Updated with a video – On December 4, 2014, we announced that Artcurial, a Paris, France-based auction house was going to sell the Roger Baillon Collection at auction in Paris at Retromobile on February 6, 2015. The assemblage of cars, first started in the fifties was known by a number of enthusiasts, but most thought all of the desirable cars had been sold in an earlier auction, which turned out not to be the case.
- The lead image is courtesy of Ben Erickson – The photo (above) by Remi Dargegen courtesy of Artcurial.
The World’s car collectors were fascinated, and news outlets around the globe reported the sixty car find. One of the star lots in the auction on view here, and the first car shown on the video (second one below) is this circa 1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Fastback with coachwork by Saoutchik that sold at the auction in Paris for $472,061-417,200 Euro.
- Rear view of the new structural woodwork by Ben Erickson.
A little more than a year later the French automobile was back at Retromobile again, this time on the stand of Provost Automobiles of Le Mans, France, that is handling the restoration work. Due to the poor storage in an open shed with a leaky roof and dirt floor, the great majority of the structural woodwork needed to be replaced.
After removing all of the coach built Saoutchik sheet metal, cleaning up the chassis a bit and mounting new tires, Provost has has constructed new woodwork for the cabin structure. All of this may not seem like a lot of progress to some, but having worked on in similar projects, we can tell you what has been achieved to date is remarkable.
- Front view of the Talbot Logo (below) and photo in as found condition by Ben Erickson.
The images of the Talbot Logo at Retromobile are courtesy of Ben Erickson of Copenhagen, Denmark. Peter M. Larsen and Ben have co-authored, J. Saoutchik Maître Carrossier and both were presented with the Cugnot Award by the Society of Automotive Historians (US) at the French Auto Club during Retromobile for the outstanding work on the book.
- Cédric Faiche for BFMTV in France, produced this video just before the car went to Retromobile.
Update – Reader F. Hailey has responded and sent a link to a video (French language) by Cédric Faiche, who produces automotive news productions for BFMTV in France. Hailey added: “The wooden framework has been handmade by French cabinetmakers Roland Pettiot, and Fabien Ludovic, who worked as sub-contractors for Bernard Provost. All the wood has been recreated piece-by-piece of ash using the original pieces as patterns. 400-man hours have been involved in this part of project.”
At the same time the sheet metal was stripped of what paint remained, and all of the surface rust. In the video you will view all the body panels with the exception of the door skins being tried on for a trial fit for the owner Edgard Cornier before it went to Retromobile. The next phase of the coachwork renovation will be to fabricate and weld in new sections to repair the rusted out areas, finish body work, painting, mechanical work and upholstery. The car should be completed next year with a total cost of the car and the restoration at about 1.1 million dollars (1 million euros).
- Video courtesy of Artcurial showing the Roger Baillon collection as found. Articurial catalog image (below) by Remi Dargegen.