When Roger Baillon's plans for a museum to house his collection fell through in the 1970s, he began to sell his cars. Few would have guessed that he would have kept hold of the best, and that they would be discovered on a French farm in 2014.
Many of these barn-find classics were slowly returning to the earth, but that didn't stop them from bringing in millions of pounds – in some case 10 times their estimates – when they were auctioned at Rétromobile earlier this year.
Top of the pile was the ex-Alain Delon Ferrari 250GT California Spider, which was in much better condition than the majority of the collection and sold for a hammer price of more than €14m.
Here is a collection of images from Artcurial's sale.
The Facel Vega excellence drew plenty of admiring glances prior to crossing the block.
Though most visitors were clamouring to see the ex-Delon Ferrari, many overlooked this handsome Maserati, which owes its good condition to being stored next to the California Spider. It sold for £1,491,424.
This Facel Vega first belonged to an aristocratic Russian woman who had fled to France in the face of revolution. It passed to the Baillon family four years later, and remained in the collection until the present day.
With the exception of a few small tears, the interior of this Delahaye 235 was remarkably well preserved. With a pre-sale estimate of just €20-25,000, the car represented a relative bargain.
Without a doubt, it was the ex-Alain Delon Ferrari 250GT California Spider that stole the hearts of most visitors to Retromobile. The car was discovered in a barn under thousands of old newspapers, and is almost unchanged from the famous photograph with Jane Fonda in the passenger's seat.
This Saoutchik-bodied Grand Sport featured at a number of concours d'elegance in period, but seems to have been heavily damaged before being put into storage. Nevertheless, it was bought for nearly one million pounds.
This stunning Faget-Varnet-bodied Delahaye is one of just two surviving examples, and starred at the Paris Salon in 1948. It appeared to be more solid than many cars in the collection. It was bought for more than £300,000.
One of the best-preserved of the three Saoutchik-bodied cars, its body style is absolutely unique. In its day, its engine produced an impressive 170bhp.