The UK's Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has been left two multi-million dollar Ferraris in the will of British businessman.
Richard Colton left the Ferrari 250 GT SWB and Ferrari 275 GTB/4 to the charity with instructions that they be auctioned by a classic car specialist. The 250 GT in particular is a rare example, as it has never been restored, has historical significance to collectors, and was owned by Colton for 40 years.
The auction of the vehicles, which are valued at around GBP6m and GBP2m, will take place at Duxford Imperial War Museum on 14 October.
Funds raised by the auction will be used to purchase a new lifeboat for the RNLI, to be named Richard and Caroline Colton after the late benefactor and his wife.
Colton was described by close friends as "shy and private", and was known to be nervous of the sea.
Guy Rose, Legacy Manager at the RNLI, commented: “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.”
In 2013 the RNLI launched 270 vessels to aid commercial and Ministry of Defence ships, which accounted for only 3% of launches that year. 140,000 lives have been saved since 2001 by the charity, which costs GBP385,000 per day to operate, which is met by public donations.
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