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These rare SA cars to go under the hammer: 1962 Maserati 3500 GTi and 1956 Mercedes-Benz 180d Ponton Bakkie

2019-08-20 04:45

Stephan Welz & Co

1956 Mercedes-Benz 180d Ponton Bakkie

1956 Mercedes-Benz 180d Ponton Bakkie

One of Italy’s most classic cars, a 1962 Maserati 3500 GTi in tip-top condition and believed to be the only one in existence in South Africa, goes on auction by Stephan Welz & Co. on Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 August at Killarney Country Club. 

With an estimated price of R2 500 000 to R3 000 000, the 1962 Maserati 3500 GTi is ready to be driven.

It’s fully registered and licenced.

"It appears this Maserati model is the only one in existence in South Africa," says Stephan Welz & Co. classic car consultant Jack Rosewitz. “Maserati only made about 2 500 of the model, and there appear to be not many in existence, so the car on auction is very special.” 

1956 Mercedes-Benz 180d Ponton Bakkie
                                            

Image: Supplied

With a silver exterior resprayed to original factory colour and black leather and original interior, the car has Borrani mag wheels and an original working Voxon radio.  The Maserati 3500 GT was produced between 1957 and 1964 to establish the company as a manufacturer of road cars after its successes on the racetrack that included Juan Manuel Fangio’s fifth world championship at the wheel of a 250F. 

The 3500 GTi model was introduced in 1960 and by the following year became the first fuel-injected Italian production car. The Lucas fuel injection system in the car on auction has been overhauled. T

he fuel pump has been redone, the fuel tank epoxy coated, all fuel lines and pipes have been renewed, the radiator has been re-cored, the water pump and Girling brakes have been overhauled, all hoses replaced, and new clutch and pressure plate have been fitted. The car comes with original carpets and a new stainless-steel exhaust. 

1956 Mercedes-Benz 180d Ponton Bakkie 

And for car enthusiasts who believed that the 2018 launch of the X-Class Mercedes-Benz bakkie was a radical departure for the luxury car maker, a visit to the auction will put them right because they will find a 1956 Mercedes-Benz 180d Ponton Bakkie. 

Like the Maserati on auction the 1956 Mercedes-Benz 180d Ponton Bakkie is ready to roll. It’s been subject to a three-year  restoration by a marque specialist and it’s fully registered and licenced, with  an estimated price of R875 000 to R925 000. Most people, and especially those in bakkie-besotted South Africa, will be forgiven for thinking that the X Class launched by Mercedes-Benz last year was the luxury car makers first pick-up.

People in Windhoek, Namibia, know better. The  stone-grey 1956 Mercedes-Benz 180d Ponton Bakkie with red interior on auction was one of an initial 17 Ponton pick-ups originally commissioned by Daimler-Benz and coach-built by Sweiss Technic Nicol of Windhoek as a test marketing tool in the then Union of South Africa. Ponton was a nickname of a range of Daimler-Benz sedan models introduced in 1953, with the name derived from the German word for “pontoon” as a reference to the slab-sided, three-box, overall shape of the cars.

1962 Maserati 3500 GTi

Image: Supplied


The 1953 Mercedes-Benz W120 four-cylinder sedans, marketed as the 180, were Mercedes' first totally new series of passenger cars since World War II.  Various coach builders around the world were involved with the building of commercial variations of Ponton models, such as ambulances, station wagons, hearses, panel vans, bakkies and fire tenders.

These vehicles were built from Pontons delivered by the Mercedes-Benz factory in Stuttgart to coach builders as either two door or four door partial bodies.  Sweiss Technic Nicol in Windhoek built 18 bakkies from two door 180D partial bodies. A few have survived and one or two have been restored to exacting standards, including the one on auction.  

1962 Bentley S2A

1962 Bentley S2 Sedan on the auction is also registered and licenced and on the market with an estimated price of R800 000 to R850 000. The S2/ Cloud 2 cars marked the dawn of a new era for Bentley/Rolls Royce with the introduction of the 6.3l L series V8 motor. The 1962 S2 on auction is in old English white with navy blue Connolly hide interior and burl walnut woodwork.

It is fitted with rear picnic tables, air conditioning, automatic gearbox, adjustable rear ride control, electric windows and power steering as well as a period correct AM/FM radio. 

Other car highlights include: a 1965 Mercedes-Benz 280S, estimated value R90 000 - R120 000, a 1963 Mercedes-Benz WIII 220SE Coupe, estimated value R550 000-R750 000 and a 1981 MGB Roadster, estimated value R160 000 - R180 000. 

The Stephan Welz & Co. Fine Art and Design auction takes place on Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 August at Killarney Country Club, Johannesburg. Viewings for this auction will take place from Friday 23 until Sunday 25 August 10am-5pm (Jewellery and Watches packed away at 4.30pm). 

Walkabout with Luke Crossley - Saturday 24 August at 11am. 

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