A 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider, one of 60 cars that belonged to a French industrialist and which had lain dormant for over 50 years, just sold for $18,457,562 (P818 million) to an unidentified buyer, setting the highest winning bid ever for the model.
The car, said to be one of only 37 examples that were ever built, was found in a garage underneath stacks of old newspapers and magazines. Bought as new by actor Gerard Blain, it was next sold to another actor, Alain Delon, before it was acquired by Roger Baillon, a transportation company owner who had plans of putting up an automotive museum. When his business failed, however, he was forced to sell around 50 cars from his collection, with the rest--including this Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider--gathering dust and rotting away underneath makeshift shelters and old buildings before they were recently auctioned off by the Artcurial auction house.
"This will go down in history as an extraordinary sale," said Artcurial Motorcars specialist Pierre Novikoff. "The Baillon discovery has been an incredible adventure. In addition to the passion it has aroused in enthusiasts, it is the unique story of one man’s dream, carried on by an entire family. The successful sale of the 59 cars in the Baillon Collection reflects the international response by collectors who have been touched by these phantom-like automobiles."
Check out the Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider and the other cars from the Baillon collection in the video below.
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