It might seem like all the world’s buried treasures have already been found, but turns out there is still reason to go digging, perhaps even in your own family’s backyard. Recently, the late Roger Baillon’s grandchildren discovered an unknown collection of 60 vintage automobiles from the 1930’s to the 1950’s.
The cars were left to rust under a collection of coverings and sheds located on the family farm in western France. The fleet isn’t made up of just any old vehicles, but instead this car collection includes some of the most collectable cars in the world, and is worth an estimated 14.9 million US dollars.
The Talbot-Lago, pictured above, was found amongst the dusty treasures and once owned by Egyptian King Farouk, the tenth ruler of the Muhammad Ali Dynasty. Another dusty masterpiece found here includes a Ferrari owned by Alain Delon. And that’s far from all, there are also Maseratis, Bugattis, Delahayes, Delages, Hispano-Suizas and Panhard-Levassors.
The most expensive car in the collection is a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder, which is expected to be one of the biggest earners, worth anywhere between 9.5 to 14.9 million dollars. This car is a rare find, with only 37 models ever made and sold, all of which are carefully documented and this one was thought to be lost.
When Pierre Novikoff, an Artcurial car expert, unearthed the machine beauty it was covered in copies of the vintage magazine, La Vie de I’Auto, which translates to ‘Car Life’–how fitting! The high-priced vintage Ferrari was sharing a garage with another high-rolling vehicle, a 1956 Maserati A6G Gran Sport Frua, which is estimated to be worth between $990,000 and $1.5 million.
Unfortunately, not all of the cars in Baillon’s collection were kept under such protective coverings. Most of the cars were left out under steel roofs, which didn’t do much to protect them against the elements. As a result, some of the collectable cars are pretty weathered up.
One car in particular was overtaken by ropes of ivy, which invaded the car’s steering wheel. The passenger compartment was also full of weeds, as if the car were a greenhouse instead of a mode of transportation.
Interested in cars that have been overtaken by nature? You should check out this traffic jam stuck in a Belgium forest for over 70 years.
Baillon passed away around 10 years ago, at which time his son inherited his estate. After Baillon’s son recently passed away, his heirs got into contact with the auction house and made the decision to sell the collection.
Baillon made his fortunes owning a transport and truck company located in western France. Baillon had dreams of turning his car collection into a museum, including a mini railroad loop that would allow visitors to ride in the cars as well as view them. But after Baillon’s business fell on hard times in the 1970’s, his plans for a museum became a thing of the past.
Baillon actually sold 50 of the cars that were previously a part of the collection, and then he simply forgot about the remaining cars, which were left to collect dust and rust in a shed, that is until his grandchildren discovered them many years later.
The cars that are salvageable will require a lot of touch up work to restore their original glisten and shine, but the restoration work will be well worth it, especially considering some of the models are no longer manufactured, and haven’t been for years.
The collection of incredible, classic automobiles is scheduled to go up for auction in Paris on February 6th, 2015. Car enthusiasts from all over the world are expected to be in attendance, trying to bid on at least one of these very rare vehicles.
According to Artcurial Motorcars manager Matthieu Lamoure (pictured above, left, beside colleague Pierre Novikoff), “This sort of thing doesn’t happen often enough! I think, above all, you go into this profession for discoveries like this. Yes, this really is a treasure.”
Photo Credits: artcurial