Inside the Best Vintage Car Discovery Ever

$20 million worth of exquisite luxury cars were lost in a French barn for decades. We just found them.

Like most people, car enthusiasts dream about treasure and usually, automotive treasure is found in a barn: an enthusiast’s collection of exotics abandoned in a dusty structure, left to the sparrows.

Courtesy of Artcurial 

The Baillon Collection, coming up for auction on February 6th, is just that—a forgotten hoard of gorgeous European cars left for decades under open-sided sheds in southern France. Their owner, shipping magnate Roger Baillon, fell on hard economic times in the 1970s and was never able to build the automotive museum he had worked towards. Instead, his cars became a ghostly testament to the power of neglect.

Courtesy of Artcurial

There are over 100 cars, including a Ferrari 250 GT California (1 of 59) and a Maserati A6G 2000 by Frua (1 of 3), both thought to have been lost decades ago. It’s an incredible find. In the words of the director of the auction house that found the cars, “Never again, anywhere in the world, will such a treasure be unearthed!” That might be hyperbole, but there’s no doubt that these shabby-but-original cars constitute one of the great automotive bounties.

If you can’t get in touch with your Swiss bank to transfer the appropriate assets in time for the auction, at least enjoy this huge slideshow of fantastic photos from the collection. 

Photos by Artcurial