IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM AUCTION IN DUXFORD ACHIEVES HUGE PRICE FOR THE MOST VALUABLE ITEMS EVER LEFT IN A SINGLE LEGACY TO THE RNLI, THE CHARITY THAT SAVES LIVES AT SEA.
OCTOBER 14: H&H Classics are delighted to announce the sale at auction of two of the world’s rarest Ferraris for a total of £9,758,320 (including fees), the proceeds of which will go directly towards helping the RNLI’s volunteer crews save lives at sea.
The sums raised make the late Richard Colton’s legacy the most valuable items ever left to the RNLI.
H&H Classics MD Simon Hope said: “This is a dream result for us. We have worked relentlessly with the RNLI over the past few months, promoting the cars all over the world, to ensure that we honoured the memory of Richard Colton properly. The sale result, including potentially new world record prices when confirmed, vindicates that effort and we are more than proud to have been a part of a legacy that will help save lives in the future.”
The two Ferraris are a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT short-wheelbase (SWB) Berlinetta chassis 1995 GT, of which just 167 were made with a mere ten being supplied new to the UK market; and a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 chassis 10177 GT – thought by many to be the ultimate front-engined, Enzo-era Ferrari road car.
Sold without reserve, they both exceeded expectations, the 1960 Ferrari 250 GT taking £6,600,000, and the 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB fetching £1,930,000.
The RNLI’s Chief Executive, Paul Boissier said:
“We are overwhelmed by the sale price of the two Ferraris, a legacy so generously gifted to our charity by car enthusiast Richard Colton. His legacy will help our volunteer crews carry out their lifesaving work around the coast. In line with Mr Colton’s wishes, some of the money raised from the sale will go towards funding a new Shannon class lifeboat which will be named after his Mr Colton and his late wife Richard and Caroline Colton.
“Six out of ten lifeboat launches are only made possible by legacies, large and small, left to the RNLI in people’s wills. These gifts help pay for the training and equipment our lifeboat crews rely on when they launch into the unknown, in all weathers, day or night to save others. We are deeply grateful to Mr Colton for his generosity which will be felt most by our volunteers and the people whose lives they save.”
The Shannon is the first modern all-weather lifeboat propelled by waterjets instead of propellers, making it the most agile and manoeuvrable all-weather lifeboat in the fleet. Its top speed is 25 knots, which is a crucial factor when lives are at risk out at sea.
Richard Colton, a Northamptonshire businessman, had a distinguished career in footwear distribution and for 40 years collected and actively campaigned sensational classic cars. Described by close friends as “a shy and private man”, he was known to be somewhat nervous of the sea, which may have added to his great respect for the men and women who risk their lives daily around Britain’s coast.
So when deciding on which charity to leave this grand legacy of two classic Ferraris, there was only one choice, the RNLI. Richard was also keen that his legacy be sold by a British classic car specialist auction house – hence why H&H was chosen by his executors and indeed this was in keeping with the wishes he expressed in his will.
This unique sale took place at the Imperial War Museum Duxford, Cambridgeshire – Europe’s largest historic aviation centre – where other highlights included George Best’s E-type Jaguar, a Sherman tank and a Sotheby Cigarette Special, as well as further classics from the Richard Colton collection.