Rare 1967 'fintail' Mercedes-Benz station wagon headlines classic car auction

1967 Mercedes Benz 230S Fintail Station Wagon. Image: Supplied
1967 Mercedes Benz 230S Fintail Station Wagon. Image: Supplied

• One of the country's biggest ever estate collector car auctions will take place on 5 December. 

• Over 140 classic cars will go under the hammer, including rare several rare Mercedes-Benz cars. 

• The collection of cars belonged to the late Louis Coetzer. 

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

According to High Street Auctions Director and Lead Auctioneer Joff van Reenen, the sale comprises a portion of the collection amassed by the late Louis Coetzer.

TAKE A LOOK | Large collection of classic Mercs to be auctioned in SA

"The sale on 5 December in proud association with Creative Rides will be one of South 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 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.

"His passion for and knowledge of Mercedes Benz collector cars in particular was unparalleled and it shows in the spectacular selection of Mercs that'll go on auction in December," Van Reenen says.

Among the vehicles going under the hammer at the Creative Rides showroom at the Post House Centre in Main Road, Bryanston, are:

• A 1958 Mercedes Benz owned by David Beresford Pratt, a South African businessman and anti-apartheid activist who shot Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd in 1960. Verwoerd survived, but was killed six years later by Dimitri Tsafendas.

• A 1964 Mercedes Benz Coupe 220SE

classic car auction

• A 1967 Mercedes Benz 230S Fintail Station Wagon, believed to be the only model of this kind in South Africa

classic car auction

• A 1958 Mercedes Benz 300

• A 1957 Mercedes Benz Ponton 190 Station Wagon, believed to be the only model of this kind in the country

classic car auction

• Various early Chevrolet Impalas and Belairs

• A 1959 Chevrolet Kingswood Station Wagon

classic car auction

• A 1958 MG Magnette

classic car auction

• A 1962 Pontiac Parisienne Convertible

• A 1979 Chevrolet Corvette

classic car auction

(All images supplied)

The decision to decide which cars will be auctioned has been a difficult process according to Louis' daughter Lida van der Merwe.

"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," she says.

"It would be a full-time 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," Van der Merwe commented. 

"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 deteriorate and if you knew my Dad you'd know that this would have saddened him," she concluded. 

Virtual tour of every vehicle is available

Van Reenen says in a South African car auction first, virtual tours of every vehicle will be available online – from exterior walk-around to interior and engine bay tours.

The virtual tours have been created for national and international enthusiasts who can't travel to Johannesburg between Monday November 30 and Friday December 4 to view the cars at the showroom prior to the auction on 5 December. 

The auction will be conducted live and virtually and via the High Street app at 11:00. 

Visit www.highstreetauctions.com for an online tour of the vehicles. 

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