Home Uncategorized French court orders US$42M payout in ‘Mona Lisa’ Ferrari battle

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French court orders US$42M payout in ‘Mona Lisa’ Ferrari battle

by Ace Damon
French court orders US$42M payout in 'Mona Lisa' Ferrari battle

LIMOGES, FRANCE –
A French appeals court ordered the son of a renowned Ferrari collector to pay his brothers millions of euros for the disputed sale of a coveted driver considered the famous automaker's Mona Lisa.

Patrick Bardinon was sued for breach of trust after auctioning the rare 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO to a Taiwanese buyer in 2014 for 38 million euros ($ 42 million at current rates) – a record at the time.

He says it was a gift from his father Pierre Bardinon, a descendant of the family behind the luxurious Chapal fur and leather house, after Patrick had a terrible racing accident.

"My father thought I died that day," he said last March when the case reached the court.

But Anne and Jean-Francois Bardinon claim that their brother secretly removed the car from his father's collection and illegally sold the crown jewel of their shared heritage.

The pair missed the initial challenge, but the Limoges appeals court ruled Wednesday in favor of the brothers, Anne Bardinon's lawyer said Friday.

He ordered Patrick to return the proceeds of the sale plus interest, as well as the auction commission – a total of 52.3 million euros – to the heirloom common fund.

"Anne Bardinon welcomes a decision that is in keeping with the truth, law and justice that her father has always sought to uphold with regard to his three children," said his lawyer Julien Dami Le Coz.

Pierre Bardinon, who died in 2012, has amassed an unrivaled collection of over 60 Ferraris on his Mas du Clos property, which had its own race track in central France.

Most of the cars were roughly, cheaply, and carefully restored – the 1964 GTO was bought in 1978 for just $ 700, or about $ 2,800 in today's money. Pierre spent another $ 1,500 fixing everything.

Only 39 GTOs were built from 1962 to 1964, and since then they have become some of the most legendary Ferraris in the world, considered the "hottest car of all time" by Popular Mechanics magazine in 2017.

"An impressive shape and the incredible 3.0-liter V-12 make this exotic definitive. And it couldn't be more beautiful," the magazine said.

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