Words: David Lillywhite | Photography: Brian Henniker/Gooding & Co
The biggest news in the collector car world in 2015 was the discovery of the remarkable Baillon Collection of cars in France, and their subsequent sale by Artcurial in France. This family collection was known of by some in the industry – but few, if any, knew how extensive it was.
The 60-odd restorable cars in the collection included an ex-Alain Delon 1961 Ferrari 250GT California Spider, 1966 Ferrari 275GTB Berlinetta,1949 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport SWB by Saoutchik, 1938 Mercedes-Benz 380K Cabriolet A, 1968 Bizzarrini 5300GT Strada, 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster, 1961 and 1962 examples of the Maserati 3500GT Spider Vignale and 1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Cabriolet by Saoutchik.
Maserati’s 1956 A6G/54 seen here, chassis 2140, is one of only four examples created by Carrozzeria Frua from a limited run of just 60 chassis built, meaning it was among the most exclusive coachbuilt Maseratis of the 1950s. It debuted on the marque’s stand at the 1956 Paris Motor Show, after which it was delivered new to prominent French architect Jacques Fildier.
In 1959, the car was bought by Roger Baillon. Much later, son Jacques undertook some mechanical work that was left unfinished. When the Maserati was discovered unrestored in 2015, it was sat next to the California Spider in a closed barn. Most of the other cars had been left in open-fronted barns and were in much worse condition as a consequence.
The Maserati was bought by an American collector for €2m ($2.2). The fourth owner and the first outside of France, he had the car sympathetically recommissioned without losing its remarkable patina and originality. Since then it has been driven on the California Mille, displayed at Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este and Concours of Elegance Hampton Court, and awarded in the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Preservation Class.
It will be offered at the Gooding & Company sale at Pebble Beach on August 14, 2021, estimated at $2,500,000-$3,250,000. Other highlights of the sale so far include a show-winning 1958 Ferrari 250GT Series I Cabriolet by Pinin Farina and a restored 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica LWB Coupé Aerodinamico by Pininfarina.
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