A Belgian barn find of three classic Bugattis, as well as a rare vintage Citroen, could fetch as much as $1 million at Artcurial Motorcars auction at the upcoming Salon Retromobile in France.
“There are wonderful surprises every year at Retromobile and I must say this time it’s a big one,” Mattieu Lamoure, the managing director of Artcurial Motorcars, said in a YouTube video.
Lamoure and Pierre Novikoff, his partner at Artcurial, found the cars – a 1930 Bugatti Type 49 limousine, a 1937 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet per Graber, a Bugatti Type 40 and a Citroen C3 Torpedo from the 1920s – in a barn where they had been stored for more than 60 years.
“Clearly, this is the stuff of dreams, and because it’s Bugatti, it’s even more magical,” Lamoure said in the video.
It was apparently rather difficult to get to the cars. About 200 sandbags weighing more than 50 pounds each were stacked in front of the barn doors.
“The entrance was completely barricaded and a more-modern car had been there for over 15 years, blocking the two entrances to the garage,” Lamoure said. “This is the magic of the barn find, you just don’t know what you’re going to get and it is always exhilarating.”
Lamoure said the cars looked to be in great condition, considering they had sat for more than six decades.
“When I was a young adolescent, I never imagined finding such sleeping beauties hidden for years in incredibly well-conserved conditions,” he said. “This is the thrill of the treasure hunt.”
Artcurial Motorcars will hold the annual Salon Retromobile auction February 8-10 at the Parc des Expositions de la Porte de Versailles in Paris. For more information, go to Artcurial’s website.