Forgotten treasure of rare cars in French village
PARIS - Agence France-Presse
Rare cars has been discovered after being forgotten for almost 50 years. AFP PhotoIn a small village in western France, in makeshift shelters bared to the elements, a treasure trove of extremely rare cars has been discovered after lying forgotten for almost 50 years.
Under a pile of dusty old car magazines, one of only 37 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spiders ever made valued at up to 12 million euros is among some 60 classic gems discovered by the elite Artcurial auction house.
The once-in-a-lifetime discovery, announced earlier this month, was likened by Artcurial managing director Matthieu Lamoure to stumbling upon the car world’s equivalent of the tomb of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun.
Lamoure and senior specialist Pierre Novikoff got a tip-off about the timeworn fleet while crisscrossing the country earlier this year hunting for rare pieces.
On the farm -- Artcurial is keeping the exact location secret -- they found a hodge-podge of makeshift structures, describing shock after shock as they realised the treasures they contained.
“This was somewhere between a metallic graveyard and a museum,” said Novikoff, describing valuable cars invaded by ivy, and in some cases corrugated iron resting directly on the cars.
“We were overcome with emotion. Probably much like Lord Carrington and Howard Carter, on being the first for centuries to enter Tutankhamun’s tomb,” said Lamoure.
They may be rusted and weather-beaten, but the legendary names such as Bugatti, Hispano-Suiza, Talbot-Lago, Panhard-Levassor, Maserati, Ferrari, Delahaye and Delage are described by Artcurial as “works of art.”