Automobile Enthusiasts Unearth 'Once In A Lifetime' Classic Car Collection

| by Jonathan Wolfe

A forgotten collection of rare and exotic classic cars has been unearthed in France.

The collection, which contains over 60 classic cars, originally belonged to French entrepreneur Roger Baillon. Baillon passed away 10 years ago, and his son who inherited the collection, Jacques, died last year.

Baillon’s grandchildren became aware of the collection after their father passed but had no idea about the value of the cars. They called in classic car specialists Matthieu Lamoure and Pierre Novikoff to check out the collection. Both men were immediately blown away after stepping foot in Baillon’s old garage.

There, covered in several decades-worth of dust and grime, was an $18 million collection of classic European cars. Ferraris, Maseratis, Bugattis, you name it.

“These sorts of finds do not happen often,” a giddy Lamoure told MailOnline. “I think you go into this profession for discoveries like this; it really is a treasure trove. No doubt a once-in-a-lifetime discovery. When we discovered the extent of the collection, we found ourselves overcome with emotion.”

Novikoff chirped in with similar sentiments.

“I'm not sure I have ever seen so many exceptional cars together in one collection; Bugatti, Hispano-Suiza, Talbot-Lago, Panhard-Levassor, Maserati, Ferrari, Delahaye, Delage,” he said. “Roger Baillon saved these cars and succeeded in his task - to trace the history of the automobile through the finest examples.”

Here, courtesy of Artcurial Motorcars, are a few pictures of the collection:

The Ferrari (left), once sat in by Jane Fonda, was found under newspapers in an outbuilding on the French farm, alongside a Maserati A6G 200 Berlinetta Grand Sport Frua - one of only three in the world

The £12million treasure trove of cars, including this Ferrari 250 GT California SWB, was left languishing on a French farm for 50 years before its discovery

The collection has sat dormant in makeshift corrugated iron shelters and outbuildings on the farm since the 1970s. Pictured: Facel Vega (left) and a Talbot-Lago (right)

The cars were collected from the 1950s to the 1970s by entrepreneur Roger Baillon, who wanted to restore and display them in a museum

Mr Baillon's grandchildren had no idea of the extent of the collection, calling in car specialists Matthieu Lamoure and Pierre Novikoff of auctioneers Artcurial Motorcars to estimate its value

The collection will be auctioned off by Artcurial Motorcars in Paris on Feb. 6, 2015.

“A collection like this can't fail to arouse the passions of those who love automobiles, as well as art and history enthusiasts,” Novikoff says. “Never again, anywhere in the world, will such a treasure be unearthed.”

Sources: MailOnline, Artcurial Motorcars / Photo Credit: Artcurial Motorcars

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