Classic Ferraris raise £8.53m for lifeboat charity

Published: 15 October 2015

 Rare Ferraris raise £8.5m for RNLI at auction
► Donated by businessman Richard Colton
► Largest gift ever received by lifeboat charity

A pair of rare classic Ferraris has raised £8.53m at auction, with the proceeds going to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

The two Maranello icons, a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB and 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4, were left to Britain’s lifeboat charity by businessman Richard Colton in his will.

Northamptonshire-based Colton, who died in March 2015 aged 82, was a keen member of the Ferrari Owners’ Club and hoped the pair would raise money for a new lifeboat named after him and his late wife Caroline. As it turns out, the two cars have become the most valuable gift yet given to the RNLI and could go on to fund not one, but two lifeboats and their associated equipment.

The Ferrari lifeboat auction

The sale was handled by auction specialist H&H Classics at the Imperial War Museum Duxford on 14 October 2015. The red steel-bodied 250 GT SWB (short wheelbase), one of ten cars originally allocated to the UK, fetched £6.6m, and the silver 275 GTB/4 £1.93m.

A further car from the Colton collection sold at the same auction, a Jaguar E-type V12 once owned by none other than George Best, raised a further £43,000 for the RNLI.

‘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,’ said RNLI chief executive Paul Bossier.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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