Known Magazine

A Success Story

Massive African Estate collector car auction set for December

Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity to Own Rare Investment Automobiles

More than 140 classic and collectable cars – including a selection of rare vehicles from one of the world’s largest private collections of Mercedes Benz motors representing six decades of German automotive design and engineering – goes under the hammer in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Saturday, December 5.

According to Creative Rides Owner and CEO Kevin Derrick, the sale comprises a portion of the collection amassed by the late Louis Coetzer. “The sale on December 5 is a proud joint venture with High Street Auctions and will be one of Africa’s biggest ever estate collector car auctions; more than 140 original and pristinely restored design classics that only a lucky few have ever seen first-hand.

“Oom (Uncle) Louis’ collection – more than 350 cars in total – has become something of a legend over the years as it outgrew barn after barn in Bloemfontein.  “Oom Louis had a great love for American classics and muscle cars of the mid 1950s and 1960s, although Mercedes Benzes were his favourites.

“His passion for and knowledge of Mercedes Benz collector cars was unparalleled and it shows in the spectacular selection of Mercs that’ll go on auction in December. “Oom Louis’ motoring interests were wide-ranging, though, and this is clearly demonstrated by the variety of vehicles going under the hammer. Many are cars for the man in the street, while others were at one time or another driven by the rich and famous.

“Collectors from across the world are showing interest in the catalogue which includes some of the most sought-after Benz designs of the past 70 years, as well as a vast number of American muscle cars and other assorted collector classics,” says Derrick.

According to Joff van Reenen, High Street Auctions Director and Lead Auctioneer, among the vehicles going under the hammer at the Creative Rides showroom at the Post House Centre in Main Road, Bryanston, Johannesburg, are:

  • A 1964 Mercedes Benz Coupe 220SE;
  • A 1967 Mercedes Benz 230S Fintail Station Wagon, believed to be the only model of this kind in South Africa;
  • A 1958 Mercedes Benz 300;
  • A 1957 Mercedes Benz Ponton 109 Station Wagon, believed to be the only model of this kind in the country;
  • Various early Chevrolet Impalas and Belairs;
  • A 1959 Chevrolet Kingswood Station Wagon;
  • A 1958 MG Magnette;
  • A 1962 Pontiac Parisienne Convertible; and a 
  • A 1979 Chevrolet Corvette.

Lida van der Merwe, daughter of Oom Louis and his wife Tannie (Aunt) Hermien, speaking on behalf of the three Coetzer children, says it was a very long and difficult process deciding which cars to keep and which to let go after their parents’ untimely passing at the beginning of the year.

“There are so many memories attached to the cars; wonderful family time spent with both our parents in the vehicles, but we realised that we won’t lose the memories just because we don’t have the physical cars anymore. The memories are still there.

“It’s best for so many of Dad’s beloved cars to move on to new owners; to other car fanatics who shared his passion to carry on the legacy, the preserving of these beautiful classics we are all so fortunate to still have in our midst.”

Lida says more than anything, she and her siblings have tried to act in accordance with what her father would have wanted for his lifelong passion. “A lot of people have opinions about my Dad’s cars. Some suggested a museum as memorial, but I don’t think they realised how many cars we were talking about. 

“It would be a fulltime job; just too many cars and constant maintenance. The thing is, my Dad lived out his passion and he did actually have a museum in Bloemfontein, but the best part about the museum was my Dad’s vast knowledge of cars and him having all the history in his head. 

“He could tell you anything and everything about a car on his floor and unfortunately that is something we could never replicate. “If the cars were left to stand, they’d deteriorate and if you knew my Dad you’d know that this would have saddened him.”

Van Reenen says in an African car auction first, virtual tours of every vehicle will be available on the High Street Auction site – from exterior walk-arounds to interior and engine bay tours. 

“This has never before been done for any car auction but it’s essential for national and international enthusiasts who won’t be able to get to Johannesburg between Monday November 30 and Friday December 4 to view the cars at the Creative Rides showroom ahead of the sale on Saturday December 5th.” Van Reenen says pre-registration with proof of identity and proof of address is essential for all bidders, and a R20 000 registration fee is required to participate in the sale. 

The auction will be conducted live and virtually online as well as via the High Street app on the day, starting at 11am sharp.  For more information on the classic cars in this exclusive sale, visit www.highstreetauctions.com or www.creativerides.co.za. The e-catalogue can be viewed at http://icandicq.co.za/HighStreetCar/