Businessman Leaves ‘£8m’ Ferraris to RNLI

Posted on May 7, 2015.

The following article, by Hannah Furness, was posted on The Telegraph website:

A businessman has bequeathed the proceeds of his “lifelong passion”, two remarkably rare Ferraris he drove for 130,000 miles around Europe, to the Royal National Lifeboats Institution, in what could become the most generous gift the charity has ever received.

Richard Colton, who died earlier this year, was said to be “nervous” of the sea and wanted to leave a donation to the British charity to help future seafarers in danger. He has now left two sports cars, his pride and joy in life, to be auctioned by H&H Classics, with proceeds which could total around £8million to go to the RNLI.

The two Colton Ferraris

Mr Colton’s godson, who is carrying out his wishes, will oversee the sale of a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB and 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 from his collection, in what experts have described as a sale of “national significance”.

Although there is no official estimate on the cars, two similar vehicles have recently sold for a total of £8million. The sum would make the bequest the most generous legacy ever accepted by the RNLI, following an anonymous gift of £7.4m in 2013.

The donation is intended to find a new lifeboat for the charity’s Northamptonshire branch, to be named Richard and Caroline Colton after its benefactor and his late wife.

Mr Colton, a businessman who died in March at the age of 82, was said to be “nervous” of the sea himself, despite regularly travelling by ferry to take his prized cars to Europe. A prominent member of the V12 section of the Ferrari Owners’ Club, he owned a collection of ten cars in later life, often taking them on jaunts around the continent.

The 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB is one of just ten supplied new to the UK, ordered by famed car dealer Col. Ronnie Hoare to launch Maranello Concessionaires, and has been described by auctioneers as one of the “most beautiful cars in the world” as well as one of the most valuable.

The second, a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4, was one of 27 of its kind in the UK. Between them, the carefully maintained cars travelled more than 130,000 miles around Europe with their owner and a small pet dog for company. They will now be sold by H&H Classics on October 14, 2015, at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, Cambridge.

Guy Rose, legacy manager at the RNLI, said the charity was “deeply grateful and humbled” by Mr Colton’s generosity. “The impact of his incredible generosity will be directly felt by our volunteer crews and the people whose lives they save for many years to come,” he added.

Simon Hope, chairman of H&H Classics, which holds sales across Britain, said: “We are honoured to have been chosen to handle this sale which is of national significance.

“These stunning motor cars have been with Richard Colton for 40 years and meant a very great deal to him. So we are absolutely committed to realising the maximum amount for the cars. It promises to be an historic sale”.

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