Car enthusiasts around the globe have their sights set on Montecasino in Johannesburg next month where some of the world’s rarest models will feature among 200 showpiece lots in South Africa’s biggest ever collector car auction.
September 23 and 24 will see more than 100 years of automotive engineering go under the hammer, with Creative Rides Classic & Collectibles Auctions’ record-breaking catalogue featuring cars from four continents.
“Chances are if you have a dream car, it’ll be on show and on auction at Montecasino’s Outdoor Event Area next month,” says Creative Rides CEO Kevin Derrick.
“The late addition of two collections bumped up what was to be a one-day sale to an entire weekend of steel eye candy showcasing Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, BMW, Mercedes, Alfa, Jaguar, Jeep, VW, Nissan, Chevrolet, Ford, Pontiac, Cadillac and Rolls Royce, among others.”
Derrick says besides the scale of next month’s auction, what sets it apart is the sheer number of rare and highly desirable collectables on offer – more than at any other single sale in SA history.
“Cars tend to be extremely collectable when limited numbers of a specific model were produced, and we have several examples in the catalogue. Among cult classics, a few more might have left the factory floor, but sheer demand drives the market.
“Condition is also very important, and in that regard September’s auction is going to be the best yet.”
European Dream Machines
Creative Rides MD Shane Kirby says dozens of queries are fielded every day about the auction’s German, Italian and British lots, but the stand-out “dream cars” are easy to identify by volume.
“Dream” European cars include:
- A 1964 Jaguar E-Type 3.8 Series 1 – one of at least two E-Types on the block next month. Kirby says: “When the Series 1 launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 1961, Enzo Ferrari called it the most beautiful car he’d ever seen, and for more than 60 years collectors around the world have agreed with him. The Series 1 is widely considered to be the most valuable of the E-Types.” Hagerty’s valuation aggregator sets a concours average of more than R6.5 million for 1964 E-Type S1s, and Kirby says September’s auction model is impeccable.
- A BMW E46 M3 CSL – the early 2000s Bavarian blinder rated as one of the most collectable Beemers in the world. Kirby says the CSL on auction is incredible at every level: “It’s in pristine condition, with 26 682km on the clock. Of the global total of 542 right-hand drives produced, only 65 were exported to SA, and all the cars were numbered. The auction car is the numbers-matched 14/65.” Seven months ago, an original condition M3 CSL with 23 000km on the clock sold at auction in Europe for just over R4 million. Three months ago, another one with 78 000km on the clock fetched R3.1m - also in Europe.
- Two BMW Z3 M hard top coupes – among only 821 right-hand drive models built out of a total of 6 291. Kirby says the hard top coupes are highly collectable because fewer than 190 were exported to SA. These high-performance cars are fitted with S50 3.2L Evo engines.
- A 1984 Lamborghini Jalpa – Kirby says: “Despite the myopia of popular car culture, the Countach wasn't the only Lamborghini made in the 1980s. In fact, with 410 produced, the Bertone-designed Jalpa was the most popular entry-level Lamborghini until the Gallardo's arrival in the early 2000s.” According to LamboCars.com, auction prices for concours-condition Jalpas can exceed R2.5m.
- A 2007 Porsche GT3 RS 997 – A supercar that will truly set your pulse racing! Kirby says it takes just 13.3 seconds to hit to 200km per hour in this beast, which maxes out at a heart-stopping 310km per hour. “It sports two lightweight bucket seats made of carbon fibre composite, a bolted roll cage, a six-point seatbelt for the driver and a fire extinguisher. The interior is finished in high-quality Alcantara leather. The model on auction has less than 50 000km on the clock.”
Born in the USA
Derrick says American manufacturers also produce their fair share of “dream cars”, and the most popular models in SA auctions are V8s with grunt.
“But for collectors not all muscle is equal. Cult classics define value for some, while others seek both design and rarity. The US collection in September’s auction caters to both.”
Derrick says the top US lots are:
- A 1963 Corvette C2 Split Window coupe – 1963 was a watershed year in Corvette history for several reasons, including that it was the only year that the split-window coupe was produced, and that it marked the first introduction of the iconic Stingray genre. Only 10 594 split-window coupes ever left the factory floor, placing them among the most collectable and desirable V8-powered prizes for muscle car aficionados.
- A 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air “bubble top” – believed to be the only of its kind in the country. The “Bubble Top” – named for its narrow C pillar top with a large, expansive rear window – is a coveted and exceedingly rare model. Derrick says Chevrolet officially calls it a Hardtop Sports Coupe, and records indicate that only 9 600 Bel Air Bubble Top V8s came off the factory floor in 1962. “The pristine model on auction is black with an oxblood interior.”
- A 1959 Chevrolet El Camino – According to Classic.com, the five-year average sale price for this model is around R1.2m, with a top price of R2.75m set in that time. Derrick says the first-generation Chevrolet El Camino was a coupé utility vehicle produced in 1959 and 1960. “Unlike a pickup truck, the El Camino was adapted from a two-door station wagon platform that integrated the cab and cargo bed into the body. Since the 5.35m-long model's gargantuan, wing-shaped rear fins took up so much space, the payload bed itself was only about 1.8m long. The El Camino was more about style and performance than it was about working.”
- A 1963 Chevrolet Corvette C2 convertible roadster – the product of more than a half-decade’s worth of research both on and off the track. “The 2nd generation Corvette literally evolved from a race car – namely the Stingray racer that Bill Mitchell created (and privately funded),” says Derrick. “While nobody could have predicted it then, the C2 Corvette would become one of the most desirable – and most collectible – Corvettes of all time. In 1963 10 919 convertibles were built, with more than half offering lift-off hardtops. Our auction model is top class and comes with hardtop included.” In concours condition, Hagerty sets the value of these V8s at R2.7m.
- A 1955 Thunderbird with Continental kit – If you want the most desirable model based on rarity, the first generation 1955 Ford Thunderbird is it. According to Hagerty, 16 155 were built in 1955 and today the average value of the few that are still in excellent condition is in excess of R1.2m. Derrick says: “Our ’55 Thunderbird is exquisite; a dream acquisition that collectors are unlikely to find again.”
Saving the Best for Last
There’s only one car in September’s sale, though, that Derrick describes as “the automotive equivalent of discovering the Cullinan Diamond” – and it happens to be South African through and through.
“Given the limited production, the fact that they’re 40-plus years old and how many were crashed, trashed and rebuilt, there shouldn’t be a numbers-matching Gusheshe left on the road – but there is, and Creative Rides has it.”
- The 1991 BMW 325 iS Evo2 is one of four Gusheshes going under the hammer, but it is the only numbers-matching model of this SA cult classic that Derrick has ever seen. “There’s no doubt it will be a prize lot that exceeds one of the most hotly contested sales in our December 2022 auction, which saw another of these (non-matching) classics sell for R900 000.” Built exclusively for the SA market, BMW only ever produced some 500 Gusheshes.
Kirby says says the auction e-catalogue be available this week at https://creativeridesauctions.com/.
“The catalogue will also be available on the Creative Rides app, which is free on Android and iOS. Collectors who can’t be at the auction, can bid remotely via the app.
“The two-day auction will also be live-streamed on the Creative Rides website, as well as our social media channels. To preview the sale, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRD7561PNtI.
“Registration for the auction is open on the app and online.”