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The Treasure of a lifetime – The Baillon Collection, Retromobile Paris

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This Friday, Artcurial Motorcars will once again conduct the official auction sale at the Retromobile Show, in Paris (6 February 2015), attracting both French and international enthusiasts and collectors. In the year when the Retromobile Show celebrates its 40th anniversary, the collectors’ car department at Artcurial will present 155 lots of automobilia and 176 exceptional automobiles including 59 lots from the Baillon Collection, discovered last September by Artcurial Motorcars Managing Director, Matthieu Lamoure and specialist Pierre Novikoff.

Under the hammer of Maître Hervé Poulain, the sale will begin at 11.00 with the Automobilia section, dedicated to the world of the automobile (mascots, framed artwork including lithographs and posters, vintage suitcases, children’s motor cars etc). It will be followed at 14.00 by the sale of the incredible, previously unseen, Baillon Collection that had lain dormant in the west of France for some 50 years. At 17.00, some 117 collectors cars dating from 1901 to 2011 will come under the hammer, including 8 models each estimated to sell for over €1-million and another six between 500 000 euros and 1 million euros

PART 1 – 14H00 : 59 AUTOMOBILES FROM THE BAILLON COLLECTIONIt was in the west of France that the team from Artcurial’s collectors’ car department made an extraordinary discovery: almost 60 historic vehicles, in barnfind condition. Forgotten for almost fifty years, these automobiles had been carefully assembled by the entrepreneur and visionary collector Roger Baillon, with the aim of creating a private museum. It is this unique collection of cars that will be sold on 6 February at 14.00, at Retromobile, Porte de Versailles, in Paris. This international event has aroused great interest and excitement in collectors from around the world, many of whom plan to make a special trip to Paris for the occasion.

To pay tribute to this exceptional group of cars, and to celebrate the passion that inspired the collector for over 40 years, Artcurial Motorcars is planning to exhibit the cars in a museum-style setting at the sale. The display will promote each vehicle, preserved exactly as found, as a piece of sculpture. This will be a unique opportunity for the public to discover this automobile treasure for themselves, before the bidding battles between international collectors begins.Matthieu Lamoure, Managing Director at Artcurial Motorcars, commeted. “Not since the revelation of the Schlumpf Collection in Mulhouse, of which Maître Hervé Poulain was the expert, has such a group of emblematic automobiles been disclosed and what is more, in such original condition! Yes, this really is a treasure. The treasure of a lifetime. In our jargon, we speak about  ‘barn finds’ as cars that are intact, that have remained untouched for years, and are found again. I have to say that when we arrived here, we found ourselves overcome with emotion. It really was a case of waking up Sleeping Beauty.”Pierre Novikoff, motor car specialist, added “I’m not sure I’ve ever seen so many exceptional cars together in one collection: Bugatti, Hispano-Suiza, Talbot-Lago, Panhard-Levassor, Maserati, Ferrari, Delahaye, Delage… Roger Baillon saved these cars and succeeded in his task : to trace the history of the automobile through the finest examples!”

Bugatti, Hispano-Suiza, Talbot-Lago, Panhard-Levassor, Maserati, Ferrari, Delahaye, Delage…these legendary marques are all represented in this extraordinary ensemble. Many of these cars were built by highly celebrated coachbuilders such as Million Guiet, Chapron and Saoutchik, with a number of Talbot Lago T26s including a very rare Grand Sport Aérodynamique and a rather extravagant Cabriolet once owned by King Farouk. Sheltering in a garage, conserved in good condition, the two specialists came across one of just three Maserati A6G Gran Sports with coachwork by Frua, dating from 1956. Beneath piles of newspapers, they discovered a Ferrari 250GT SWB California Spider, with covered headlights. It had been bought new by the actor Gérard Blain, then sold to fellow actor Alain Delon.


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