The Silver Bullets & Red Arrows Collection

The Silver Bullets & Red Arrows Collection

Inspired by the icons of the owner’s formative years, and one childhood memory in particular, The Silver Bullets & Red Arrows Collection is a carefully curated assembly of landmark performance cars, spanning every decade from the 1950s to the 1990s.

Growing up in a family with a passion for automobiles, and with relatives who even raced them, it was no surprise that the owner of this collection would go on to acquire special motor cars of their own. Having saved up funds in their younger years, the first classic he bought was an Alfa Romeo Duetto that was in need of significant refurbishment – and a strong interest in Italian machines is still obvious in this assembly today.

Despite a passion for the creations of manufacturers in Turin, Milan, and the Emilia-Romagna region, among the first cars acquired for this set were a German legend and a British style icon. 

The star of this collection is the sensational 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL ‘Gullwing’. Acquired via leading specialist Paul Russell in the US, the car was initially used by the seller in unrestored condition, before it was sent to Switzerland for a no-expense-spared refurbishment at a cost of more than CHF 260,000. It remains in its original factory colour of Fire Engine Red, and has been thoroughly enjoyed as intended on fantastic European tours.

Another early purchase was a 1964 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 Roadster. Equipped with the 4.2-litre engine, it is one of just 863 examples built in right-hand drive, and benefits from a prior restoration by a renowned specialist. While it left the factory finished in cream, it was repainted in vibrant Carmen Red as part of the comprehensive refurbishment. With these two cars forming the early centrepiece of the collection, the seller decided on the ‘Red Arrows’ moniker in tribute to the RAF’s aerobatic display team – thanks in no small part to the 300 SL appearing to be “ready for takeoff” when its famous doors are open.

The owner came up with the second half of this collection’s name from a memory of his years in education. While at boarding school, his father came to visit driving a beautiful Ferrari Dino 246 finished in a striking silver hue. This became the subject of an entry in the school’s yearbook from a friend, reading: “I’d love to have a ride in your dad’s silver bullet one day” – and so the ‘Silver Bullets’ theme also became central to the collection.

In building the wider collection, the owner reflected on some of the most sought-after cars from his time growing up in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. Given that this was before modern safety regulations came in, he also considers it one the most attractive periods for automobile design, with the cars penned by Pininfarina’s Leonardo Fioravanti being of particular interest.

As a result, The Silver Bullets & Red Arrows Collection comprises iconic cars that span five decades of automotive history. Starting with the incredible 300 SL ‘Gullwing’ of the 1950s and running right through to an undisputed modern classic hero in the form of a Ferrari F355 Spider from the 1990s. 

While some cars in the collection are the result of as much as two years spent trying to track down the best examples, others were acquired on the spur of the moment, after a great car caught the owner’s eye at auction or flicking through a magazine.

While the specifications and time taken to buy vary significantly, one thing that all the cars have in common is that they each offer a terrific driving experience on the open road. Thanks to these cars having few if any driver aids, the owner has relished the visceral analogue appeal of these machines on a host of organised tours and other events. 

Having taken around 20 years to bring together this impressive assembly of machines, the owner no longer has the time to fully enjoy all of them. Therefore, these wonderful motor cars are now offered for sale, so that they may continue to be driven as regularly as possible, by enthusiasts who will use them as intended.

The owner would like to extend special thanks to photographer Tim Scott for some of the hero images of The Silver Bullets & Red Arrows Collection.