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60 antique luxury cars found in France

Paris (CNN) A remarkable collection of luxury cars raised from the dead in a remote town west of Paris.

Ferrari, Delahaye, Maserati — all in need of a lot of TLC.

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One of the greatest discoveries in recent automobile history began with a phone call from the granddaughter of French businessman and car collector Roger Baillon.

“First we discovered the (1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder),” Pierre Novikoff, Artcurial Motorcars Specialist, said. “After the lunch, she told me, ‘Around the castle there are cars in some warehouses or in the gardens.’ And we started to discover cars and cars and cars.”

old cars 4old cars 2100 in all, 60 deemed restorable — they hadn’t moved in decades, largely unprotected from the elements — some with cracked windows.

In life, Baillon had dreamed of opening a museum of pre-war era vehicles. But he ran out of money and then got sick.

He left the cars to his son who passed away in 2014. Baillon’s granddaughter made the call to get an appraisal — unaware of the gold mine that was about to be dusted off.

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“We were climbing on the cars to discover other cars,” Novikoff said. “Very interesting coach work; very interesting models. For us, it was a fantastic day. (The granddaughter) hadn’t heard about Saoutchik or big French coach-builders from the period. So we explained to the lady what was in the garage. The importance and history of these cars were fantastic.”

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The automobiles were loaded into Paris’ Porte de Versailles Exhibition Center and smashed records at the 2015 Retromobile Expo.

The collection brought in a staggering $28.5 million and set ten world records in the process, including the Spyder which sold for $18.5 million.

85% of the cars were purchased by owners outside of France. As they await their new luxury autos, it would behoove them to stock up on a Shammy or two.

Written and produced by: Ben Bamsey for “CNN Newsroom.”

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