Buyers worldwide gear up to bid for Oom Louis’ classic automotive legacy

High Street Lead Auctioneer Joff van Reenen (R) primes his gavel for a 1953 Mercedes 300 Adenauer W186 with Creative Rides CEO Kevin Derrick

500 000 Online Auction Promo Views, Virtual Bidders Registered Across Four Continents

Eager classic car enthusiasts from Europe and the Middle East are jetting in to Johannesburg this week to personally inspect more than 140 choice automobiles from the late Louis Coetzer’s world-class collection that’ll go under the hammer on Saturday, December 5.

This matchless estate collector car auction – a joint venture between South Africa’s Creative Rides and High Street Auctions – includes a number of extraordinary American 1950s and 60s classics as well as spectacular muscle cars and a selection of rare models from one of the largest private international Mercedes Benz collections.

Public viewing of all the vehicles listed in the e-catalogue (http://icandicq.co.za/HighStreetCar/) opened on Monday, November 30, and will take place daily from 8.30am to 5pm until Friday, December 4, at Creative Rides located in The Posthouse Centre on the corner of Posthouse St & Main Rd in Bryanston, Johannesburg.

High Street Auctions Director and Lead Auctioneer Joff van Reenen confirms that The Posthouse Centre will also be the venue for Saturday’s auction that starts at 11am sharp, noting that Covid-19 protocols will apply to both viewing days and the sale.

“Considering the massive public interest in Oom Louis’ spectacular classic car collection we’re expecting a large influx.

“The online auction preview video has been watched half a million times in three weeks and downloads of the e-catalogue now number in the tens of thousands, which dwarfs the actual traffic volumes on the catalogue site,” says Van Reenen. 

“On a national level we’ve pre-registered scores of bidders from all nine provinces within South Africa, while myriad international bidders from North America, South America, Europe, the UK, the Middle East and other countries in Africa will be participating in the sale.”

Creative Rides Owner and CEO Kevin Derrick says considering Oom Louis’ passion for and vast knowledge of Mercedes Benz collector cars in particular, it’s not surprising that some of his favourites are the auction lots generating the most excitement among bidders across the country and the world. 

“One car Oom Louis treasured, with which he won countless awards over the years, is a 1958 Mercedes Benz 300 Dora W189. This four-door luxury tourer was the flagship of the brand in its day, offering features and performance that put it in direct market competition with deluxe brands such as Rolls Royce.

“Another auction standout is the 1953 Mercedes Benz 300 Adenauer W186, which at the time was the conveyance of choice for numerous heads of state. These cars were way ahead of their time; even in the 1950s offering buyers optional features such as VHF mobile phones and dictation machines,” says Derrick.

Other exceptional Mercedes Benz models on auction include:

  • A 1967 Mercedes Benz 230S Fintail Station Wagon, believed to be the only model of this kind in South Africa;
  • A 1957 Mercedes Benz Ponton 109 Station Wagon, believed to be the only model of this kind in the country; and
  • A 1964 Mercedes Benz Coupe 220SE.

Derrick says Oom Louis’ collector instincts weren’t confined to luxury German cars, though.

“Oom Louis’ motoring interests were wide-ranging and this is clearly demonstrated by the variety of vehicles going on auction on Saturday. There are vehicles to suit all investor levels from muscle cars that promise power and deliver on that promise in spades, to classic 1950s American cruisers and newer models that could well become future collector gems.”

Those highlighted by Derrick include:

  • Various early Chevrolet Impalas and Belairs;
  • A 1959 Chevrolet Kingswood Station Wagon;
  • A 1958 MG Magnette;
  • A 1962 Pontiac Parisienne Convertible; and
  • A 1979 Chevrolet Corvette.

Van Reenen says Lot 1 will be a major highlight of the auction; a Coetzer family tribute in remembrance of both Oom Louis and his wife Tannie Hermien in which all proceeds from the hammer fall will be donated to a charity nominated by the couple’s three children.

“It’s fitting that the car in question is a 1973 Chevrolet Ranger two-door coupe, a General Motors model manufactured from 1968 to 1978 and marketed as ‘South Africa’s own car’.

“For the first five years Rangers rolled off a production line in Port Elizabeth, and until GM hit a copyright conflict stylized springbok logos were integral to Ranger designs.

“It’s fitting for such an authentically South African car to be auctioned for charity to honour such an authentic and devoted South African automotive aficionado.”

Van Reenen says the auction on Saturday will combine live, telephonic and online bidding.

“Virtual bids will be taken via the High Street Auctions app (free downloads from the App Store and Google Play) as well as on Zoom. We’re strongly advising bidders to download the app and bid via that method, because only 150 people can be accommodated on the sales floor on Saturday according to Covid-19 protocols. The auction virtual stream will run on www.highstreetauctions.com from 11am.”