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Businessman donates £8m Ferraris to charity

Two rare Ferraris to be sold at H&H’s Duxford auction to buy a new RNLI lifeboat next month

A businessman has left two rare Ferraris he drove 130,000 miles around Europe to the RNLI. Richard Colton, who died earlier this year, aged 82, left a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB and a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 to the lifeboat service, with a combined estimate of over £8,000,000.
The seven-figure sum is set to be the most generous gift ever received by the RNLI, with six in ten lifeboat launches made possible by gifts left in wills. H&H Classics the auction the two cars at their Duxford auction on 14 October, at the Imperial War Museum.
Mr Colton was a Northamptonshire-based businessman with a fear of the sea, despite travelling regularly in his beloved cars to mainland Europe. With the money raised from the two Ferraris, Colton requested the build of a new lifeboat called Richard and Caroline Colton, named after himself and his late wife.
The 250 GT SWB is today one of the most coveted cars in the world, with the most expensive variation of the car selling for $16,830,000 earlier this year at Monterey. Mr Colton bought the car in the late ‘70s, and went on to cover 60,000 miles in it across the continent, including a trip to the Ferrari 50th Anniversary celebrations at Maranello in June 1997.
Colton’s 1967 275 GTB/4 found its way into his hands in 1974, following swap between the Ferrari and his Bentley Speed Six. Like the 250, it was driven extensively across Europe, however today shows just 78,000 miles on the clock, indicating that those miles certainly weren’t wasted. Arriving in silver and following a life of regular maintenance, the car is full of character and in excellent condition.
Guy Rose, Legacy Manager at the RNLI, said: ‘We are deeply grateful and humbled by Mr Colton’s generous gift and his decision to benefit the RNLI in this way. Mr Colton’s generosity will be felt most by our volunteer crews and the people whose lives they save.’
Both cars will face auction next month at the H&H auction alongside a 1974 Jaguar E-type, once owned by George Best, and a Jaguar XJC12 which starred in ‘70s TV drama, The New Avengers.

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