In western France, neglected for over 50 years, there was a forgotten treasure that was recently discovered. It’s enough to make any car enthusiast’s jaw drop to the floor: a collection of 60 automobiles that are rare and extremely valuable. Matthieu Lamoure and Pierre Novikoff of The Collectors’ Car Department at Artcurial stumbled upon them when criss-crossing through France searching for rare pieces. The story behind them – and their discovery – is incredible.
It all started when an entrepreneur named Roger Baillon, having made his fortunes in truck manufacturing, started collecting the automobiles in the 1950s.
But they weren’t just any automobiles. They were all extremely rare with pasts that made them special.
They’ve been tucked away under makeshift corrugated iron shelters and in various outbuildings for 50 years.
In the late 70s, Ballion had a turn of fortune and lost most of his money. He sold off a large part of his collection, and these 60 vehicles became “lost.” Almost no one knew they still existed.
It wasn’t until recently that Matthieu Lamoure and Pierre Novikoff received information about the forgotten collection. When they arrived, they were in shock. Going from one vehicle to another was something they’ll never forget…
A vintage Ferrari (left), once sat in by Jane Fonda, and a Maserati A6G 200 Berlinetta Grand Sport Frua (right), one of only three in the world.
A Talbot-Lago T26 Cabriolet once owned by Egyptian King Farouk
Hispano Suiza H6B Cabriolet Millio
Facel Vega (left) and a Talbot-Lago (right)
Ferrari 250 GT California SWB
Matthieu Lamoure (left) and Pierre Novikoff (right), the auctioneers and classic car experts who found the collection.
Artcurial will be selling the collection in Paris in February, 2015.
If you’d like more information about this incredible discovery, including an interview with the treasure hunters themselves, you can check it out here. Putting myself in their shoes and walking on that old farm in western France… it must’ve been an indescribable feeling. This piece of history is awesome