Grand Tour star Richard Hammond is selling his collection of classic vehicles for hundreds of thousands of pounds to fund his new TV show.
The former Top Gear presenter will use the proceeds from the sale of the eight engines to support a car restoration company, The Smallest Cog.
Mr. Hammond will turn the company into a new TV show called Richard Hammond’s Workshop, which will air on Discovery Plus later this year.
Several of the classic cars Mr Hammond sells are personal favorites of his.
They include a ‘much loved’ 1959 Bentley S2 inherited from his family, a beautiful 1969 Porsche 911T, a 1927 Sunbeam Model 2 motorcycle and a classic 1999 Lotus Esprit Sport 350, one of only 48 ever built. .
The collection also includes a 1932 Velocette KSS Mk1 and a highly collectible 1977 Moto Guzzi Le Mans Mk1.
Richard Hammond and his collection of three vehicles and five bicycles. Proceeds from the eight vehicles, including a ‘much loved’ 1959 Bentley S2 he inherited from his family, will support an auto restoration business, the Smallest Cog. The ex-Top Gear star’s new business exploit is getting a new documentary series, Richard Hammond’s Workshop, which will air on Discovery Pus later this year.
Last month, he announced on Instagram that he was taking a “financial risk” with the new company.
He said, ‘I’ve made the decision, I’m taking a risk, I’m putting my money where my mouth is.
“I’m setting up a real classic car restoration shop and Discovery Plus will follow my efforts.
“It will land later this year, so keep an eye out for my new workshop show on Discovery Plus.”
The legendary Porsche 911 is the longest-produced sports car of all time. Porsche asked the German automaker Karmann of Osnabrück, for whom they had a long-standing relationship, to assist in production, beginning in 1966 with the 912. In 1968, while Porsche was working on prototypes of the forthcoming long-wheelbase 911, Karmann began building the 911T. Karman was only involved in its production for one year, during which time the company from Osnabrück built 3,561 911Ts
Hammond sells his ‘much loved’ 1959 Bentley S2 which he inherited from his family. A ride that exudes pure luxury, the extravagant S2 Continental was a high-performance variant of the Bentley S2, produced until 1962. The special coachman-built frame and ‘beyond standard’ performance levels thanks to the lightweight body construction, robust engines and high gear ratios easily distinguish continental models from ‘regular’ Bentley models. They include lavish upgrades such as push-button window lifts, electric rear demisters, power-operated ride control, power steering, updated and more flexible AC, and fully automatic transmission
In 1998 Lotus introduced the Esprit Sport 350 at the Birmingham Auto Show. Improvements included brakes, carbon fiber wing and magnesium wheels. The result was the most technologically advanced Esprit road supercar to date, with a top speed of 275 mph. Introduced in the early 1970s, production began in 1976 and ended in 2004. Based on the Lotus Europa, it was named Esprit in accordance with the traditional Lotus ‘E’ naming standard. The Esprit has been featured in films such as Pretty Woman, 007 and Basic Instinct
With a great racing heritage, Moto Guzzi blew the racing world away with their exceptional V8 racer in the 1950s. Designed to take on Ducati, they pivoted their V-motor to be mounted transversely across the frame unit. It came with one front brake linked to the rear master cylinder and the other working to the front master cylinder. Moto Guzzi looked at engineering from a different perspective and challenged the motorcycle world with their fine engineering
The eight vehicles Richard ‘The Hamster’ Hammond is auctioning on August 1
- 1969 Porsche 911T
- 1927 Sunbeam Model 2 Motorcycle
- 1999 Lotus Esprit Sport 350
- Velocette KSS Mk1
- 1977 Moto Guzzi Le Mans
- Ford RS200
- Two motorcycles he bought for his 40th and 50th birthdays will also be included but have not yet been named
Mr Hammond, 51, is selling the vehicles without reserve at Silverstone Auctioneers, Ashorne, Warwickshire.
He said: ‘The irony of supporting my new classic car restoration business by selling part of my own classic car collection is not wasted on me.
“They leave with a heavy heart as they have a lot of personal sentimental value, but they will fund the future development of the company and breathe new life into countless other classic vehicles.”
Nick Whale, managing director of Silverstone Auctions, said: ‘We are delighted to have Richard present at our sale on August 1 and take the stage to introduce the collection.
“These vehicles clearly hold a special place in his heart, so I’m sure it will be a mixed day for him, but we’re confident we can deliver an enthusiastic audience that will make his new company proud.
“We wish him every success.”
Hammond is one of Britain’s most well-known TV presenters, fronting Top Gear and now The Grand Tour on Amazon Prime with Jeremy Clarkson and James May.
Sometimes referred to as “The Hamster” by fans and his co-hosts on Top Gear due to his name and relatively small stature, Hammond nearly died in 2006 when his jet-powered Vampire dragster spun off a runway at over 388 mph into a Top Acceleration stunt.
The father of two later revealed that he suffered from depression, paranoia and amnesia due to brain damage.
The sale will take place on August 1, and Mr. Hammond plans to attend the event.