EXPLAINER | Here's why SA's biggest estate of collector cars will not go into a museum

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1979 Chevrolet Corvette (Image Supplied)
1979 Chevrolet Corvette (Image Supplied)

• One of the biggest car auctions in South Africa will take place on 5 December 2020.

• More than 140 vehicles will be auctioned, including a collection of rare Mercedes-Benz cars.

• The option to donate the vehicles to a museum would have been an injustice to the original owner's memory.

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In a few weeks, High Street Auctions will auction off one of the biggest car collections this side of the equator. The 140+ cars, belonging to the late Louis Coetzer, covers a wide variety of vehicles and models, including a selection of rare cars of the world's most extensive private collection of Mercedes-Benz vehicles. This collection, according to High Street Auctions, spans six decades of cars built by the great German automaker.

The auction is set to take place on 5 December 2020.

Following Coetzer's passing, it would have been easy to hand the collection of vehicles - more than 350 in total - to a museum, but Coetzer's daughter, Lida van der Merwe, says that this would have been an injustice to her father's memory.

READ: Take a look - Large collection of classic Mercs to be auctioned in SA

She said: "A lot of people have opinions about my dad's cars. Some suggested a museum as a memorial, but I don't think they realised how many cars we're talking about. 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 died having 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 cars were left to stand, they deteriorate. And if you knew my dad, you'd know that this would have saddened him."

1967 Mercedes-Benz 230S Fintail Station Wagon, one of a handful in South Africa and is believed to be the only one for sale in the world (Image Supplied)

A South African first

Joff van Reenen, director and lead auctioneer at High Street Auctions, says: "The sale on 5 December 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."

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

For the first time in a South African car auction, a virtual tour of every car will be available online. These tours have been created to accommodate enthusiasts who can't travel to Johannesburg between Monday 30 November and Friday 4 December 2020. The auction will be conducted live and virtually via the High Street app at 11:00, on 5 December 2020.

Visit High Street Auctions for an online tour of the vehicles.

1959 Chevrolet Kingswood Station Wagon (Image Supplied)

Compiled by: Charlen Raymond

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