We are a very curious species and because of this we love to explore, we like to dive deep into the unknown parts of the world and see what is there just waiting to be discovered. With all this futuristic technology engulfing our lives it’s easier and easier to explore the unknown. Because of our undeniable human nature and the assistance of modern technology, today we are overly confident that we have pretty much mapped out most parts of the world. Well that is a rather arrogant statement because there are hidden gems and treasures right beneath our noses and we are all too ecstatic when one of these treasures surfaces. This is exactly the case at a farm in France and being ecstatic is exactly the feeling that two brothers are feeling right now. The story begins 50 years ago with an entrepreneur named Roger Baillon.
Roger Baillon was a very wealthy businessman in the transportation industry who had a dream of collecting the finest pre-war automobiles in the world. Restoring them and placing them in a dedicated museum for the world to enjoy.
The Baillon car collection started at the peak of his success in the 1950’s. He had restored a roadster that he would enter in some high-class car shows and his love of fine automobiles only grew from there.
Over the next few years he had acquired over 120 very rare and sought after cars. Some of the cars even had some incredible histories associated with them.
One of the cars (Talbot-Lago T26 convertible) was formerly owned by the Egyptian King Farouk. Another car (the Ferrari 250 GT) was featured in many Hollywood films with actors and actresses such as Jane Fonda and Shirley MacLaine.
The entrepreneur never expected his wealth to expire and his businesses to fail but sadly that’s exactly what happened.
He was forced to sell half of his collection and halt the restoration of the remaining automobiles. The other half were stored in purpose-built structures surrounding the family farm.
The Maserati pictured below is 1 of only 3 in the world.
He was very proud of his collection and made sure that each vehicle was very well documented to preserve its history.
Sadly his passion for these incredible vehicles was not completely shared by his son who let the world forget about this collection of rare cars. Roger Baillon passed away some time ago and his son passed away early last year leaving this collection with an unsure fate.
Baillon’s grandsons were notified that they had some property and assets that they had inherited. They arrived at the family farm and their jaws hit the floor. They had no idea the collection still existed and was simply handed over to them. They were in over their heads and had no idea what to do with this collection.
The two grandsons contacted Artcurial Motorcars and requested them to come place a value on these rare automobiles.
The assessors showed up and were in shock. This was like walking into heaven for any car enthusiast. They found vehicles that they had only heard about but never seen in person.
After working their way through the various barns and out buildings, they estimated that the grandsons had acquired a collection worth upwards of $15,000,000 dollars! One of the specialists stated, “These sleeping Beauties are clothed in the precious patina of time gone by. A collection like this can’t fail to arouse the passions of those who love automobiles, as well as art and history enthusiasts. Never again, anywhere in the world, will such a treasure be unearthed”
Each of these cars have a unique past making them special. They were all thought to be lost and forgotten until now. A collection of the rarest cars in the world and the grandsons didn’t even know they had it.
An incredibly rare Talbot Lago T26 hardtop. This is one of my all time favorite cars.
Pictured above is a Talbot Lago T26 convertible. This car was perviously owned by Egyptian King Farouk.
The grandsons don’t have the time or knowhow to restore all of these pieces of art and have decided to let them all go to auction to find the home and care that they so deserve.
All of the vehicles combined are expected to bring a value of over 12,000,000 euros or just over 15,000,000 U.S. dollars. Artcurial Motorcars is scheduled to have the Baillon auction on February 6th, 2015 at the Retromobile Salon in Paris, France.
“I’m not sure I’ve ever seen so many exceptional cars together in one collection. Roger Baillon saved these cars and succeeded in tracing the history of the automobile through the finest examples!”
Because the cars were stored in outbuildings and open structures they do have damage. Some much worse than others. The cars that are unfit for restoration will be sold for parts.
“Certain cars, much like paintings or sculptures, are works of art, created by artists! Not only the engineering, but their styling reflects the history of design”
Nature had been slowly taking over these vehicles and some were full with vines and weeds. They were saved just in the nick of time.
Matthieu Lamoure (left) and Pierre Novikoff (right). These are the classic car experts who found the collection and plan to hold the auction. You can tell by the smiles on their faces that this is the reason they got into this business. Talk about a once in a lifetime find.
Take a tour of these beautiful historic relics by clicking the video below.
Check out the full collection in detail: Autoblog
Have you ever seen anything like this? I absolutely fell in love with the possibility of coming across the ultimate barn find when I wrote about the collection that was found hidden in Portugal. As soon as I came across this story I had chills up my spine. This is an incredible find and one full of history and intrigue. If these cars could talk imagine the stories they could tell. I’m so happy that the Baillon car collection has been found and will be heading to new loving homes around the world very soon to receive the care they deserve. These cars represent art and history, they should be preserved for our future. What are your thoughts?