ML: The Ferrari, certainly! When we were making the inventory, we realised that the car used to belong to Alain Delon!
PN: It had been bought new by the actor Gérard Blain who sold it to his fellow actor Alain Delon. Delon was photographed several times at the wheel of this machine : in 1964 with Jane Fonda during the filming ‘Les Félins’ and on the Côte d’Azur with Shirley MacLaine.
ML: The collection also contains an extravagant Talbot Lago T26 cabriolet that once belonged to King Farouk.
What can you do with vehicles in this condition?
PN: All the cars are significant for their heritage, and we hope that some of them will join big collections in and outside France. Perhaps even museums. Amongst the 60 cars, the estimates vary from €500 to several million euros. They will be displayed and sold as they are. Just as we found them. Possibly one or two spider’s webs may be lost in transit, and some of the dust blown away, but that’s all!
ML: What is incredible is the condition of these cars. I think some should be left as they are, and others should be restored. This is a unique testimony. It is the collectors who have this opportunity to make the successful bid who will decide. If you think about it, there are always restored cars available to buy on the market. These vehicles are unique. This is a very rare opportunity presenting works of art unknown to the market! For the Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport Coupe Saoutchik, caved in at the rear, I think it should be left in this condition. It is a sculpture.
The cars will be on display during the Salon Retromobile in February 2015. How do you transport such fragile objects?
ML: It is a highly technical and precise job, the same as transporting a work of art. We need to take as much care as if we were moving the Mona Lisa. The cars are loaded manually into special lorries, to be taken to a warehouse. There, like celebrities, they will be individually photographed in a studio, inspected and written up for the sale catalogue.
PN: You will see them again in February at the Parc des Expositions de la Porte de Versailles, in the major exhibition that precedes the sale on 6 February, at the Retromobile Salon.