Familiar name, fresh vision

Well-known firm still doing brisk business after 70 years

The name of Duncan Hamilton will be familiar to anyone with an appreciation of motor racing’s 1950s ‘golden era’, not least because the famously flamboyant driver enjoyed his finest hour when he and Tony Rolt won the 1953 Le Mans 24 hours in a works-entered Jaguar C-type

In 1948 Hamilton established an eponymous garage business that still thrives today as one of Europe’s foremost dealers in competition and classic cars. It’s now run by his son, Adrian, who joined the business 51 years ago having, in his words, “left school without ever failing an exam – because I didn’t take any.”

Since joining on a salary of £6 per week in 1967 and starting off with the sale of a Jaguar MkVII that had been adapted with a sliding passenger door on account of its disabled owner, Hamilton Jr has gone on to find, buy, sell and broker some of the world’s most celebrated historics and is especially well known for building the 38-car ROFGO collection of Gulf-sponsored racing cars for German enthusiast Roald Goethe.

“The market has evolved over the last five decades with collectors becoming more focused on cars eligible for events like the Le Mans Classic and Goodwood.

“Roald Goethe accurately reflects the new collector, so when he suggested that we work more closely I was happy to go along with it,” says Hamilton.

“As a result, we re-branded as Duncan Hamilton ROFGO [for ROald F. GOethe] last September, since when we’ve moved to state-of-the-art premises outside Winchester and sold two Ford GT40s, a very significant Lamborghini Miura and several F1 cars in addition to the regular competition machines.”