31 March 2024

Bidders battle online in 10-day Louis Coetzer Lost Barn Find Collection Auction

Submitted by: Sam Bartlett
Bidders battle online in 10-day Louis Coetzer Lost Barn Find Collection Auction

Bidders are still queuing to join the more than 200 classic car collectors, barn find hunters and restorers already signed up for the 276-lot Louis Coetzer Lost Barn Find Collection 10-day, online-only auction that went live on Monday, March 25th. 

The auction comprises approximately 150 cars that will delight collectors, but it is also unquestionably the most significant South African sale ever for barn find hunters, restorers and anyone looking for original engines, extremely rare spares or original body panels and trim, says Creative Rides Director and Lead Auctioneer, Joff van Reenen. 

“We expected a lot of interest in these lots because they were first discovered locked away in Barkly East more than three years after Oom Louis and his beloved wife Hermien passed in 2020, but the amount of global attention focused on this sale has even surpassed our expectations. 

“Global collectors are fascinated by the fact that most of these lots were stored indoors for decades. They’ve been kept safe from the elements and – at an altitude of 1 800m above sea level – free of rust as well. You’d struggle to find anything comparable on the open market.”

Van Reenen says scores of pre-auction registrations were processed from across South Africa and around the world, but since the sale went live this week the number of bidder applications has surged. 

“We’ll be accepting registrations throughout the auction up to and including the final day of bidding, which closes at 8pm Central African Time on Wednesday, April 3rd. 

“We decided to level the playing field and give collectors everywhere a chance to bid on this historic collection after receiving numerous inquiries from international buyers who’d recently read articles about Oom Louis’ lost barns in Barkly East and wanted to register for the auction. 

“Oom Louis Coetzer’s Lost Barn Find Collection has made news headlines in 17 countries on five continents, incredibly translated by media outlets into 13 languages. This exposure has resulted in the auction teaser reel being viewed a million times.”

Creative Rides CEO Kevin Derrick says this auction marks the third auction chapter of cars in the remarkable Coetzer Estate Collection, and vehicles are still to come. 

“In December 2020, international collectors were introduced to the unassuming Oom Louis’ 50-year automotive affair when Creative Rides held the first of two Coetzer estate sales that together saw 286 remarkable vehicles pass into the hands of a new generation of classic car lovers. 

“At the time, the Coetzer estate was known to comprise more than 400 vehicles and among the auctioned classics were numerous rare models from one of the world’s largest private collections of Mercs.

“The discovery of the hitherto undocumented collection in Barkly East cements the late Oom Louis Coetzer’s place in history as amassing the biggest individual car collection ever chronicled in South Africa.”

Derrick says the auction currently underway includes an array of vehicles that track 50 years of automotive design and performance evolution from manufacturers around the world. 

“Collectors should look out for never-before-seen Mercedes Benzes, Chevrolets, Novas, Fords, Cadillacs and Alfas, among the lots.

“Although the cars have been standing for decades, many are complete and are a treasure trove for rare parts still in very good condition.”

Derrick says the 10-day, online-only auction opened on the Creative Rides app on Monday, March 25th.

“The app is a free download on both iOS and Android. Quick links are also available on www.creativeridesauctions.com. The app is the only platform on which bids will be accepted and the bidding currency worldwide is in South African rands (ZAR).

“Bidding registration is also through the app.”

The Louis Coetzer Lost Barn Find Collection auction will close at 8pm CAT on Wednesday, April 3rd, and successful buyers – those with the highest bids at the end of the sale – will be notified the following day.

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