RARE MERCEDES TO BE AUCTIONED: This red 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SL Pagoda could fetch R2.4-million. Image: Stephan Welz & Co
Johannesburg - With classic cars providing record returns on investment, collectors will be spoiled for choice with rare automobile icons up for auction in South Africa later in November.
Auctioneers, Stephan Welz & Co, are offering, among other items, a 1959 soft-top Chevrolet Corvette, a 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible and a race Cobra race car owned by deceased South African cricket player Clive Rice.
The 'Fine Art and Collectables' auction will take place in Johannesburg from November 22-23. Collectively, the cars featured could fetch R5.6-million.
The most sought-after item is likely to be a 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SL Pagoda with could fetch R2.5-million.
Stephan Welz & Co consultant and classic car specialist, Jack Rosewitz, expects bidding to be intense during the classic cars session of the auction. Classic cars appreciated in value by 469% over the 10-year period to 2014, outperforming coins at 254% and art at 226%, according to a Knight Frank survey.
Rosewitz says: "Since the survey, clasic cars have further appreciated. A Cape Town dealer is offering a Mercedes-Benz 280SL Pagoda for R3.5-million, so our estimated price of between R1 800 000 and R2 500 000 is something of a bargain, though I wouldn’t be surprised if the selling price exceeds expectations."
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1965 Ford Mustang Convertible: R1 200 000 - R1 400 000
The candy apple red, V-8 automatic 289 engine 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible with original black leather seats has been “meticulously restored to concourse condition”, says Rosewitz. Introduced in April 1964 and dubbed as a "1964½" by Mustang fans, the 1965 Mustang, with its long bonnet and short deck, proved wildly popular and inspired a host of imitators, which it has easily outlived and is now in its sixth generation.
Its estimated price on auction is R1 200 000 to R1 400 000.
Another muscle car will also go sale, in the form of a classic Corvette. With only 101 000km on the clock, the 1959 black Chevrolet Corvette with a white soft-top, 3-speed manual transmission, Hi Lift camshaft and dual four barrel carburettors goes on auction with an estimated price of R1400 000 - R1500 000.
Cobra race car (raced by Clive Rice): R220 000 - R280 000
Another highly collectible car on auction is a Cobra race car once owned and raced by former South African cricket captain Clive Rice, who passed away in 2015 after a battle with cancer.
With an estimated price of between R220 000 and R280 000, the car was built in South Africa and emulates the classic AC Cobra by Shelby. Powered by an Edelbrock 400 Chev engine, the car has a hardtop, roll cage and an extra set of racing tyres.
1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SL Pagoda: R1.8-million - R2.5-million
The 2778cc engine of this red 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SL Pagoda with tan colour interior has been fully restored by a qualified German technician, with a compression test indicating that it is factory standard. The hardtop car is in “superb condition”, says Rosewitz, with a 5-speed ZF manual gearbox and 4-wheel independent suspension. “Any classic car collector must have a Pagoda in their collection,” he said.
Classic car prices in SA
The rising value of classic cars is illustrated by the record price achieved at a Stephan Welz & Co auction for a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K. The car was sold in 2007 for R7.4-million and the auction house estimates its value at R15-million today.
A 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190SL sold for R2.2-million in 2014 is now worth R2.6-million, and the value of a 1957 Chevrolet Corvette sold for R900 000 in 2013 has risen to over R1.6-million.