Collectibles look for new owners
The classic car auction scene is set to be rather busy during the next week
THOUSANDS of car enthusiasts, collectors and onlookers will this weekend descend on the city of George to attend the annual George Old Car Show. The popular show is a huge draw card for both local and international visitors.
Run by the Southern Cape Old Car Club, the show features a range of cars dating from the early days of motoring right up to the most recently produced vehicles. There are exhibits of model cars, stationary engines, tractors and motorcycles, as well as a hall filled with model car collections. Last year, more than 11,000 people attended the show.
The House of Classic and Sports Cars in Knysna will hold another auction of vintage, classic and sportscars at the event. The list of vehicles for the auction is subject to change, but submissions include a 1959 Wolseley 1.5, 1985 Jaguar XJS V12 HE, 1939 Hillman Minx, 2008 Austin Healey Cooper Replica, 1977 Austin Mini Clubman, 1936 Ford 4-door Sedan, 1961 Volvo PV544 B18, 1928 Hupmobile, 1941 Chevrolet 4-door Sedan, 1952 Opel Kapitan, 1927 Chevrolet Truck 1.5T, 1965 Ford Cortina 4-Door, 1948 Ford Anglia Sedan, 1974 Ford F250 Truck, 1957 DKW Motorcycle and a 1960 Triumph motorcycle.
Viewing starts at 9am and the auction is at 1pm on Saturday.
Another auction will see a gorgeous Mercedes 190SL on the auctioneer’s floor. Grace Kelly, Alfred Hitchcock, Ringo Starr, Miles Davis and Sheryl Crow all drove one: the Mercedes Benz 190SL is known as the car of the rich, the famous and the aristocratic, and a 1960 model of this mid-century classic valued at R1.4mR1.8m will go on auction in Cape Town at Stephan Welz and Co next Tuesday.
“The two-door sporty luxury roadster is one of the world’s most collectable cars, and its value internationally is climbing like crazy,” said Jack Rosewitz of Stephan Welz and Co. “It’s a left-hand drive, meaning it could just as easily be driven off by a European or American as a South African. This is the first 190SL to be auctioned in SA in some time.”
The 190SL was the most popular of the Mercedes-Benz models in its era. It was introduced as a good-looking yet more affordable alternative to the 300SL, sharing its basic styling, engineering, detailing and fully independent suspension. It is said that the 190SL was born of pressure from Max Hoffman, an American entrepreneur and successful importer of European brands. Hoffman wanted a street version of the 300SL racer to sell and, ultimately, in 1955 Mercedes-Benz followed through with the 190SL.
The 190SL was the roadster that came to symbolise the good life. It’s reputed that American jazz musician Miles Davis once raced the Baroness Pannonica “Nica” de Koenigswarter-Rothschild’s Bentley down New York’s Seventh Avenue in his 190SL. Another notorious 190SL owner was German call girl Rosemarie Nitribitt, who was found murdered in her apartment in 1957. Her murder and its investigation caused a scandal which exposed numerous prominent Germans.
The car to be auctioned in Cape Town has a less notorious past, having been owned by the same owner for many years. Like all the 190SLs, it was fully built in Germany. It is white with a red leather interior, folding roof and original radio, jack and spare wheel. Freshly painted, it is in immaculate condition.
The auction will take place in The Great Cellar, Alphen Estate, Constantia next Tuesday and Wednesday. Pre-auction viewing is open until this Sunday.
Top: A beautiful Mercedes-Benz 190SL will go under the hammer in Cape Town. A 1952 Opel Kapitan, left, will be one of many vehicles auctioned at the George Old Car Show.