A rare classic car auction will be held in Cape Town this weekend, where the headline model, a 1957 Daimler, is expected to fetch over R1 million.
As many as 30 classic cars and motorcycles will be up for bidding, described by High Street Auctions Cape Town Director and Auctioneer Stef Olivier as “one of the most spectacular collections of rare automobiles [I have] ever encountered.”
The auction will begin at noon on Saturday, April 23 at 179 Albert Road in Woodstock, Cape Town.
The headlining car at this weekend’s auction is a 1957 Daimler Conquest Drophead Coupe, of which fewer than 60 were ever made. It is therefore a highly sought-after model by classic car collectors, said Olivier.
The auction has already attracted bidders from several different countries, which Olivier said is likely to start an inter-continental bidding battle for “the holy grail of classic car acquisitions.”
“Very few [Daimlers] ever left the UK and as far as we know, this is the only one in South Africa,” he said.
Only two other auctions involving a Daimler have taken place in the last ten years.
One was in 2012 in the UK, where the car in question was sold for £50,000 (R991,000), and three years later RM Sotheby’s in the US sold another for $60,500 (R917,000).
“Now, seven years since collectors around the world last had an opportunity to acquire a 1957 model, it’s difficult to precisely value this vehicle. I think the sky’s the limit,” said Olivier.
When the Daimler first went on sale 65 years ago, its £1,895 price tag was equivalent to roughly 202 weeks of pay for the average salary in the UK.
Other standouts in the auction include a 1968 Triumph Bond Equipe GT – a car described as “revolutionary” for its sporty design, with a compact straight-six-cylinder engine that gave the car a top speed of 160km/h and a 0-100km/h time of 12 seconds.
The Triumph’s initial price of £1,095 was roughly equal to a year’s average gross household income in 1968.
Some of the oldest cars to be put under the hammer include a 1928 Austin 16-6 Doctors Coupe, a 1928 Willys Whippet Truck, and a 1931 Ford Model-T.
A nostalgic entry for many South Africans is a 1970 VW split-window Combi, which Olivier says is “as much a part of South Africa’s cultural DNA as boerewors.”
Bids can be made from the floor, via telephone, or through an app and other pre-arranged digital platforms, said Olivier.
The whole catalogue can also be viewed online, and participants wishing to take part must pre-register for the auction, which can be done here.