Richard Hammond is getting in on the car restoration game. The Grand Tour host and former Top Gear man is establishing ‘The Smallest Cog’, a business that’ll be covered in an upcoming Discovery show with the working title ‘Richard Hammond’s Workshop‘. A cash injection is needed to get things moving, though, to be provided by the sale of a good chunk of Hammond’s extensive bike and car collection via 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,” he said, adding, “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.”
As for the cars, it’s the 1991 Lotus Esprit Sport 350 that caught our eye first. It’s number five of only 48 built, and its flat-plane crank, twin-turbo V8 had a full rebuild not so long ago. For this rarest special edition Esprit, Lotus overhauled the chassis, squeezed 350bhp out of the V8, and topped the boot lid with a suitably big wing.
Turning the clock back much further, there’s a 1959 Bentley S2 which is described as a “much-loved family heirloom”. It’s a significant model from Bentley‘s history, marking the point where the company switched from straight-six to V8 power. It’s covered 59,000 miles and had a thorough bodywork refurbishment recently.
Next up is a 1969 Porsche 911T, packing a 2.2-litre air-cooled flat-six that’ll no doubt sound gorgeous as its modest 125bhp is extracted. The left-hand drive 911 was sold new in California before making its way over to the UK. The final car is a Ford RS2000, although Hammond elected to shift this to a sale in November by Silverstone sister brand Classic Car Auctions.
In terms of bikes, you’ve four to pick from. Two are self-bought birthday presents - a 1976 Kawasaki Z900 for Hammond’s 40th, and a 2019 Norton Dominator 961 Street Limited Edition for his 50th. There’s also a 1932 Velocette KSS Mk1 and a 1977 Moto Guzzi Le Mans Mk1.
Fancy a bid? The Richard Hammond Collection goes under the hammer just after 2pm on 1 August at the Silverstone Wing Building. The man himself will be there to introduce the selection of vehicles, all of which will be sold with no reserve.