100-Car French Barn Find Includes Rare Ferraris, Bugatti: Video

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Imagine the excitement and joy of finding a rare classic sitting abandoned in someone’s back yard or shed, just begging for a little restoration work and a stretch of open road. Now multiply that by a hundred and you’ll have an inkling of how it must have felt when the classic car department of French auction house Artcurial first learned of the 100-car collection of the late Roger Baillon.

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The lineage of the cars stretch from the early days of the automobile through to the 1970s, with a variety of marques present including illustrious French brands such as Avions Voisin and Facel Vega as well as the likes of Bugatti, Ferrari and Maserati. Sadly, the cars, discovered just three months ago, have sat abandoned for almost five decades, with many in such a poor state that they’re no longer salvageable.

Yes, only 60 of the 100 cars found will go under the hammer, at an auction to be held on February 6 by Artcurial at the 2015 Salon Rétromobile classic car event in France. A 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider, one of 37 ever built, is expected to attract the highest bid, with current estimates ranging from about $10 million to $15 million. Other standouts should be a 1956 Maserati A6G Gran Sport Frua, a 1956 Facel Vega Excellence and a Bugatti 57 Ventoux from the 1930s.

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The cars were found tucked away in a property in the West of France, under makeshift corrugated iron shelters and in various outbuildings. They were bought over the years by Baillon, a French transport magnate that hoped to one day restore them and showcase them in a museum. Unfortunately, Baillon was forced to give up that dream due when his business went sour, with almost half of the original 200-car collection sold in the late '70s.

The remaining cars are now being sold on behalf of Baillon’s family. Hit the next page to see a list of all the cars going up for auction.


 
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