But he needs a cash infusion to get things going, so he’s selling eight beloved vehicles from his personal collection through Silverstone Auctions.
“The irony of me supporting my new classic car restoration business by selling some of my own classic car collection is not wasted on me” Hammond said in a statement announcing the auction.
“It is with a very heavy heart that they go, as they have a great deal of personal sentimental value, but they will be funding the future development of the business and giving life back to countless other classic vehicles.”
“The Hamster” has spent two decades presenting alongside towering co-hosts Jeremy Clarkson and James May on both Top Gear in the BBC program’s heyday and Amazon’s The Grand Tour, where the trio of “petrol heads” continue to create entertaining gags that are ostensibly rooted in a love of all things rides.
To that end, the offerings from Hammonds collection are exceptionally diverse. There’s a 1959 Bentley S2, a classic luxobarge that changed the game for the British marque by ushering in a 6.2-liter V8. A 1969 Porsche 911T represents the first time the then-nascent sports car was equipped with an enlarged 2.2-liter flat-six.
Hammond’s 1999 Lotus Esprit V8 Sport 350 is the most aggressively track-oriented Esprit of its day. The one-of-48 example was cut by nearly 190 pounds to help the 350-hp 3.5-liter twin-turbo V8 push it to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds.
On the bike front, highlights include the flat-tank 1927 Sunbeam Model 2 and a 1977 Moto Guzzi Le Mans Mk1 cafe racer done up with a rare, red fairing.
The Richard Hammond Collection hits the block on August 1 at Silverstone’s Wing Building. Click here to learn more.