expected to attract attention from Ferrari collectors with an estimated price of £9. .5 million pounds.

Only 36 Ferraris have ever been built, including one in a warehouse and another purchased by Chris Evans in 2008 for an estimated £5.5 million. John Collins, from Ferrari’s Talacrest dealership in Ascot, has spent the past 12 months searching for a car she thinks could sell for £10 million.

He said: ‘I have known about this car for many years and I was shocked to learn that about three weeks ago an auction house had acquired it. ‘Except for a few people, not many people know Ferrari is still around. It’s an extraordinary vehicle and the best barn found in over 20 years.

‘I’m sure it will cost eight figures and I will be one of many looking to buy it. It’s really great – people will compete for it.’ A Talbot-Lago T26 Cabriolet once owned by King Farouk of Egypt was also found. The King of Egypt’s lavish lifestyle included owning hundreds of prestigious cars.

While some of the cars were in a state of rust and decay, others were well preserved. Mr Lamoure said: ‘Finds of this kind don’t happen often. I think you go into this profession for discoveries like these; it is truly a treasure. Without a doubt, this is a once-in-a-lifetime discovery.

‘We talk about ‘finds in the barn’ which are cars that have been intact, untouched for years and found again. ‘When we entered the gates of this property we had no idea what we were going to find. We had to go through the gardens at the back of the property to get a first look. Over three hectares we can see various makeshift structures. From there, we realized that this was something big.

‘We realized that there were dozens of cars parked below. We soon realized that some of these had been located there 50 years ago and were untouched. “Wooden poles, between the carriages, support the fragile roofs. The sides were open to the elements. We have not yet realized exactly what we are facing; vehicle numbers, brands, their condition.

‘When we discovered the extent of the collection, we found ourselves overwhelmed with emotion. ‘Perhaps like Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter, who were the first in centuries to enter Tutankhamun’s tomb, it was indeed a case of awakening the sleeping beauty in the woods.’

Speaking of the rare Ferrari, Mr Lamoure said added: ‘Ferrari is a legendary name in the automotive world. And this car is unique. Only 37 examples of this model were made so it is extremely rare. ‘Every example has been carefully recorded by historians and this example is believed to have been lost. We found it.’

Mr. Novikoff said: ‘I’m not sure I’ve seen so many special cars in a collection; Bugatti, Hispano-Suiza, Talbot-Lago, Panhard-Levassor, Maserati, Ferrari, Delahaye, Delage. Roger Baillon saved these cars and succeeded in his mission – tracing the history of the automobile through the best examples.A collection like this can’t fail to arouse the passions of those who love automobiles, as well as art and history enthusiasts. Never again, anywhere in the world, will such a treasure be unearthed.’

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