Treasure trove of classic cars worth £12M found on French farm after fifty years, Daily Mail Online

Now where did I park my sixty cars? Incredible treasure trove of rusting classics worth £12MILLION is found languishing in a French farm garage after fifty years

By Ollie Gillman for MailOnline 12:43 BST five Dec 2014, updated Nineteen:34 BST five Dec two thousand fourteen

  • Ferrari and a uncommon Maserati are among dozens of rusting classic cars found on farm in western France
  • The astonishing collection, left on the farm since the 1970s, is thought to be worth up to £12million
  • Classic cars possessed by Egyptian King Farouk and sat in by Jane Fonda and Shirley MacLaine are for sale
  • Collection includes Ferrari two hundred fifty GT Spyder California SWB, one of thirty six ever made including one wielded by Chris Evans
  • Possessor of the collection Roger Baillon died more than ten years ago, passing the cars on to his family
  • They did not realise the classic cars were worth so much, calling in auctioneers who delivered the surprise

A £12million treasure trove of sixty rusting classic cars left languishing on a French farm for fifty years has gone up for auction.

The haul of motors, which includes dozens of vintage sports cars, was found gathering dust under piles of newspapers in garages and barns on a farm in western France.

Among the vehicles up for sale are a Ferrari once sat in by Jane Fonda and a Talbot-Lago previously possessed by extravagant Egyptian King Farouk.

Scroll down for the total list of cars and movie

The cars were collected from the 1950s to the 1970s by entrepreneur Roger Baillon, who dreamt of restoring them to their former glory and displaying them in a museum.

However, his plans were dashed as his business struggled, forcing Mr Baillon to sell about fifty of the vehicles.

Since then his collection has sat dormant in makeshift corrugated metal shelters and outbuildings on the farm.

Mr Baillon died about ten years ago and his son, Jacques, who inherited the collection, died last year.

Mr Baillon’s grandchildren had no idea of the extent of the collection, calling in car specialists Matthieu Lamoure and Pierre Novikoff of auctioneers Artcurial Motorcars to estimate its value.

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They found a one thousand nine hundred fifty six Maserati A6G Gran Sports with coachwork by prominent designer Frua, one of just three in the world, which is estimated to sell for just under £1million.

But the auctioneers’ greatest discovery was that of a one thousand nine hundred sixty one Ferrari 250GT SWB California Spider with covered headlights, which was hidden underneath piles of newspapers.

The car was previously wielded by French actors Gerard Blain and Alain Delon, who was photographed in it with Jane Fonda and Shirley MacLaine, and is expected to attract attention from Ferrari collectors with an estimate of £9.5million.

Only thirty six of the particular model of Ferrari were ever made, including the one in the barn and another bought by Chris Evans in two thousand eight for an estimated £5.5million.

John Collins, from Ferrari dealer Talacrest in Ascot, has spent the last twelve months attempting to find the car, which hen thinks could sell for £10million.

He said: ‘I have known about the car for years and I was gutted when I found out about three weeks ago that an auction house had got it.

‘Apart from a few people, not many knew the Ferrari still existed. It is a phenomenal car and the best barn find in more than twenty years.

‘I am sure it will go for an eight-figure sum and I will be one of several people looking to buy it. It is indeed fine – people are going to be fighting over it.’

A Talbot-Lago T26 Cabriolet once wielded by King Farouk of Egypt was also found. The Egyptian King’s extravagant lifestyle included wielding hundreds of prestigious cars.

While some of the cars are in a rusty and decrepit state, others have been well-preserved.

Mr Lamoure said: ‘These sorts of finds do not happen often. I think you go into this profession for discoveries like this; it truly is a treasure trove. No doubt a once-in-a-lifetime discovery.

‘We speak about ‘barn finds’ as cars that are intact, that have remained untouched for years, and are found again.

‘On coming in the gates of this property, we had no idea what we would find. We had to go in through the gardens at the rear of the property, to get a very first look. Across three hectares, we could see different makeshift structures. From there, we realised that this was something big.

‘We realised that there were dozens of cars parked underneath. We soon realised that some of these had been put there fifty years earlier and left untouched.

‘Wooden posts, inbetween the cars, supported the fragile roofs. The sides were open to the elements. We still didn’t realise exactly what we were faced with; the number of cars, the marques, their condition.

‘When we discovered the extent of the collection we found ourselves overcome with emotion.

‘Very likely much like Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter, on being the very first person for centuries to inject Tutankhamun’s tomb, it truly was a case of waking up sleeping beauty.’

Speaking of the uncommon Ferrari, Mr Lamoure added: ‘Ferrari is a legendary name in the automobile world. And this car is unique. Only thirty seven examples of this model were built making it utterly infrequent.

‘Every example has been cautiously documented by historians and this one was thought to be lost. We have found it.’

Mr Novikoff said: ‘I’m not sure I have ever seen so many exceptional cars together in one collection; Bugatti, Hispano-Suiza, Talbot-Lago, Panhard-Levassor, Maserati, Ferrari, Delahaye, Delage. Roger Baillon saved these cars and succeeded in his task – to trace the history of the automobile through the finest examples.

‘A collection like this can’t fail to excite 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.’

The collection will be sold by Artcurial Motorcars in Paris on February six next year.


Amilcar C6 Berline: An open-top classic, this car, built in 1927, sells for up to £40,000 in good condition.

Amilcar CGS: The thirty horsepower, lightweight car, made in 1924, can reach speeds of up to 75mph.

