Tuesday, January 18

1985 Alfa GTV 6 gets R1.1m in SA’s largest classic car auction


FIFI PETERS: If you are a fan of classic cars, you were probably at the biggest Vintage in Classic auction that took place this weekend in Johannesburg. The bidding wars, I am told, were insane, with the most expensive car sold for 1.1 million rand.

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Here to tell us more about the action that took place is Joff van Reenen, the Principal and Principal Auctioneer for High Street Auctions. Joff, thank you very much for your time. What car was it sold for in a bar and who bought it?

JOFF VAN REENEN: You make us sound like we’re all crazy. I think we should be. It was a crazy day. It was an absolutely crazy day. The record was broken by a very, very rare three-liter Alfa GTV 6, of which I think at this point only about 75 are known to exist.

FIFI PETERS: Very weird and very ugly IMHO. But I don’t know the value when it comes to classic cars. I imagine only the small supplier of this particular car, the Alfa, what, GT–?

JOFF VAN REENEN: The GTV.

FIFI PETERS: It is the small offer that made it worth so much, since I see that the initial offer was R200,000.

JOFF VAN REENEN: The auction got a little crazy. I think it’s also because they were only made with a three-liter engine in South Africa, because our crazy ancestors and probably some of our parents loved to race them. They are extremely collectible now because you just can’t find them.

FIFI PETERS: Wow. What were some of the other popular and top-rated vehicles that were bought and sold this past weekend?

JOFF VAN REENEN: The most popular were the rare South African V8 muscle cars: the Capri Corona, which is the only Capri in the world where Ford allowed our parents to install a V8 Mustang engine; then the Ford Fairmont GT, also with a V8 Mustang engine. These cars are extremely popular overseas, not only because of their power, but because everything they went into when they raced in the 1970s and 1980s won. Now once again, you can’t find them anymore.

FIFI PETERS: And it goes for R780,000 to around R900,000. Wow.

JOFF VAN REENEN: We had bidders from probably just over 12 countries: Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana and Zambia. There were even tenders from Indonesia, Somalia, England and Germany. It was crazy.

FIFI PETERS: I see this year’s auction broke last year’s record, any particular reason why?

JOFF VAN REENEN: People get really excited about cars, especially if your dad used to drive you in the back seat of one and you have very, very good memories. People grow up with good memories, and cars give them those memories. It is a very, very good investment. For the average car, if you talk to Creative Rides, where we had the auction, they are telling us that between 300% and 500% performance of your collector car every 10 years; and you can not only enjoy them, but you can also drive them with the family.

FIFI PETERS: That is a great return.

JOFF VAN REENEN: It is a great investment.

FIFI PETERS: My opinion on how the car looks is valid if you look at the performance it really gives you.

JOFF VAN REENEN: That is also true. We had 106 up for auction, from classic to crazy, as they would call it. Some of the cars I passed at auction would probably kill you if you had to set foot in them. As for some of the others, like the old Impalas from the sixties and fifties, you could probably fit about eight people in those two seater cars and just smoothly navigate the highway. There was something for everyone.

FIFI PETERS: Do you think that Covid-19 in a twisted way also helped the demand for these cars, given the fact that with the travel restrictions and also the restrictions on all forms of shopping at one stage, there were people sitting with a lot of money that could they? afford to splurge and go crazy [something] like this auction.

JOFF VAN REENEN: I completely agree with you. People have been locked up for too long and many of them now just want to spend their money, whether it’s putting it in gold or classic cars or buying dollars or buying shares on the JSE. Why buy shares in the JSE when you can drive a classic car while it appreciates in value? It’s a no-brainer and you can have a lot of fun with it. It is something very emotional for people. It is a very, very good investment. We’re already looking at the cars that we put on the block last year, where we auctioned 140 cars from the same collection, people are already putting them back on the market for more and getting those prices. So I think from the point of view of investment and people locked inside, a lot of people want to spend their money now, and if they can still spend in their country and have assets in the country, why not?

It was interesting to see that some of our local bidders outbid overseas, where the rand exchange rate is much, much stronger. Many of the best cars, for example the Alfa Romeo, will stay in the country.

FIFI PETERS: Amazing. Joff, we’ll leave it there. I feel like I can’t afford to have this conversation anymore; you are talking about money seriously. That was Joff van Reenen, director and chief auctioneer for High Street Auctions.


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