Three Alpina BMW models from the Plit collection will be auctioned by Coys of London. Picture: MARK SMYTH
Three Alpina BMW models from the Plit collection will be auctioned by Coys of London. Picture: MARK SMYTH

The announcement that there will be an international Coys of London auction at the Concours SA in August is exciting, but even more thrilling is the fact the auction will include 75 cars from the collection of well-known collector Wayne Plit.

The auction will be held at The Shed at Steyn City on Saturday, August 11, during the three-day Concours SA at the estate.

"This will be the first time in SA that an international classic car auction will be hosted," Concours SA co-organiser Greg Marucchi said.

The amazing collection of cars being put up for auction by Johannesburg-based Plit represents just a small portion of his collection that began in the late 1980s, starting with a 1964 Lancia Flavia coupe and followed by a Ford Escort RS 2000.

"My first car was a 1972 Volkswagen Beetle, which I took over from my father in 1981 [and that] already had about 500,000km on the clock," says Plit. "And I rebuilt that old boxer Beetle engine many times. So that’s where my passion began.

"You could say the 1964 Lancia Flavia Pininfarina coupe was my first bona fide classic. The Ford Escort RS 2000 that came next was followed by a BMW 333i, and after that well, with the success of my business ventures, I was able to accelerate my investment into classic and collectable cars.

This rare Singer that competed at Le Mans in the 1930s will be part of the auction. Picture: MARK SMYTH
This rare Singer that competed at Le Mans in the 1930s will be part of the auction. Picture: MARK SMYTH

"A year ago … the number that I owned had risen above the 250 mark. I employ five people just to keep them maintained and exercised, because you can’t let these old cars stand around or they’ll deteriorate. So, reluctantly, because I am truly addicted to these old cars, I have made the difficult decision to rationalise the collection."

The decision has been agonising, as he is passionate about each car in his collection.

"I am not a one-marque man. I enjoy a huge variety of classic cars, particularly those that originate from the 1970s and the 1980s, when many of these cars were in poster form on my bedroom wall. As I collected I became entranced by many other cars from earlier eras too. But yes, the time has come to refocus my portfolio."

Highlights include a 1935 Fox and Nicholl Singer Le Mans 2.0l Special. This car is one of only three Singer cars built by the famous Fox and Nicholl Race Car Company. The three cars had body numbers LM11, LM12 and LM13. This is LM11 and is evidently the only surviving car. Apparently, LM11 raced at the 1934 Le Mans and in various major UK events, until being brought to SA in 1938 by an RAF aircraft rigger on contract to the SAAF. The Singer LM11 was sold to a local Singer expert in 1965 and in 2007 to a collector in Cape Town, prior to being identified as something rather special, and incorporated into the Plit portfolio.

Original Mustang

An original unrestored 1968 Ford Shelby Mustang GT 500 — which still has its original paint, upholstery and trim — was imported to SA 48 years ago. Sporting the original trim and correct wheels, it has the unique patina of a car that has been lovingly cared for, but in the form it left the factory at the height of Carroll Shelby euphoria.

A 1950 Jaguar XK120 is possibly the oldest one in SA, finished in a beautiful off-white colour with red interior. This is the model that made Jaguar’s fine reputation for offering extremely fast sports cars at an affordable price. The roadster is the most beautiful and sought-after of the XKs. This particular car features in the book The Jaguar XK120 by John Elmgreen and Terry McGrath.

Another very rare model is a 1990 Porsche 964 RS N-GT racing car with its bare-metal interior, strengthened and seam-welded shell, alloy front boot lid, thinner glass and FIA welded-in roll cage. It sports Recaro race seats covered in flame-retardant Nomex, a Schroth race harness, plumbed-in fire extinguisher and an on-board cut-off switch. It also just happens to be road legal. It was one of only 290 models produced for a single-make racing series that never happened.

Other models include a trio of superb Mini Cooper models; a 1964 Ferrari 365GT 2+2 RHD, one of only 52 produced; eight Porsches; a Maserati Zagato Spider; five Lancias including a right-hand drive 16V Integrale; four Lotus cars; a rare Renault Alpine A110 1600S; a trio of BMW Alpina models; a trio of Fiat 500s; a 1961 Alvis TD21; a BMW Z1 and a Morgan Aero 8.

"This international auction is a natural fit for Concours SA, which will be running for the first time at the acclaimed Steyn City parkland estate from August 10-12," says organiser Paul Kennard. "It will be just one of the highlights of an exclusive weekend-long event that is attracting the cream of classic cars and enthusiasts in SA." Entries are limited to 100 cars.

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