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Dec 09

A £12million treasure trove of 60 rusting classic cars

Now where did I park my 60 cars? Incredible treasure trove of rusting classics worth £12MILLION is found languishing in a French farm garage after 50 years 

  • Ferrari and a rare 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 owned by Egyptian King Farouk and sat in by Jane Fonda and Shirley MacLaine are for sale 
  • Collection includes Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California SWB, one of 36 ever made including one owned by Chris Evans
  • Owner of the collection Roger Baillon died more than 10 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

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A £12million treasure trove of 60 rusting classic cars left languishing on a French farm for 50 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 owned by extravagant Egyptian King Farouk.

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

John Collins, from Ferrari dealer Talacrest in Ascot, has spent the last 12 months trying 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 20 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 really great – people are going to be fighting over it.’

A Talbot-Lago T26 Cabriolet once owned by King Farouk of Egypt was also found. The Egyptian King’s extravagant lifestyle included owning 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 really 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 entering 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 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 50 years earlier and left untouched.

‘Wooden posts, between 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.

‘Probably much like Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter, on being the first person for centuries to enter Tutankhamun’s tomb, it really was a case of waking up sleeping beauty.’

Some of the cars were bought by Mr Baillon, an entrepreneur, in the 1950s and have been parked on the farm since

The collection will be sold by Artcurial Motorcars in Paris on February 6 next year.

Visit: http://goo.gl/9thqMh

 

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