Ordinary South Africans among those now owning part of prized Coetzer car collection

Ordinary South Africans are among those in the world who now own some of the well-kept, clean and polished classic cars that belonged to renowned vintage car collector Louis Coetzer.

The 1964 Ford Thunderbird which formed part of Louis Coetzer’s collection sold for R800,000 at the High Street Auction.
Image: Supplied

They were among 276 local and international car lovers and classic car collectors who joined an online auction at the weekend to bid for some of the late Coetzer’s gems which were collected over decades.

High Street Auctions, which ran the auction virtually, said the sell-off attracted up to 126 international bidders while 140 were locals.

Lead auctioneer Joff van Reenen said just as they had never seen a collection of this size, they had also never seen a bidding attraction of this nature.

The online auction which was held at the weekend generated huge interest from both locals and international bidders.
Image: Supplied

“We’ve completed our web traffic audit from the launch of the auction marketing campaign in late October to the final hammer fall of the sale on Saturday, December 5, and the numbers are SA auction industry record-breakers.

“The first to note is the massive online viewership of the auction itself. High Street’s virtual auction platforms live-streamed the six-hour sale from start to finish on Saturday, with a now confirmed global audience of just over 10,500 individual viewers,” said Van Reenen.

“Second is the pre-auction promotional video that was uploaded to various social media platforms a month before the sale. During that one-month period the video was viewed more than 600,000 times,” he added.

“The Louis Coetzer estate collector car auction has without a doubt set the new market standard as to how collector cars should be bought and sold. It’s shown that the true value of collector cars can only be established on the auction block,” said Creative Rides owner and CEO Kevin Derrick. “The auction exceeded our expectations on every level; from the extraordinary amount of consumer interest, to the number of registered bidders, to the prices achieved,” he added.

The vehicle which sold for the highest amount was a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 Dora which, after fierce bidding, was sold for R1m.

Some big buys of the day also included a 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300 Adenauer W186 and a 1964 Mercedes-Benz 220 SE Coupe which went for about R900,000 each.

The 1964 Mercedes-Benz 220 SE Coupe sold for R900,000.
Image: Supplied

“The rare 1967 Mercedes-Benz 230S Fintail station wagon sold for R775,000, a 1965 Pontiac Catalina Convertible for R710,000 and a stunning 1964 Ford Thunderbird for R800,000,” Derrick added.

The majority of the cars were bought by foreign buyers and these cars were to now be shipped to their international destinations.

Of the dozens of cars sold at the weekend, the Coetzer family had set aside a 1973 Chevrolet Ranger two-door coupe that was to be auctioned for charity.

its bonnet. It was one of a few that were designed and produced in SA but the vehicles bearing the emblem stopped being produced after the SA athletic association argued copyright use of the springbok, which already belonged to the official rugby team.

This car sold for R130,000.

“A charitable donation raised from the sale of one of Oom Louis’ collector cars is a fitting tribute to mark the lives of such a remarkable couple,” said Derrick.

Coetzer and his wife Hermien died in a car accident in January.

The auction, however does not signal the end of his legacy: His family have so far only auctioned 140 of his 350 cars.

TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)

Naledi Shange