Johannesburg - R1.1 MILLION.
That’s the staggering amount a South African man has splashed out to land one of the most sought after vintage cars on auction in Bryanston, Johannesburg, last weekend.
A bidding-war ensued between a South African and an Australian last weekend at the biggest vintage and classic car auction of the year in South Africa, with the South African eventually walking away with the highly-prized 1985 Alfa GTV 6 3L.
Bidding of the SA muscle car began at R200 000 and rose all the way to R1.1 million, the largest amount of money paid for any car at the much anticipated Legends and Classics Auction held at the Creative Rides showroom in Bryanston.
More than 106 collector cars and motorcycles were sold at the thrilling auction that smashed records set at the Louis Coetzer Collector Car Auction last year, while the auction pulled in a virtual global audience of 15 000 viewers.
High Street Auctions director and lead auctioneer Joff van Reenen, who led the Legends and Classics Auction, said he was delighted by proceedings.
“The star lot of the day was without doubt the Alfa GTV 6, which was also the last lot in a packed catalogue of some of the rarest collector cars I’ve ever seen,” said Van Reenen.
“Lot 106 was a trans-Atlantic bidding war between collectors in Australia and South Africa and the bids climbed rapidly from R200 000, with the hammer eventually falling at R1.1m.
“The good news is this extremely rare 3 litre beast that was originally designed for the Group 1 local racing circuit is going to be staying in South Africa.”
After the Alfa the highest prices achieved on the day were R915 000 for a 1960 Chevrolet El Camino; R900 000 for a 1972 Ford Fairmont GT; R825 000 for a 1966 Ford Mustang Notchback; R800 000 for a 1970 Mercedes Benz 300 SEL; and R780 000 for a 1971 Ford Capri Perana.
Two other stand-out lots with fierce international bidding were for a 1958 Chevrolet Apache and a 1953 Mercedes-Benz W186 Model 300 Adenauer, both of which achieved sale prices of R600 000.
Van Reenen said he wasn’t surprised by the demand for the Alfa GTV 6.
“We knew ahead of time from the bidder registrations that there was huge interest in this car and the other SA muscle cars so we weren’t surprised by the demand, but we were a little surprised by the price achieved.
“It does go to show the strength of the South African classic car market, though, and specifically the strength of demand for South African-made legends.”
American muscle cars also proved to be popular at the auction, said Van Reenen
“The Impalas, anything and everything V8, all the South African legends and a couple of little gems like the Can-Am and the two MGs, as well as the V8 classic trucks. Collectors love SA and American muscle cars; they were very popular at the auction.”
Some 80% of the buyers at this year's auction were South African, according to Van Reenen.
“The breakdown of the SA buyers was the majority originating from Gauteng, with the second strongest showing from the Western Cape.
“The remainder of the classic cars were bought by collectors in England, Australia, New Zealand, Zambia and Botswana, and we’ll be shipping those vehicles to their new owners in the next few weeks.”
Numerous bidders also made multiple purchases at the auction, said van Reenan, with one very avid local collector snapping up eight cars for his private collection.
“Several buyers have indicated to us that their purchases this weekend will be going to private car museums across the country.”
Van Reenen notes that while strict Covid protocols limited attendance at the live sale to 150 bidders, scores more were bidding online throughout the day, while the 15 000-strong global audience of the livestream broke last year’s viewing record by 3 000.
“We had a capacity turnout on the sales floor in Bryanston given our limits determined by Covid protocols, so we couldn’t be happier.
“Most of our bidding came from online as we expected. Our total virtual audience for this auction was through the roof, though, with 15 000 people watching from all over the world. This broke last year’s December car auction viewing record by 3 000 people.
“The auction was an absolute triumph; there was something for everyone. For both buyers and sellers, everybody was very pleased with what they bought and sold.”