A pair of multi-million pound Ferraris will be auctioned in October with all proceeds going to the Royal National Lifeboat Institute.

Both cars, a 1960 250GT SWB and a 1967 275 GTB/4, come from a collection owned by the late Richard Colton, a huge petrolhead who made his fortune in footwear distribution.

The 250GT SWB, chassis 1995 GT, was originally bought by Colonel Ronnie Hoare to launch the famous Ferrari dealership Maranello Concessionaires. It was ordered in ‘semi-competizione’ spec, featuring a race-spec engine and gearbox, long-range fuel tank and limited slip differential. It seems like 1995 GT was never actually used in anger on track, even though the 250GT SWB was the most effective GT racer of its day. But Mr Colton covered 60,000 miles in it after he bought it in the late Seventies. As such, its never been restored but continually maintained, so it’s in perfect, completely original working order.

The 275 GTB/4, chassis 10177 GT, was originally a demonstrator at Maranello Concessionaires before Mr Colton acquired it in 1974. Like the 250GT it was used often and regularly maintained in highly original condition.

Apparently, Mr Colton was nervous of the sea, hence his decision to leave a legacy to the RNLI. He requested that the money raised from the sale be used to build a new lifeboat called Richard and Caroline Colton after himself and his late wife. But the sale could raise enough to pay for two boats – 250GT SWBs typically sell for around £5 million, while the 275 GTB/4 could fetch £2 million.

The Ferraris will be sold by H&H Classics at it Duxford sale in October. Chairman Simon Hope said: “We are honoured to have been chosen to handle this sale which is of 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 a historic sale.”

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. Six out of every 10 lifeboat launches are only made possible because of gifts left to us in wills, so they are vital to saving lives at sea. Mr Colton’s generosity will be felt most by our volunteer crews and the people whose lives they save.”

Since it was founded in 1824, 140,000 lives have been saved by the RNLI. It operates 236 stations across the UK, staffed entirely by volunteers, costing £385,000 a day to run, all of which is donated by the public.

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By Only Motors