Ferrari 250 GT SWB

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Businessman leaves £10m Ferraris to RNLI

Businessman Richard Colton has left a rare Ferrari 275 GTB/4 and Ferrari 250 GT SWB to be auctioned, with the proceeds going to the RNLI.

Initial estimates place the combined value of the two Ferraris as potentially topping Ten million pounds. Richard Colton was a Northamptonshire-based businessman, who for 40 years collected and actively campaigned sensational classic cars. Described by close friends as a shy and private man, he was known to be 'somewhat nervous of the sea', which may have added to his great respect for the men and women who risk their lives daily around Britain's coast.

Colton was keen that his legacy be sold by a British classic car specialist auction house - hence H&H was chosen by his executors. Working closely with the auction house, Jim Kearns Senior Partner at Wilson Browne Solicitors was tasked, as joint executor, with ensuring that Colton's estate was executed in line with his wishes, that all proceeds be bequeathed to the RNLI.

Jim Kearns commented; "It is a remarkable and generous legacy. All of us at Wilson Browne Solicitors are proud to be part of such an exciting and wonderful bequest and it's testament to the faith Richard had in us as experts in the field that he not only relied on us for his Will but asked us to ensure that we got the best possible price (as joint executors) so the money could be put to work for the RNLI."

Kearns added; "The exquisite cars really were the impossible gift. To leave them to an individual would have incurred 40 per cent inheritance tax meaning that the cars would most likely have to be sold to pay for it. Leaving them to a charitable cause as noble as the RNLI means that they get the maximum value."

Money raised from the sale will be used to build a new lifeboat called Richard and Caroline Colton, named after Richard and his late wife.

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."

The auction takes place on 14 October 2015 at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, Cambridge.