1961 Ferrari California Spider sets $18.4m world record

A 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider achieved $18.4m at Artcurial Briest in Paris on February 6, setting a new record for the model.

It was estimated at $14.7m, equating to an increase of 25.1%.

Ferrari GTB Artcurial
The Ferrari was one of a number of valuable cars found in a French barn

The lot was one of a number of extremely valuable cars discovered in a barn in rural France. They were formerly owned by Roger Baillon, a businessman who was forced to sell off most of his collection to pay his creditors during the 1970s.

The remaining models, such as the Ferrari, were simply forgotten.

John Collins, a spokesperson for Ferrari dealership Talacrest, commented prior to the sale: "Apart from a few people, not many knew the Ferrari still existed. It is a phenomenal car and the best barn find in more than 20 years."

Other lots in the sale performed well, including a Maserati A6G 2000 Gran Sport that realised $2.5m.

Pierre Novikoff, an automobile specialist at Artcurial, commented: "This will go down in history as an extraordinary sale! 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."

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