• Image Credit: Artcurial
  • Image Credit: Artcurial
  • Image Credit: Artcurial
  • Image Credit: Artcurial
  • Image Credit: Artcurial
  • Image Credit: Artcurial
  • Image Credit: Artcurial
  • Image Credit: Artcurial
  • Image Credit: Artcurial
  • Image Credit: Artcurial
  • Image Credit: Artcurial
  • Image Credit: Artcurial
Barn finds arise from time to time, bearing undiscovered treasures hidden away in some shed for decades before being unearthed and brought to the auction block. But few have ever compared to the Baillon Collection. And now its liquidation is complete, bringing in millions in sales on the back of frenzied bidding.

Discovered just months ago, the Baillon Collection comprised some 100 vehicles said to have been rescued from the crusher by one Roger Baillon, a French transport magnate who intended to eventually put the cars on display in a museum. Unfortunately that never came to pass, but when the cars were found in sheds on his estate in rural France, the world took notice. In dire condition and in need of much TLC, 59 of the cars (those worth selling) were consigned to the auctioneers at Artcurial, which just handled their sale during the Retromobile classic car show this weekend in Paris.

The highest price was fetched by a rare 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider with the highly desirable covered headlights found in the barn under a pile of old magazines. One of just 37 made, the drop-top Prancing Horse sold to an unnamed international collector for a record $18.5 million – far above initial estimates and, despite its condition, the most ever paid for a 250 GT of any kind.

An American collector paid $2.2 million for the 1956 Maserati A6G bodied by Frua, also well above its pre-sale estimate range. A '49 Talbot-Lago T26 bodied by Saoutchik more than doubled even the top of its estimated value at $1.9 million, sold to a European collector.

All told, the Baillon Collection brought in a staggering $28.5 million in sales, comprising over half the value of the lots, 89 percent of which Artcurial sold at the Retromobile auction.
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46 M€ / 34 M£ / 52 M$ FOR THE 2015 RETROMOBILE SALE INCLUDING 25.15 M€ / 18.7 M£ / 28.5 M$ FOR THE BAILLON COLLECTION
RECORD FOR A COLLECTORS' CAR SALE IN CONTINENTAL EUROPE
RECORD FOR A COLLECTION OF CARS SOLD IN CONTINENTAL EUROPE

AUCTION WORLD RECORD PRICE FOR THE 1961 FERRARI 250 GT SWB CALIFORNIA SPIDER
16.3 M€ / 12.1 M£ / 18.5 M$ (FROM THE BAILLON COLLECTION)

9 FURTHER AUCTION WORLD RECORDS
I PREEMPTION
5 CARS SOLD ABOVE 1 M€
10 CARS SOLD ABOVE 500 000 €

89 % OF LOTS SOLD (100% FOR THE BAILLON COLLECTION)
85% OF THE SALE TOTAL ACQUIRED BY FOREIGN BUYERS

1 600 REGISTERED BIDDERS
3 500 PEOPLE IN THE SALEROOM
OVER 1 000 PEOPLE REGISTERED ON ARTCURIAL LIVEBID

Paris – On Friday 6 February 2015, the collectors' car department at Artcurial once again caused a stir amongst international collectors who came in huge numbers to the Salon Retromobile. The sale realised 46 165 983 € / 34 260 292 £ / 52 236 667 $, following a marathon two-part auction lasting over 11 hours. The indefatigable Maître Hervé Poulain brought the hammer down on 89% of the lots. Starting at 14.00, over 3,500 people crammed into the saleroom to take part in this historic auction that began with the 59 automobiles in the extraordinary Baillon Collection. Almost 1600 people registered to bid in the sale, with another 1000 connected to the Artcurial Live Bid platform to bid online.

Matthieu Lamoure, Managing Director of Artcurial Motorcars declared: "These exceptional results spring from work that has taken six months. News of the Baillon Collection has travelled around the world. International buyers came together in one room to pay homage to Roger Baillon. This triumph demonstrates the universal passsion for the automobile. This is a significant collection that has enjoyed a significant success."

« The triumph of the Baillon Collection sale is just reward for the experience of a 40-year career. All eyes have been on Paris and Artcurial, the leading French auction house, that has had the privilege of offering this group of cars. We have been amazed by the response around the world to the announcement of the discovery of the Baillon Collection. These beautiful vehicles have become works of art in their own right. They now go to join private collections and museums around the world, to have another life. » added Hervé Poulain, co-chairman of the Artcurial Group.

Once again, Artcurial Motorcars confirmed its position as leader for Collectors' Car sales in Continental Europe. Enthusiasts from around the world made their way to Paris, with close to 30 nationalities represented, to celebrate the history of the automobile, in the largest ever collectors' car sale held in France. During the course of the sale, the auction house set 10 world record auction prices:

Without a doubt the most exciting moment of the afternoon was the appearance of the uncontested star of the sale, the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider, arriving on the stand as the room plunged into darkness. The saleroom held its breath as the bids rose, before bursting into applause as Maître Hervé Poulain's hammer fell at 16.3M € / 12.1M£ / 18,5M$ including premium. This is the highest bid in Artcurial's history.

