While the century is just fifteen years old, the Bailon collection uncovered in a barn in France has already been dubbed “The Barn Find of the Century,” and for once, that might not be hyperbole. It might actually wind up having eighty-five years of staying power because included in the stash of sixty exotic European classics was and ultra-desirable 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider.
It was found under a stack of magazines in a scene not unlike one you might find in your Uncle Cletus’ barn covering a ’72 Gremlin assuming your Uncle Cletus covered his Gremlin with back issues of Paris Match.
The rare Ferrari in dirty, as-found condition just sold at the Artcurial auction held in conjunction with the much-loved French classic show Rétromobile for a whopping $15,913,940 not including the 10% buyer’s premium. The bidding started at $7 million. Best known to Americans as the car that Ferris Bueller appropriated on his day off, the California Spider is one of the most glamorous open cars that date to the so-called “Enzo Era” when charismatic founder Enzo Ferrari ruled his company with an iron fist. This car was once the property of French actor Alain Delon and had been famously and extensively photographed on the French Riviera with Delon’s girlfriend Jane Fonda long before her infamous trip to Hanoi.