We headed up to Paris for the Retromobile exhibition which for the 2015 edition welcomed the incredible Baillon collection that had been sitting in numerous hangars for over 50 years. The story goes that Monsieur Baillon, his first name Roger, kept these cars in a warehouse in Deux Sèvres to open a museum. His dream never came true, when his transport company went bankrupt, the cars were forgotten during all these years in the rain and wind.
The history of this collection is quite simply extraordinary. In fact it’s the third time that cars from this collection have been for sale. The cars were considered as belonging to his company and some were sold off when the company was bankrupt, 60 of them were sold in 1979 and 38 others in 1985. Afterwards as told by Maître Hervé Poulin, tomorrow’s auctionneer, time has passed and the cars were forgotten, even by his descendants. It was in 2013 that the family realised the value of the collection, especially of the Ferrari 250 GT California Spider from 1961 ( photo below ), the star of the auction, last known car of the 37 built and that everybody thought had disappeared. Bad luck ended the collector’s dream to open a museum. Like a family secret his collection was forgotten for decades. However the recent death of his son meant that the heirs contacted Artcurial and a few months later, as they’re well known for doing, they made a big thing out of the auction…
They were discovered by Matthieu Lamoure ( manager of Arterial ) and Pierre Nivikoff ( Specialist for Artcurial Motorcars ) that still don’t believe what he found. “ What an amazing present in a career to discover such a collection ! It’s difficult to believe. Especially the California hidden in an old garage full of mechanical corpses all over the place in the middle of the French countryside… ”
Artcurial, founded in 2002, and now in 2014 they’re the number one auctioneers in France with 20 specialised departments. Over the last few years Artcurial has known huge success, going from 30M€ in 2013 to 50M€ in 2014. The sales in France make new records attracting more and more international clients. Artcurial Motorcars is known for finding cars, never seen on the market before, from huge private collections with an element of surprise.
On Friday the 6th of February, Artcurial organised in Paris an auction for around sixty legendary cars. Here is a 1961 Ferrari 250 California which belonged to Alain Delon. Sold for 14.2 million euros, but why was there so much interest in this 250GT SWB California Spider ? Because it belonged to Alain Delon for a few years, from 1963 to 1965 while filming the movie Le Guépard. It’s also it’s rarity that makes it so special, 37 built and Ferrari had no trace of this car, thinking it was long gone.
“I know the buyer of this car, and the good news is that this one will stay in it’s original condition. The running gear will be restored but the new owner is aiming to keep it as original as possible.” Mathieu Lamoure, manager of Artcurial explained after the sale.
Incredible prices? Yes we’re well aware, classic cars are a good investment, proved by many sales, whether it’s Artcurial , Bonhams or other auction companies, we can clearly see how certain car’s value have doubled or tripled very quickly. The perfect example being the Porsche 911. The classic 911 such as a 1971 2.4S has increased in value by over +400% in 10 years, a car that wasn’t worth more than €8000 in the 90s. It’s difficult to find a bigger increase! We had confirmation of this on the 2nd of November last year at the “Automobiles sur les Champs” auction, also organised by Artcurial. A 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 Targa which went for 232 400€ and a 1972 911 2.4 S Targa for 212 200€.
The list of cars found is long… and is broken down into 3 parts.
Amilcar C6 saloon – Amilcar CGS – Ariès coach – Auto Union cabriolet – Avions Voisin C15 – Avions Voisin limousine C15 – Avions Voisin C7 by Gallé – Ballot 8 cyl limousine – Barré torpédo – Berliet coupé chauffeur – Berliet Type VIGB 10HP -Taxi Landaulet – Bugatti 57 Ventoux – Citroën Trèfle – Delage D6 – Delage D8 coach – Delahaye 135 cabriolet Faget Varnet – Delahaye 135 coach Chapron – Delahaye 235 coach Chapron – Delahaye 235 coach Chapron – Delahaye 235 coupé Chapron – Delahaye Type 43 coupé chauffeur – Delahaye GFA 148 L – Delahaye Type 43 van – Delaunay Belleville limousine VL8 – Facel Vega Excellence.
