Banker bequeaths £1.5m car collection to the RNLI

Wealthy banker who loved sailing leaves amazing classic car collection of 16 Rolls-Royces, Bentleys and Daimlers worth £1.5million to the RNLI

  • Retired banker and car collector Robert Furniss Riding died on May 11, 2022 aged 82 following a long illness
  • He has bequeathed his significant classic car collection to the RNLI and other charities to be auctioned off
  • The collection dates from 1924 to 1991 with cars ranging in price from and estimated £6,000 to £350,000 

A retired banker who loved sailing has left classic car collection worth £1.5 million to the RNLI who have consigned the motors to auction at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford. 

The collection, which includes several Rolls-Royces, Daimlers and Bentleys was accumulated by Robert Furniss Riding, with many of the cars undergoing extensive rebuilds to return them to the condition they were in when they left the factory. 

Seven of the collection are from the inter-war period while the remainder dates between 1953 to 1991. 

Among the cars up for sale is this 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Sedanca Coupe was one of 270 built. Others were owned by Sir Malcolm Campbell, the famed racing driver and motoring journalist as well as actor and playwright Noel Coward

This 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III has undergone refurbishment to the value of £88,000 between 2010 and 2012 and was powered by a 7.3 litre V-12 engine – using aeroplane technology – the car could reach 100mph

This 1956 Bentley S1 Continental Coupe had £34,000 spent on it during 2019. It was capable of travelling at more than 120 miles per hour

Not all of the cars in the collection are as expensive as a house. This 1971 Vanden Plas 1300 was originally purchased new by Mr Riding’s mother and has been kept in the family ever since. Now the car – which was priced new at £896 is worth in the region of £6,000 

Retired banker Robert Furniss Riding, pictured, who died in May aged 82, has bequeathed his classic car collection to the RNLI. The £1.5 million collection will be auctioned in October on a no-reserve basis

Each of the cars will be sold as ‘No Reserve’, meaning each classic could be picked up for as little £1 – though bidding for the collection is predicted to be intense – attracting interest from across the globe. 

The oldest car in the collection is a 1924 Bentley 3 litre Vanden Plas Tourer which had an engine overhaul around 1,000 miles ago at a cost of more than £30,000. 

Paul Cheetham who consigned the collection for H&H Classics, said: “This fabulous selection is evidence of Bob Riding’s wide-ranging taste in classic cars with a bias towards Rolls-Royce and Bentley, spanning nine decades of the 20th century.

‘They are a marvellous cross section of some of the best of the last century’s most sought after cars.

‘And their sale will benefit one of Britain’s most beloved institutions, the RNLI.’

Born in 1940 Robert Furniss Riding was educated at Stockport Grammar School then read natural sciences at Christ Church, Oxford.

He joined William Deacon’s Bank and had a stellar ascent through it and its subsequent iterations ending up as Group Treasurer of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

This 1924 Bentley 3-litre Vanden Plas Tourer has recently undergone a £30,000 engine overhaul by Hofmann’s of Henley

This 1932 Rolls-Royce 20/25 Drophead Coupe was once owned by American Formula 1 World Champion Phil Hill, who won in 1961 World Championship and also won the Le Mans 24 in 1958, 1961 and 1962

This 1933 Daimler Fifteen Sportsman’s Coupe was supplied new to Australia and was restored over a 13-month period in 2001 and 2002

This 1926 Rolls-Royce 20hp Landaulette has a 3.1 litre straight six engine mated to a three-speed gearbox. It was known as a ‘baby Rolls’ – even though it was faster than its more exclusive siblings, able to reach 60mph. In 1978 it was sold at auction for £17,500

This 1989 Rolls-Royce Corniche II Convertible has four previous owners and has only covered a total of 11,000 miles since new

This 1990 Mercedes-Benz 260E was bought new by Robert Riding and has covered just 75,900 miles since new. It was most recently serviced 800 miles ago

This 1955 Daimler Conquest Century Drophead Coupe entered the collection last year and was in the process of being fully refurbished at the time of Mr Riding’s death

He started collecting cars when he retired to the Isle of Man after taking early retirement in 1990. 

According to Mr Cheetham: ‘His cars were regularly campaigned at rallies for the appropriate marque and were often deserved winners of various trophies. He also got involved in the relevant enthusiast clubs, usually ending up as Chairman – and his list of appointments included the Chairmanship of the Manx Classic Car Club and the Manx Motor Racing Club.

‘Bob was always a keen supporter of local charities, particularly maritime and those involving young people, and many will have cause to remember with gratitude his generosity and his apparently bottomless well of technical knowledge on “quality cars”, so freely shared. Bob left his Estate predominantly to Charity with the RNLI being the Residuary Beneficiary. Thus, in effect, the entire proceeds of the sale of the car collection will be received by the RNLI.’ 

The collection will be actioned by H&H at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 at 1pm.  

This 1955 Daimler Empress III DF 308 is one of only 14 to have been manufactured with aluminium coachwork by Hooper and Company. The award winning car was restored between 1995 and 1996 to original specification 

This 1953 Lanchester 14 Saloon has seven previous owners and is one of 2,100 ever built in this configuration  

This 1991 Maserati Bi-Turbo Spyder E with coachwork by Zagato  has the 2.8litre V6 engine coupled with a four-speed ZF automatic transmission. It has recently been serviced with replacement cambelts, power-steering belts and new front brake pads. Work as also been done on the front struts and suspension

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