Ariès Coach: Coach by name, coach by nature, this classy vehicle, manufactured in 1935, was often driven by chauffeurs.

Auto Union Cabriolet: A front-wheel drive saloon car cost £1,259 including taxes during the early 1960s.

Avions Voisin C15: Won the prestigious Concours d’Elegance competition in 2002.

Avions Voisin Limousine C15: The C15’s commanding presence was further extended for the limousine model.

Avions Voisin C7 par Gallé: The stylish ninety three horsepower C7 can reach speeds of 89mph.

Ballot Limousine: The eight-cylinder car had an open-topped driving compartment, but passengers loved a hard-top roof.

Barré Torpédo: Only five of these cars, built in the village of Niort, western France, are known to exist.

Berliet Coupé Chauffeur: A popular car in the late 1920s, the motor comes with a spare wheel linked to the side of the vehicle.

Berliet Type VIGB Taxi Landaulet: From 1906, this Berliet, with unmissable crimson leather seats, could reach 40mph.

Bugatti fifty seven Ventoux: Same model sold for £324,800 at auction in September.

Citroën Trèfle: The three-seat model has room for a single passenger in the rear.

Delage D6: The six cylinder car was produced both before and after the 2nd World War.

Delage D8 Coach: Parisian manufacturers fitted different elegant figures over the years the car was produced.

Delahaye one hundred thirty five Cabriolet Faget Varnet: Regarded as one of the best custom-bodied cars from the instant post-WWII era.

Delahaye one hundred thirty five Coach Chapron: The one thousand nine hundred forty seven car could reach 100mph from one hundred twenty five pony power.

3x Delahaye two hundred thirty five Coach Chapron: Regarded as two expensive, this car did not perform well on the market in the 1950s.

2x Delahaye Type forty three Coupé Chauffeur: The model was recognisable by its flame-shaped rims.

Delahaye GFA one hundred forty eight L: Known for being narrower at the rear than the front.

Delaunay Belleville Limousine VL8: The 1908-1910 four cylinder model had just ten pony power.

Facel Vega Excellence: L uxury saloon was unveiled at the Paris Auto Demonstrate in one thousand nine hundred fifty six to rave reviews.

Ferrari two hundred fifty GT SWB California Spider: Only thirty six were ever built. This one could sell for £9.5million.

Ferrari three hundred eight GTS: The mid-engined sports car was manufactured by from one thousand nine hundred seventy five to 1985.

Ferrari 400: Released in 1976, it could reach 0-60 in 7.1 seconds.

Ferrari Mondial Three.2L Cabriolet : The only production mid-engined car with four seats that is fully convertible.

Hispano Suiza H6B Cabriolet Millon-Guiet: The one thousand nine hundred twenty nine winner of the Course d’Elegance.

Hotchkiss Cabriolet: The two-door luxury car was made inbetween one thousand nine hundred fifty and 1954.

Innocenti S Cabriolet: Based on the Austin-Healey Sprite, as it used the same suspension, steering, drivetrain, and engine.

Jaguar type S Trio.Four L: The Mark two was introduced in one thousand nine hundred fifty nine and sold via most of the 1960s.

La Buire twelve A: The French cars, all made before WWII, are a infrequent find.

Lagonda LG45 Cabriolet: Models in mint condition can sell for up to £140,000.

Lancia Thema 8.32: While it looks normal from the outside, the Lancia packs a V8 Ferrari engine.

Lorraine Dietrich B3/6 Plateau, Lorraine Dietrich B3/6 Torpédo par Grumman, Lorraine-Dietrich Torpédo: The three Lorraine Dietrichs have been seen in latest years taking part in Le Stud’s classic car races.

Maserati A6G two thousand Gran Sport Frua: Only three were ever made, making it worth almost £1million.

Mathis FOH: The short-lived model had a 3l straight-eight-cylinder engine.

Packard Cabriolet Super Eight : Four,250 were made, marking the end of the Super Eight series.

Panhard-Levassor Dynamic Berline X77: Better known as the 140, this car was introduced at the Paris Auto Display in 1936.

Panhard-Levassor Dynamic Coupé X76: The slightly smaller model was better known as the 130,

Panhard-Levassor Limousine X72: The earlier model could reach speeds of 75mph.

Porsche three hundred fifty six SC ex-Sonauto: The German company’s very first production car.

Renault AX Torpédo: Mostly used by taxi drivers during the Very first World War.

Renault Vivastella Cabriolet: I ntroduced at the one thousand nine hundred twenty eight Paris auto display as a more luxurious version of the Renault Vivasix.

Sandford Cyclecar three Roues: Despite the name, the three-wheeled car was powered by a 1,098cc engine, not pedal power.

Singer Cabriolet: Made in Coventry by bicycle makers Singer.

T albot-Lago 11/6 Cabriolet: Similar to other Talbot-Lagos, but with a shorter chassis.

2x Talbot-Lago Baby Cabriolet: The car was commonly sold as a four-door sedan, but a two-door cabriolet was also suggested.

Talbot Lago Cadette 11: The 6-cylinder Two,696cc car was exposed in 1937.

2x Talbot Lago Coach: A coachbuilt special of the T26.

Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport Coupé Saoutchik: The sport edition of the T26 was re-released across the 1950s.

Talbot Lago T26 Record Coupé Saoutchik: Regarded as one of manufacturer Saoutchik’s finest designs.

Talbot Lago T26 Cabriolet Saoutchik: The smaller cabriolet version was produced from 1946-1955.

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