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Ultimate barn find: Ferrari 250 GT and countless classics

9 December, 2014

In this era, where mankind has access to nearly every corner of the globe, it is inevitable that the classic barn find is dying — they’ve almost all been discovered. Well, one farm in western France didn’t follow this trend.

About 100 classic cars were housed on the property in varying states of decay, beneath an assortment of barns and ramshackle shelters. Around 60 of these cars have been deemed salvageable, and are expected to fetch up to £12m. Imagine the surprise of the French classic car specialists Matthieu Lamoure and Pierre Novikoff who were commissioned to help identify the vehicles, which include a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California SWB, a 1956 Maserati A6G 200 Berlinetta Gran Sport Frua, and a Talbot-Logo T26 Cabriolet owned by King Farouk of Egypt.  

The Ferrari, one of only 37 ever made, was featured in the 1964 film Les Felins and has borne Jane Fonda as a passenger. Said specialist Mr. Lamoure of the Ferrari, “Only 37 examples of this model were built, making it extremely rare. Every example has been carefully documented by historians and this one was thought to be lost — we have found it.” The Ferrari is expected to fetch anywhere from £9.5m to £12m.

The Maserati, with body built by Frua, is one of just three in existence and is thought to be worth around £1m. Equally as impressive is the Talbot-Logo T26 Cabriolet owned by King Farouk, who was renowned for his extraordinarily lavish lifestyle.

The enormous collection was built up between the 1950s and 1970s by entrepreneur Roger Baillon. When his business began a downwards slope in the ’70s, he was forced to sell off some 50-odd cars, and what remains here is what he kept. His grandchildren had no idea of the extent or value of the collection, and enlisted the assistance of Artcurial Motorcars’ specialists. The collection will be sold by Artcurial Motorcars in Paris on February 6, 2015.

Images courtesy of Artcurial Motorcars

Taipan – surpassing interest

“It’s merely a passing interest,” insists Selby — despite owning three variants of the classic VW Beetle, including an unusual VW van that was sold as a body kit for a Subaru. In his defence he points to a 1961 Ford Thunderbird, a car that he converted to right-hand drive. However, on the VW side of the ledger, since he opened Allison Autos in Whanganui 27 years ago, Selby has built 15 VW-powered Formula First cars, followed by a beach buggy, restored a derelict Karmann Ghia, and hot-rodded a common or garden Beetle into something that has to be seen to be believed. As speed is not something generally associated with classic VWs, though, Selby is still waiting for this particular modification to catch on amongst the hot rod faithful.

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.