Rare £500,000 Ferrari to be auctioned off for East Anglian Air Ambulance
- Credit: Archant
It was built in 1964 and became its owner's most beloved car - but now a rare Ferrari will provide much-needed funding for the region's air ambulance.
The Nembo Spider - with a four-litre V12 engine, owned by the late Suffolk racecar enthusiast Richard Allen - is set to be auctioned off to raise money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
It follows air ambulance staff helping one of Mr Allen's fellow racing drivers after a crash.
The car will be auctioned at an event at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford.
Air ambulance chiefs hope the car will fetch more than £500,000 - enough to build a new hangar at Cambridge Airport, which would house its Anglia 2 helicopter.
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Patrick Peal, chief executive of the air ambulance, said the development would add another 180 shift hours to the charity's capacity, resulting in a 'significant increase in the number of life-saving missions we could fly each year'.
'We feel deeply honoured to have been the recipient of Richard Allen's thoughtfulness and generosity,' Mr Peal said.
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'His legacy will be to help us save many more lives.
'The air ambulance is all about changing what could be the last day of your life into one that is merely the worst day in your life.'
He said the new hangar will cost an estimated £200,000, meaning the car's sale should comfortably provide enough funding for the project.
The 330GT car was acquired from Italy by Mr Allen in the mid-1990s.
Mr Allen, a racing driver and motoring enthusiast who died in November last year, decided not to drive it on the road but instead displayed it regularly at Ferrari events in the UK.
According to H&H Classics, which will host the auction, the vehicle became the most beloved of all the cars in Mr Allen's extensive collection.
A spokesman said: 'Of all the Ferraris made by Neri & Bonacini, the small series of Nembo Spiders was their greatest.
'From a small shop in Modena, they transformed unwanted Ferrari chassis into something much more special.
'Built on the 250 GT platform, the Nembos were influenced by the Ferrari GTO, but featured distinctive proportions.
'All these cars were carefully constructed in a way that made their donor cars look staid by comparison.'
The company said experts estimate it would cost between £500,000 and £650,000 to make a replica.
Damian Jones, head of sales at H&H Classics, said: 'The cost of making the Spyder for sale with H&H would be at least £500,000 if it was done by a known name Ferrari specialist.'
Dominic Lyncker, managing director of H&H Classics, added: 'We are honoured to be tasked with this sale on behalf of the East Anglian Air Ambulance, which will bring help from the skies in much the same way as the Richard Colton Ferraris we sold for the RNLI will bring help at sea.'
Those Ferraris helped raise nearly £10m for the RNLI.
Who was Richard Allen?
Mr Allen grew up in Essex and became chairman of Allen's Ford - the family car dealership chain.
He began racing with Ford Anglias in the early 1960s, but retired from the track after a bad accident in 1964.
He bought his first Ferrari in the late 1970s and started racing again in the 1980s.
As the years passed he built up a stable of Ferraris, used both on road and track, and - as a director of the UK Ferrari Owners' Club - Mr Allen set up the club's Hill Climb Championship in 1986.
Friends have previously said Mr Allen, who lived in Suffolk later in his life, chose the air ambulance charity as the beneficiary of the car's auction because he understood the importance of the air ambulance service for racing drivers, as well as wanting to support a local charity.
Mr Allen began showing the car at Ferrari Owners' Club Concours events in 1998 and continued to do so up until its last public outing around 15 years ago - at the club's Waddeson Manor Concours meeting.
The auction will be held on March 29 at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford.
The East Anglian Air Ambulance relies on around £10m of public donations every year.
It has bases in Cambridge and at Norwich Airport, and flies missions daily. For more on the East Anglian Air Ambulance, visit www.eaaa.org.uk
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