(This post was compiled from a number of articles so may seem a bit disjointed) to start -
Incredibly rare Ferrari found rusting among 60 classic cars in French barn becomes fifth most expensive auto ever sold after $23 million auction sale
- The Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder sold Friday and is one of just 36 of the automobiles ever produced
- It was owned by French actor Alain Delon for around two years, but had since long disappeared
- Decades later, the Ferrari was among 60 discovered rotting in a 'metallic graveyard' in western France last year
9 February 2015
A classic sportscar once owned by French actor Alain Delon then lost for decades has became the fifth most expensive car ever sold on Friday when it was auctioned for $23 million.
The Ferrari 250 GT SWB is one of 36 ever made and one of 60 classic cars discovered rotting away and forgotten on a farm in western France last year.
Other gems found on the farm sported gleaming names like Bugatti, Hispano-Suiza, Talbot-Lago, Panhard-Levassor, Maserati, Delahaye and Delage. And some have gone for three to four times asking price.
Crown jewel: A super rare Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder sold Friday at auction for a stunning $16M, making it the fifth most expensive car ever sold
A rare Ferrari sports car found rusting in a French farmhouse under a pile of old magazines has sold for 14.2m euros (£10.5m; $16.2m) at auction in Paris.
The blue California Spider was hidden away for more than 50 years.
One of only 37 ever made, it was once owned by the French actor Alain Delon and was discovered alongside dozens of other classic models.
The vehicles are being auctioned off as is, and 50 years of sitting on a farm in western France has resulted in varying degrees of wear and tear.
"The cars weren't stored in solid, purpose-built sheds, but completely makeshift constructions," Novikioff described their find in an Artcurial press release. "We came closer and realized that there were dozens of cars parked underneath. We soon realized that some of these had been put there 50 years earlier and left untouched."
One of the most noteworthy models is the Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider, which is one of just 37 that were ever made.
The California Spider is listed 13 times among the 100 most expensive cars ever sold. This particular model, which is completely original and has never been restored, was believed by historians to have been lost and illustrates how valuable the find was for car enthusiasts.
The $16M Ferrari piled with magazines as it was found in a rough shelter on the farm
Earlier this year, Artcurial's Matthieu Lamoure and Pierre Novikoff came across the remarkable treasure trove of rare automobiles on a provincial farm in the West of France.
Novikoff had fielded a phone call from the representative of a deceased estate, which in turn had been inherited by the deceased from his father a decade prior. Several children had been bequeathed the estate, which included a collection of old cars that had lain untouched for nearly half a century. In an effort to discover the value of the cars, they called Artcurial, best known as France's leading auctioneer of art and antiques.
"On the phone, I gathered from the information I was given, that this could turn out to be something important," said Novikoff (above left), a specialist in the automotive side of Artcurial's business. "Without realizing the scale, I spoke to Matthieu immediately and we arranged to go there, to find out what it was."
Lamoure takes up the story: "On entering the gates of this property, we had no idea what we would find. We had to go in through the gardens at the rear of the property, to get a first look."
"Across three hectares, we could see different makeshift structures. Low shelters covered with corrugated iron. From there, we realised that this was something big. We still didn’t know what we were looking at, but could make out coachwork, weathered by time and the elements. Some modern shapes and others that were older."
"We continued our exploration at a second site, at the bottom of a field, then in one of the property’s outbuildings, an old barn that had been converted into an improvised garage."
As Lamoure and Novikoff moved around the farm, they found more and more cars under makeshift structures, often open to the elements and almost all of them were rare ... extremely rare.
The Ferrari 250 pictured during the filming of "Les Felins" starring Jane Fonda (right) and Alain Delon
Alain Delon and Jane Fonda are snapped while driving in the 250 GT.
~From another source and a different Ferrari of the exact same kind~
"As of now, Artcurial has only sold one car in the top 100 cars of all time – a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider owned by one of the world's most famous playboys, noted screenwriter, film director/producer, author and actor Roger Vadim. The car sold for $5,907,325 at Retromobile in 2012."
Roger Vadim is one of Ms. Fonda's ex husbands.
Interesting woman, interesting connections, and a fairly fascinating find of rare original automobiles. She liked her men best in rare Ferrari's.
Vadim's Ferrari and woman 'Anette'
Vadim and his Ferrari
Brigitte Bardot and Roger Vadim
Brigitte Bardot and Director Roger Vadim at Saint-Tropez. Lovers Paris Match
The director Roger Vadim (1928-2008), first husband of Brigitte, from 1952 to ’57
And finally, a few photos of the French farm where where the rare cars were found:
For more, I highly recommend this article:
The world's most valuable barn find: 60 rare cars untouched for 50 years
60 Awesome Classic Cars Found Rotting in a Barn Go Up for Auction | WIRED
Ferrari found rusting in French barn sold for $23 million at auction sale | Daily Mail Online
Treasure trove of classic cars sells for Â£20 million - Telegraph