27-car British classic and exotic trove brings $30 million in private sale

No barn find, these cars were immaculately maintained | Talacrest photo
No barn find, these cars were immaculately maintained | Talacrest photo

John Collins said he had no idea there even was such a collection when he was contacted about visiting what turned out to be “an Aladdin’s cave” of 27 classic and exotic cars. However, in one of the largest private sales in British classic car collecting history, Collins immediately purchased the cars for slightly more than $30 million.

Within a week of his purchase, Collins already has sold 10 of the cars through his Talacrest classic Ferrari dealership in Ascot, Berkshire.

“When the warehouse doors opened, I thought, ‘Wow.’ It was an Aladdin’s cave of cars,” Collins told the Mirror.

“The owner has built up the collection over the past 20 years and he decided to sell them,” Collins said. “He didn’t want to sell them separately so a contact got in touch with me and I decided I had to have it.

“I didn’t know the collection existed. It has to be one of the biggest-ever purchases of a private collection in the UK.

“To someone like me, the collection is amazing.”

The collection included:

  • Eleven Ferraris, including a 288 GTO, 250 Lusso, 512 BBI, 275 GTB/4, F40 and F50;
  • Five Mercedes, including a 300SL gullwing coupe and roadster;
  • Four Aston Martins, including one of only four DB4 Zagato Sanction II models built, and a DB5 and One-77;
  • Four Lamborghinis, including two Countachs, a Miura SV and Espada;
  • Two Porsches, including a 959;
  • And an E-type Jaguar.
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Many of the cars have very low mileage. For example, a 1982 Lamborghini Countach LP5005 with 500 miles and a 1991 Ferrari Testarossa with only 1,788 miles on its odometer.

A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.