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Two vintage Ferraris donated by a car lover have sold in a charity auction gifting the RNLI £8.53 million which will go directly towards helping the volunteer crews save lives at sea.

The sums achieved by the donation from the late Richard Colton, a businessman who was said to be ‘nervous’ of the sea, total the most valuable items ever left to the lifeboat charity.

The two Ferraris are a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT short-wheelbase (SWB) Berlinetta chassis 1995 GT, of which just 167 were made with just 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.

The RNLI’s Chief Executive, Paul Boissier said:

His legacy will help our volunteer crews carry out their lifesaving work around the coast

“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 Richard and his late wife Caroline Colton.”

Manchester United legend George Best's 1971 Jaguar E-Type V12 Coupe

Manchester United legend George Best’s 1971 Jaguar E-Type V12 Coupe was also auctioned for RNLI

“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.”

Alongside the Ferraris, Colton made other donations from his collection including a 1971 Jaguar E-Type V12 Coupe, once owned by footballer George Best which sold for £43,000.

Lead image: Charles Denton, godson and executor to the estate of the late Richard Colton with RNLI Chief Executive Paul Boissie.

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