Ferrari 308 GTS i – Ferrari 400 – Ferrari Mondial 3.2L cabriolet – Hispano Suiza H6B cabriolet Millon-Guiet – Hotchkiss cabriolet – Innocenti S cabriolet – Jaguar type S 3.4 L – La Buire 12 A – Lagonda LG45 cabriolet – Lancia Thema 8.32 – Lorraine Dietrich B3/6 plateau – Lorraine Dietrich B3/6 torpédo by Grumman – Lorraine-Dietrich torpédo – Maserati A6G – 2000 Gran Sport Frua – Mathis cabriolet – Mathis FOH – Packard cabriolet Super Eight – Panhard-Levassor Dynamic berline – X77 – Panhard-Levassor Dynamic coupé X76 – Panhard-Levassor limousine X72 – Porsche 356 SC ex-Sonauto – Renault AX torpédo – Renault Vivastella cabriolet – Sandford cyclecar 3 roues – Singer Cabriolet.
Talbot Lago 11/6 cabriolet – Talbot Lago Baby cabriolet – Talbot Lago Baby cabriolet – Talbot Lago Cadette 11 – Talbot Lago coach – Talbot Lago T26 coach – Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport coupé Saoutchik – Talbot Lago T26 Record coupé Saoutchik – Talbot Lago T26 cabriolet Saoutchik ex-Roi Farouk.
VENTE RETROMOBILE 2015 :
25,15 M€ / 18,7 M£ / 28,5 M$ FOR THE BAILLON COLLECTION
WORLD RECORD AT AUCTION
FOR A 1961 FERRARI 250GT SWB CALIFORNIA SPIDER
16,3 M€ / 12,1 M£ / 18,5 M$ (FROM THE BAILLON COLLECTION)
AND 9 WORLD AUCTION RECORDS
1 FIRST REFUSAL FROM THE FRENCH STATE
One buyer who thought he’d bought a 1936 Panhard-Levassor Coupé left without the car because the Compiègne museum had been given first refusal. A nice piece of French automobile history, bravo !
5 CARS SOLD FOR OVER 1M€
10 CARS SOLD FOR OVER 500 000€
89 % OF CARS SOLD (100 % OF THE BAILLON COLLECTION)
85 % OF CARS SOLD TO FOREIGN BIDDERS
1 600 PEOPLE SIGNED UP
3 500 PEOPLE IN THE AUCTION ROOM
MORE THAN 1000 PEOPLE CONNECTED ON ARTCURIAL LIVEBID
Before the auction, the auctioneer wished that the potential buyers would “bring life back to these sleeping beauties for a new destiny”. A huge task at times, judging by the condition of some of the cars, like the n°26, an Amilcar CGSS two seater sportscar, incomplete and in very bad condition, estimated at 3000-5000 euros, but sold for… 46000! “A whole life to restore it” joked Monsieur Poulain at the beginning of the sale.
Delaunay-Belleville Type VL8 Limousine – 1932 – estimation : 4.000 – 6.000€ – prix réalisé : 50.100€
Panhard Dynamic X77 – 1936 – estimation : 10.000 – 15.000€ – prix réalisé : 37.000€
Porsche 356 SC – 1963 – estimation : 20.000 – 30.000€ – prix réalisé : 89.500€
Delahaye 235 Coach Chapron – estimation : 20.000 – 25.000€ – prix réalisé : 119.300€
Amilcar CGSS – 1927 – estimation : 3.000 – 5.000€ – prix réalisé : 54.900€
Delahaye 235 Coach Chapron – estimation : 20.000 – 25.000€ – prix réalisé : 69.100€
Facel-Vega Excellence – 1960 – estimation : 60.000 – 80.000€ – prix réalisé : 143.000€
This hidden treasure is far from being a one off in France. According to the Federation française des véhicules d’époque, nearly 800 000 classic cars throughout the country. Keep your eyes open!
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