Every motorcar enthusiast or car collector dreams of opening a barn door to discover hoards of vintage cars parked neatly in row upon row. Well, this dream just came true for a duo who stumbled upon not just a few, but 60 extremely rare vintage cars stored, rather haphazardly, in makeshift cast-iron cages and underneath outbuildings.
Two “motorcar specialists” from auction house Artcurial Motorcars spotted 60 vintage cars in rural western France. However, the conditions in which these beauties were stored was described as quite deplorable and the cars had been sitting in the same location for at least 50 years, laments Matthieu Lamoure, managing director of Artcurial Motorcars.
“This sort of thing doesn’t happen often enough. 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 history of the cars is, indeed, quite fascinating. They were fondly handpicked by French transportation mogul Roger Baillon. When faced with misfortune in the early 1970s, Ballion had to part away with his beloved collection for near throwaway prices for these priceless pieces of luxury transportation. The collector had taken utmost care of his collection and ensured each of the car was in pristine and drivable condition. Hence, when it was time to sell his car collection, Ballion tucked away some of his favorite cars in a far-off farm in rural France.
But as fate would have it, before he could disclose the location of some of his most treasured urban means of high class transportation, Baillon passed away, leaving the cars to quietly rot in the barn that was only recently opened.
It is pointless to mention time, dust and weather have taken a heavy toll on many of the cars, leaving some barely recognizable. Experts agree that most of the cars are way beyond the laws of practicality when it comes to restoration. However, they do mention that car-crazy people would simply fall in love, even with these rust-buckets, just because of their rarity. Even though they are extensively rusted out, all these old cars have a classic beauty that still manages to shine through.
Despite the dilapidated condition of the collection, some of the cars are quite rare and near impossible to come by. A 1956 Maserati A6G Gran Sport Frua, for example, was one of only three ever made. Another one, a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder, is easily the most expensive car in the collection, which alone is expected to fetch $14.75 million as it is one of only 37 that were produced.
The company that made the discovery plans to auction off all salable models in Paris next February.
[Image Credit: Artcurial Motorcars]