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Massive private collection of vintage & classic cars, as well as more than 100 000 items of collectables spares, to be auctioned in Western Cape

Massive private collection of vintage & classic cars, as well as more than 100 000 items of collectables spares, to be auctioned in Western Cape
  • ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME ESTATE AUCTION OF VINTAGE, CLASSIC AND BARN FIND VEHICLES, SPARES AND AUTOMOBILIA SET FOR NOV 9
  • NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN COLLECTION OF 100 000+ SPARES AND RARE CARS IN WINELANDS SALE

A mammoth auction with more than 500 lots of vintage and classic cars, barn finds, trucks, spares and automobilia comprising a single collection accumulated over 50 years from across the world, will be auctioned on-site in Stellenbosch just outside Cape Town, South Africa, on Saturday, November 9.

The hitherto private collection, which has never been shown in public in its entirety, comprises some 70 vehicles and more than 100 000 spares and parts from entire vintage engine blocks to chrome grills, and original dashboard gauges to headlight bulbs more than 50 years old and still in original packaging. 

Sedans, compacts, convertibles and trucks will be auctioned, encompassing an assortment of pristine, fully restored “runners” and exciting, rare “barn finds” that span six decades of European, British and American automotive design – the oldest of which is a 1928 Buick. 

The sale, a joint venture between Bidway Auction House in Cape Town and High Street Auctions headquartered in Johannesburg, will start at 10.30am on Saturday, November 9, in a purpose-built auction arena on an estate less than five kilometres from the landmark Polkadraai Strawberry Farm.  

Stef Olivier, South Africa’s 2018 Champion Auctioneer and MD of Bidway Auction House, says the gargantuan automobilia sale is the result of thousands of man hours and four months of sorting and cataloguing more than 100 000 individual items of spares and parts.

“The collection was spread over the entire farm in bits. A few of the ‘barn find’ vehicles were dotted across the fields, while others were stored in barns amidst mountains of spares, much of which remained undisturbed and untouched for two decades.

“It’s so far taken just over four months to gather together the collection, now being housed in three vast barns, sort the spares into categories and catalogue the thousands upon thousands of individual items into lots. 

“This is without doubt the most exciting original automobilia private collection ever to go under the hammer in South Africa. We also believe it’s the largest deceased estate and inheritance original classic car and barn find auction the country has seen in at least 20 years. 

”We know the sale is going to attract bidders from around the country and possibly from international enthusiasts as well, because some of the parts we’ve discovered simply don’t exist on the open market anymore, or if they do, could take years to source.” 

Olivier says the approximately 30 “barn find” vehicles dating from the 1930s to the 1960s, as well as the thousands of truck and car spares and auto body parts will be sold without reserve on the day. Among the barn finds are a 1959/60 convertible Karmann Ghia, Fords, Studebakers and Buicks.

Joff van Reenen, Lead Auctioneer and Director of High Street Auctions, says this remarkable automotive sale has been arranged by instruction of the executors administering the deceased Bester estate.

“What’s been increasingly astonishing over the past four months is realising the sheer scale of this collection, which took some 50 years to assemble and was solely for the pleasure of one fortunate family. A few of the restored vehicles were driven on the open road from time to time, but the complete collection has never before been made public.

“So passionate was the late owner’s love of all things automotive that he’d travel widely in South Africa and internationally to source rare gems, many of which were immaculately restored by dedicated automotive experts employed to run the workshop on the farm.”

Van Reenen says the dozens of spectacular left- and right-hand-drive “runners” going under the hammer include:

  • A 1954 Austin Healy 100 Series convertible;
  • A 1946 Peugeot 202 (believed to be the only one in South Africa); 
  • A 1928 Buick convertible,
  • A 1936 Ford Roadster;
  • A 1931 Ford Model A Phantom;
  • A 1969 MGB GT;
  • A 1964 Dodge Polara;
  • A 1971 Ford Mustang;
  • A 1948 Chevrolet convertible;
  • A 1933 Ford coupe;
  • A 1934 Ford V8 pick-up – one of an assortment of trucks and pick-ups going under the hammer on the day;
  • Numerous VW Beetles;
  • A 1954 Mercedes Ponton 180; and
  • A 1964 Chevrolet Impala convertible.

Van Reenen says professional and hobbyist restoration enthusiasts will also be at the auction en masse bidding for their dream projects among the “barn find” lots, which span decades of design and include Buicks, Pontiacs, Studebakers, Fords, Packards, Vanguards, Karmann Ghias and DeSotos. Four horse-drawn carriages will also be sold.

Olivier says among the thousands of spares discovered in the barns during the cataloguing process were hubcaps, radiators, headlamp globes and other items – some dating back to the 1920s – that had never been unwrapped or uncrated since the day they were originally purchased.

“We also found hundreds of cork gasket sets from the ‘40s and ‘50s still in their original wrapping, and a selection of never-used bespoke chrome hubcaps embossed with automotive company names such as Buick.”

He notes that the spares lots will include:

  • Some 30 engines dating from the 1930s to the 1950s including Dodge, Studebaker, Hudson, MG, Plymouth, Packard and Ford;
  • Approximately 15 gearboxes dating from the ‘30s to the ‘60s including Fiat, Chevrolet, Ford and Studebaker;
  • An estimated 100 chrome grills dating from the ‘30s to the ‘50s;
  • An estimated 100 front and rear chrome bumpers dating from the ‘30s to the ‘50s;
  • More than 1 000 hubcaps spanning decades, for dozens of models;
  • Approximately 200 tyres and rims including wooden-spoked and metal-spoked, as well as a full set of Porsche tyres, rims and hubcaps;
  • An estimated 100 headlamps of various types, including Bentley; etc; and
  • Approximately 50 automobile doors, some of them full sets including glass.

Van Reenen says on the day of the sale live bids, telephone bids, online bids and commission bids will be accepted, and the entire auction will be live-streamed on social media, Youtube, the High Street Auctions website and on the High Street app available free of charge on Google Play and the App Store.

“The refundable registration fee to participate in the auction is R20 000 and pre-registration is essential for the CPA and FICA conditions to be satisfied timeously. 

“Bidders need to provide proof of identity as well as proof of residential address that is no older than three months, in order to be FICA-compliant and eligible to participate in the sale.

“The auctioneers have been instructed to sell all the drivable vehicles to the highest bidder subject to consent of the executor and Master of the High Court.” 

Three viewing days will be held prior to the sale. Viewing hours have been designated as 10am to 4pm on November 6-8.

Van Reenen says: “The auction will be a fun day out for the whole family. All the action will be in the purpose-built, under-roof auction arena, but those attending will also enjoy a display of vintage and classic cars. Food trucks will sort out hunger pangs, and there will be ample public parking.” 

Details of the thousands of automotive items going under the hammer on November 9 will be available on the High Street Auctions website (www.highstreetauctions.com) and the Bidway Auction House website (www.bidway.co.za) later this week. For more information contact Olivier on (+27)82 823 2615, or Van Reenen on (+27)82 802 1366. 

More sale particulars will be released closer to the date of the auction.

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