Anyone reading vintage car magazines, both online and the old fashioned paper ones, knew about the most spoken about event to be hosted at the 40th edition of the Retromobile show in Paris : the auction by Artcurial of the barn find of the century : the Baillon Collection. Roger Baillon, was a French transport magnate who acquired a massive car collection, including cars from the big European makes like Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche and Bugatti. Lots of the phenomenal but unfortunately disappeared makes like Delahaye, Talbot, Facel Vega, Delage, Panhard ,… were part of the collection that remained untouched for decades in open barns in France. The honors to sell these cars went to the French auction house Artcurial. No surprise the eyes of the vintage car world all went direction Paris last February 6th when the cars went under the hammer.
Ofcourse I had to see the Baillon collection, but with only 1 Porsche 356 in the collection, that definitely was not my first priority to see when entering the massive venues of the Paris expo at Porte de Versailles where the Retromobile was hosted once again. My first visit was the official Porsche representation. A Porsche 356, some Porsche 911s of different generations and the ex Jurgen Barth – Jacky Ickx – Hurley Haywood Le Mans winning Porsche 936 what made the visit to the stand valuable on its own. What a stunning beautiful car.
As I went on walking between the numerous dealers, suddenly, I noticed a mint green Porsche 904. Unfortunately the chassis-number remains unknown to me, but it seemed very familiar to me, and I think it is one of the ex-Stirling Moss Porsche 904s that were sold a few years ago at the Stuttgart Retroclassics. To my great surprise, the same dealer had a Porsche 906 Carrera 6, a Porsche 356 A Carrera Cabriolet and an amazingly original and untouched blue Porsche 550 Spyder. Rumors went that the car is Porsche 550-023 and that the car sold for 4.75mio Euro even before the show officially opened.
Just a few meters further on, another Porsche 550 Spyder, 550-0145 that could be yours for 6.5mio USD. 550-0145 is an ex-works racer, that participated in the 1957 Le Mans with a 5th overall result.You probably won’t believe it, but no, this is not the end of the Spyder story yet. Around the corner, yes indeed, Porsche 550-057 was waiting for a new owner. Just 3.5mio Euro had to change hands to make it yours. This particular one participated in the 1955 and 1956 Mille Miglia, was part of the family Piech race car collection back then, and once belonged to the legendary Austrian Otto Mathe. Quite a provencenfor a car, isn’t it.
So far for the Porsche 550 Spyders, but how ’bout the successor? The Porsche 718 ? Well, let’s throw one of these in the field. The ex Roy Schechter Porsche 718-023 who spend most of it’s life in the USA was on display and for sale too. Price unknown but without any doubt you had to dig some mio Euro out of your wallet too before you could lay your hand on it.
Well, isn’t it amazing to find 4 Spyders for sale on a single show. Never seen before, and I wonder how long it will take before I may witness that again. Stunning. Now don’t think that’s about all you could see what Porsche concerned. Forget about that. I told you about the Porsche 906 Carrera 6. Well, there were 2 more in the same show, and a Porsche 907 too, the latter for sale for a mere 2.5mio Euro too.
As usual the last few years, the early Porsches 911 had an astonishing high price tag attached, but despite the astronomic prices being asked, dealers still seem to find buyers. Just as everybody we are curious if and when the vintage car market will slow down. Maybe the many unsold lots at the different auctions in Paris are an indication?
Pictures : Vintage Race Photography