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Artcurial

Rare Ferrari Sells For $18.5 Million At French Auction

A 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider was discovered in a barn a few months ago. It just sold for $18.5 million at auction.

By Katherine Biek | February 10, 2015

An incredibly rare car just sold at a Paris auction for $18.5 million. 

It was a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider with covered headlights. There are fewer than 40 in existence.

The classic car was discovered with 59 others in a barn in France back in September. Most of the cars were weathered from the elements, but the Ferrari had been placed deep inside the barn, so it was well-preserved.

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The car once belonged to French actor Alain Delon. 

It was eventually sold and ended up in the hands of a French businessman named Roger Baillon, who added it to his massive collection of cars. He dreamed of creating a car museum, but it never came to fruition after his business went bankrupt. 

The auction house's motor car specialist told The Telegraph"The California is a very important car because it was unknown. Some people knew a rare Ferrari existed, but no one knew it was a California."

The $18.5 million price the Ferrari went for is the new world-record price paid for that type of car at auction, according to Artcurial. 

Autoblog reports a 1958 model sold for $8.8 million in January 2014, and a 1961 model with a hardtop sold for $15.18 million in August of that year.

But this car still didn't beat the price for the most expensive car ever sold at an auction. That honor goes to a 1962-63 Ferrari GTO Berlinetta that sold for $38 million last year.

Also discovered in the barn and sold at Artcurial's auction were a 1956 Maserati that sold for $2.2 million and a 1938 Mercedes Benz that went for $1.6 million.

This video includes images from Artcurial and Getty Images.

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