Thursday, 21 September 2017

Baillon Maserati A6G 2000

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

'Barn find' is a heinously overused phrase these days. Have a search on eBay, you'll be confronted with oodles of supposed barn finds that'd be better described as 'slightly dusty garage find', 'parked on the drive for five years', or 'not actually a find per se, we knew it was there all along, we just couldn't be bothered with it'. But this artfully weathered Maserati? This is the real deal.

A 1956 A6G 2000 Gran Sport Berlinetta, this Frua-bodied Maser is one of the most elegant and perfectly proportioned cars of the era, one of only four built, and would have cost a discerning enthusiast a sizable wedge. So how did it end up lying dormant and unloved in a barn? The answer lies with Roger Baillon.
This slightly eccentric French collector had a keen eye for unusual cars back in the 1960s, although he didn't quite have the funds to maintain them in the manner they deserved. At one point his personal collection numbered over two hundred cars, casually scattered throughout his garden and outbuildings, and this Maserati found its way into the fold in 1967. By 1971, it was parked up in a barn alongside an equally rare Ferrari 250 GT California and, quite simply, forgotten about. The exotic pair sat their for decades, neglected and all but abandoned.

When Roger died in 2004, his son Jacques took on the collection, selling a number of them to pay off family debts but still retaining an impressive 114 machines. Jacques passed away in 2013, and the remaining cars were sold at auction in 2015 - including this Maserati. Jonathan Segal was the buyer, and his stated aim on placing the winning bid was to give the A6G a full concours restoration.
...however, once he got the car home and had a chance to truly appreciate the magnificence of the story in its timeworn decay, he was overwhelmed by a feeling of what the Japanese call 'wabi-sabi' - the beauty of imperfection. "If I'd redone this car, I'd have destroyed it," he says. Couldn't agree more.

Spotted at the 2017 Hampton Court Palace Concours - more photos here.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017