Orin Smith’s quest for the most beautiful, rare or just different Rolls and Bentleys resulted in what is one of the world’s most special collections… one we have a chance to savour now that it is for auction.
RM Sotheby’s will be selling the 22 bespoke models, all without reserve, at an evening event on March 10th at the start of its Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance sale in Florida. “A Gentleman’s Collection: The Pride and Passion of Orin Smith” also includes many other stars in the 58-car lot, such as the Jet Age Fiat 8V Supersonic and Lancia Pinin Farina special.
But it was really one-off Rolls and Bentleys that he specialised in. Who was Orin Smith? He made his fortune making automotive catalytic converters, indulging his passion for collecting – and winning concours trophies – on his retirement in 2000. A perfectionist famous for demanding meticulous restorations, it is said he was so driven to win show awards he once sent a car back to the restorer seven times before he was happy with it.
Orin Smith died in 2016 but his legacy lives on in some amazing cars. Here are five of our favourites from the sale…