Pierre Novikoff, specialist in the Artcurial Motorcars department said: "This will go down in history as an extraordinary sale! The Baillon discovery has been an incredible adventure. In addition to the passion it has aroused in enthusiasts, it is the unique story of one man's dream, carried on by an entire family. The successful sale of the 59 cars in the Baillon Collection reflects the international response by collectors who have been touched by these phantom-like automobiles."

The collection of Roger Baillon, the inspired industrialist from the west of France who saved a great number of cars from being scrapped between 1950 and 1970, realised 25,15 M€ / 18,7 M£ / 28,5 M$. The 59 « barnfind » lots were all sold, achieving 2,4,6 and sometimes 10 times their estimates, including two world record prices. The public exhibition, staged as a tribute to the museum Roger Baillon had dreamed of, attracted close to 15,000 visitors a day, many of whom had made a special trip from outside France to see these « Sleeping Beauties ». The auction included a pre-emption by the Musée de l'automobile de Compiègne, lot 33, a c.1936 Panhard-Levassor Dynamic X76 coupé junior. This acquisition confirmed the cultural importance of these automobiles.

The sale of the Baillon Collection has been made possible thanks to the long time relationship between Artcurial and the Banque Privée du CIC Ouest.

The second part of the sale, commencing shortly after 17.00, presented some 117 classic and contemporary cars to a full saleroom of enthusiastic bidders. Bidding battles and applause continued throughout the five-hour sale. Three cars changed hands for over one million euros: (lots 117 147 and 193), with eight new world record auction prices, listed below.

Sale total: 46 165 983 € / 34 260 292 £ / 52 236 667 $
89 % sold by lot / estimate for the sale: 39,9 M€ / M£ / M$
Lot Description Price (estimate in euros) Buyer
59 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider 1961, Baillon Collection
AUCTION WORLD RECORD FOR THIS MODEL
16,3 M€ / 12,1M£ / 18,5M$
(est : 9 500 000 – 12 000 000)
International Collector
58 Maserati A6G 2000 Gran Sport Berlinetta Frua 1956, Baillon Collection
AUCTION WORLD RECORD FOR THIS MODEL
2M€ / 1,5M£ / 2,2M$
(est : 800 000 – 1 200 000)
American Collector
117 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Berlinetta 1,9M€ / 1,4M£ / 2,2M$
(est : 1 500 000 – 2 000 000)
European Collector
46 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport SWB by Saoutchik 1949, Baillon Collection 1,7M€ / 1,3M£ / 1,9M$
(est : 400 000 – 600 000)
European Collector
193 1938 Mercedes Benz 380 K Cabriolet A 1,4M€ / 1M£ / 1,6M$
(est : 1 300 00 – 1 600 00)
Asian Collector
147 1968 Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada
AUCTION WORLD RECORD FOR THIS MODEL
1,2 M€ / 925 000£ / 1,4M$
(est : 550 000 – 650 000)
European Collector
149 1957 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Roadster with Hard-Top 929 800 € / 689 974 £ / 1M$
(est : 800 000 – 1 300 000)
European Collector
202 1962 Maserati 3500 GT Spider Vignale 858 200 € / 636 880 £ / 971 015 $
(est : 600 000 – 800 000)
Asian Collector
144 1961 Maserati 3500 GT Spider Vignale 834 400 € / 619 208 £ / 944 054 $
(est : 600 000 – 700 000)
European Collector
43 1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Cabriolet by Saoutchik, Baillon Collection 745 000 € / 554 000 £ / 843 000 $
(est : 120 000 – 150 000)
American Collector


AUCTION WORLD RECORD PRICES :
- Lot 59 : 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider SWB 1961 : sold 16.3M € / 12.1M£ / 18,5M$ (estimate : 9,5M-12M€)
- Lot 58 : 1956 Maserati A6G Frua : sold 2M € / 1.5M£ / 2.2M$ (estimate : 800 000-1 200 000€)
- Lot 147 : 1968 Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada : sold 1.2M € / 925 000£ / 1.4M$ (estimate : 550 000-650 000€)
- Lot 169 : 2011 Ferrari 599 GTO : sold 441 000 € / 327 000 £ / 499 000 $ (estimate : 280 000-340 000€)
- Lot 116 : 1986 Ferrari Testarossa : sold 196 700 € / 146 000 £ / 223 000 $ (estimate : 100 000-120000€)
- Lot 141 : 1969 Lamborghini 400 GT Islero S : sold 298 000 € / 221 000 £ / 337 000 $ (estimate : 180 000 – 240 000€)
- Lot 145 : 1965 Maserati Mistral 3.7L : sold 181 200 € / 134 000 £ / 204 000 $ (estimate : 110 000 – 130 000 €)
- Lot 156 : 1965 Mercedes-Benz 300 SE Cabriolet : sold 119 200 € / 88 500 £ / 135 000 $ (estimate : 80 000 – 120 000 €)
- Lot 153 : 1958 Porsche 356 A Speedster : sold 298 000 € / 221 000 £ / 337 000 $ (estimate : 230 000 – 280 000€)
- Lot 174 : 1973 De Tomaso Pantera GTS : sold 133 500 € / 99 000 £ / 151 000 $ (estimate : 110 000 – 140 000 €)
Artcurial motor car department's next sale takes place in July, in Monaco.

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