Col­lectibles look for new own­ers

The clas­sic car auc­tion scene is set to be rather busy dur­ing the next week

Business Day - Motor News - - MOTOR NEWS - MO­TOR NEWS RE­PORTER

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.

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