MOTORING: ‘Barn find’ Ferrari fetches £12.1m at auction

1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider at the February 2015 Artcurial Motorcars auction. Photo: Nina Slavcheva/PA
1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider at the February 2015 Artcurial Motorcars auction. Photo: Nina Slavcheva/PA
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A classic Ferrari has sold for a record £12.1 million (€18.5 million) at an auction spanning one businessman’s entire car collection.

A 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider sold for the new high-water mark at the Artcurial Retromobile auction in Paris, where a further eight new ceilings that were set for Ferraris, Maseratis, classic Mercedes-Benz and twice for Talbot-Lago T26s.

The undoubted star of the show was the California, but with five cars selling for more than €1 million and 10 selling for more than €500,000, the sale realised more than €46 million.

The Ferrari headed the Baillon Collection; the life’s accruement of an industrialist from western France, featured many cars that had been originally saved from the
scrapheap during the turbulent French 1950s and 60s.

They were in ‘barn find’ condition, having been left untouched in original condition for decades. All 59 cars from the collection sold to new owners for a total surpassing €25 million.

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 is a significant collection that has enjoyed a significant success.”

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.”