Rare V-Bomber Cockpits Collection Fails To Sell At Auction

The collection, which took 40 years to build and is described as "museum-ready", has now moved to an online auction after failing to sell.

A "museum-ready" collection of rare V-Bomber cockpits will now be sold online, after an auction on Tuesday failed to attract any bids.

The virtual auction on 9 March was hosted by Hansons Auctioneers in a bid to preserve RAF history.

Nigel Towler, 65, decided to part with his collection after dedicating 40 years to salvaging and restoring what is believed to be the largest private collection of V-Bomber cockpits.

"This is a one-off opportunity and it would be tragic in the extreme if someone does not see the worth in what I have accumulated over the last 40 years," the retired businessman said in January.

The collection's cockpits all played important parts in the Cold War or in the Falklands War.

They include a B(K) 1 XD826, which was originally a bomber that served with Nos 7, 90, 138 and 543 Squadrons and the 232 Operational Conversion Unit before being scrapped in 1965.

An XH670 - the last surviving section of a Victor B2 Bomber variant still in existence, as well as a Vulcan K2 XH560 - one of six B2s converted into tankers during the Falklands conflict, are also part of the collection.

Victor K2 cockpit DATE UNKNOWN downloaded on 090321 CREDIT Rik Alexander Hasons Auctioneers.jpg
The collection failed to sell at a virtual auction (Picture: Rik Alexander/Hansons Auctioneers).

"These cockpits deserve to be in a museum or on display but I haven't got the wherewithal to make that happen," Mr Towler said earlier in the year.

"If these cockpits are scrapped and the parts sold off individually it would be impossible for someone else to piece something like this together again."

It is not known how much Mr Towler has spent on the collection, but he estimates an average of £12,500 a year.

Rik Alexander, who is managing the sale on behalf of Hansons Auctioneers, said ahead of the auction that the Cockpit Collection was expected to fetch between £200,000 and £300,000.

However, not a single bid was made on the items and they went unsold.

The cockpits have now moved to an online auction, which ends next Tuesday.