Lifeboat funded by sale of bequeathed rare Ferraris is officially named

Two Italian supercar classics raised more than £9m for the RNLI – its single biggest bequest

The sale of two classic Ferraris funded an all-new lifeboat
The sale of two classic Ferraris funded an all-new lifeboat

A lifeboat paid for by the sale of two rare classic Ferraris has been officially named in Hastings.

The Richard & Caroline Colton was named following a bequest by Northamptonshire footwear distribution businessman Richard Colton, who collected and restored classic cars. He died in March 2015, leaving his two rare Ferraris to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) in his will.

The 1960 Ferrari 250 GT short wheelbase Berlinetta and 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 were sent by the Colton family to H&H Classics for inclusion in its Duxford auction in October 2015.

The pair were sold without reserve, with the 250 GT fetching £6.6m – a world record for a steel-bodied car – and the 275 GTB £1.93m. H&H waived its seller’s commission, which meant the RNLI received a further donation of £511,800, making a grand total of £9,041,800.

Simon Hope, chairman of H&H Classics, said: “We were honoured to have been chosen to handle this sale of the two Ferraris which was of national significance.

“These stunning motor cars had been with Richard Colton for 40 years and meant a very great deal to him, so we were absolutely committed to realising the maximum amount for the cars, and it proved to be a historic sale, providing the single biggest bequest in the RNLI’s history.”

The new Shannon-class lifeboat – which is named after Colton and his late wife – is powered by water jets rather than traditional propellers and was launched last October. The money also funded a launch-and-recovery system for the lifeboat.

RNLI Hastings coxswain Phil Jones said: “We are so grateful to the legacy of Richard Colton for making this happen. His legacy will enable the station to carry out our lifesaving work and serve the community of Hastings.”

Jo Adams – Richard Colton’s cousin – who performed the naming said: “As Richard’s first cousin and, sadly, the last surviving Colton, I, together with all my family and his friends, are immensely proud of this wonderful gesture.”

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