The record-setting 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California, on the Baillon estate. Photos courtesy Artcurial.
When the 59 lots from the no reserve Baillon Collection finished crossing the stage last Friday in Paris, auction house Artcurial (which still had 116 other consigned vehicles to sell) had racked up an impressive $28.5 million in sales, with four lots from the Baillon Collection breaking into the sale’s top-10 results.
The Baillon Collection’s bargain was this Singer Roadster, which sold for $14.5k.
Thanks to extensive media coverage of the “chateau find” Baillon Collection in the months leading up to the sale, interest in the Retromobile sale was high. Artcurial reported 1,600 registered bidders, with an estimated crowd of 3,500 on hand in the salesroom to witness the lots crossing the stage. On the affordable side, the 1987 Lancia Thema sold for €8,344 ($11,260) and the tired Singer Roadster sold for €10,728 ($14,477), but on the opposite side of the financial spectrum, the collection’s star, a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider sold for a tax and fee-inclusive price of €16,288,000 ($21,980,656), setting a new auction record for the model and exceeding its high pre-auction estimate by over €4.3 million ($5.8 million, based on Artcurial’s conversion factor of 1.3495 dollars per euro).
This 1949 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport coupe sold for $2.3 million.
The Ferrari wasn’t the only price record realized by the Baillon cars, either. The second-most valuable lot in the collection proved to be the 1956 Maserati A6G 2000 Gran Sport Berlinetta Frua, which set an auction record for the model by selling for €2,010,880 ($2,713,683), €800,000 ($1,079,600) over its high pre-auction estimate. A pair of Talbot-Lagos once owned by Roger Baillon also did exceptionally well, with a 1949 Saoutchik-bodied T26 Grand Sport SWB selling for €1,702,000 ($2,296,849) and a 1948 Saoutchik-bodied T26 Record Cabriolet reaching €745,000 ($1,005,378).
1936 Panhard et Levassor Dynamic X76.
Roger Baillon never realized his dream of starting an automotive museum with the cars he saved from the scrapyard between 1950 and 1970, but Artcurial reports that an estimated 15,000 visitors per day came to see the Baillon Collection cars on display in the days heading up to the auction. While most lots were purchased by collectors, at least one, a 1936 Panhard et Levassor Dynamic X76 coupe junior (which sold for €56,024, or $75,604) was acquired by a French transportation museum, ensuring that the dream of Roger Baillon will live on, if in abbreviated form.
This 1987 Lancia Thema, the Baillon Collection’s other bargain, sold for just over $11K.
Other lots in the top-10 at Artcurial’s Retromobile sale included a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Berlinetta, which sold for €1,988,000 ($2,682,806); a 1938 Mercedes-Benz 380 K Cabriolet A, which sold for €1,416,000 ($1,910,892); a 1968 Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada, which set an auction record when it sold for €1,244,400 ($1,679,318); a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster, which sold for €929,760 ($1,254,711); a 1962 Maserati 3500 GT Spider Vignale, which sold for €858,240 ($1,158,195); and a 1961 Maserati 3500 GT Spider Vignale, which sold for €834,400 ($1,126,023).
For complete results from the Retromobile sale, visit Artcurial.com.