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Rare Ferraris go under the hammer…the result.

The ‘impossible gift’: Today is the day that the 2 cars went under the hammer.

Wilson Browne Solicitors played an important role in the sale of 2 rare and ultra-valuable Ferraris auctioned on behalf of RNLI.

The real story is perhaps not the cars themselves but the fact that a local entrepreneur and businessman would leave such a fantastic gift to a charity and, that he turned to a local firm such as Wilson Browne Solicitors when it came to ensuring that his substantial estate was properly dealt with when the time arose.

The question on everybody’s lips is undoubtedly “how much?”

The answer is a staggering £6.6 million for the 250 GT SWB and £1.93 million for the 275/GTB/4 (the red and silver cars respectively in the photos). This is in line with the estimate of £8 million or even £10 million on an optimistic basis.

We are proud to not only have been instrumental in helping Richard Colton draft his Will but to have been entrusted to ensure that his wishes were effectively executed. In addition, Wilson Browne Solicitors provided Mr Colton with expert advice so he could be certain his substantial legacy was planned in a tax-efficient way.

Jim Kearns (joint executor) has been pivotal in arranging the sale of two rare Ferraris with a potentially eye-watering, record breaking value.

Working closely with a respected auction house, Jim was tasked with ensuring that the estate of local businessman Richard Colton was executed in line with his wishes, with the proceeds going to fund the RNLI. The cars were auctioned on 14 October 2015 at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, Cambridge.

Jim Kearns comments “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.”

Jim adds, “The exquisite cars really were the ‘impossible gift’. To leave them to an individual would have incurred 40% 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.

Richard Colton was a Northamptonshire-based businessman who had a distinguished career in footwear distribution and 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. When deciding on which charity to leave this splendid legacy of two classic Ferraris, there was only one choice, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

He was also keen that his legacy be sold by a British classic car specialist auction house, chosen by his executors (including Jim Kearns of Wilson Browne Solicitors) and  in line with the wishes he expressed in his Will, which along with other specialist advice on Tax implications was also dealt with by Wilson Browne Solicitors.

Initial enquiries relating to Wilson Browne Solicitors’ role in this generous legacy should be directed to Wayne Jenkins, Marketing Director, Wilson Browne Solicitors.