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Five interesting Porsche results from the Monterey auctions

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Article by Rob Sass
Lead photo courtesy RM/Sotheby's

The Monterey auctions that concluded two Saturdays ago always include a huge number of Porsches. This year, other than the ex-Jo Siffert 917K selling for $14,080,000, there was no over-arching Porsche story like, for example, 2012, when prices of long-hood 911s began to climb in anticipation of the model’s 50th anniversary.  Here are five results that for one reason or another caught our eye. All prices include the 10% auction company buyer’s premium. 


1987 Porsche 924S — $20,900 (Lot # T79 Mecum Auctions)


Photo courtesy Mecum

Let’s get it out of the way first: This was a lovely car. Zermatt Silver with black Porsche-script seats and just 43,000 miles. It presented like the well-cared-for low-mileage car that it was. But still, this is closing on 944 S2 money — and this wasn’t even a scarcer 1988 model 924S with more horsepower. Maybe it’s a sign of things to come, but for the time being, cars like the can still be had for around $13,000. Well sold.


1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet — $53,900 (Lot # T108 Mecum Auctions)


Photo courtesy Mecum

Like the ’87 924S, this was a lovely car that oozed good care and careful maintenance. It came with all records from new, including those for oil changes every 800 to 2,000 miles. The colors of Venetian Blue and black were attractive as well and the car had just over 41,000 miles. Oh, and of course, it was a G50 gearbox car. Nearly every 3.2 Carrera box checked with the exception of body style. Coupes seem to be all that 911 buyers really get excited about these days. If it had been a closed car, it might have nudged $60,000, but it wasn’t and it didn’t. So that’s that. Let’s call this one slightly well-bought. 


2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 — $407,000 (Lot #39 Gooding & Company)


Photo courtesy Gooding & Co.

Just 158 of these were sent to North America, and black cars numbered in the double digits. It’s as desirable a late-model 911 as one can imagine and, as a 997 variant, it’s one of the prettiest of the recent Rennsport models. It was expected to hammer between $525,000 and $575,000. It sold for just $407,000 with the buyer’s premium. Somebody got a terrific deal here. 


1956 Porsche 356A Speedster — $280,500 (Lot #5 Gooding & Company)


Photo courtesy Gooding & Co.

This was as charming an A Speedster as you could imagine. If I’d had a spare quarter million or so hanging around, I’d have raised my paddle. Just one California owner since 1957, every scrap of paper including a logbook with fuel fill-ups and period photos was included. The bidders responded in a workmanlike fashion and the car finished almost spot in the middle of its pre-sale estimate of $250,000 to $300,000. Still, it seemed like just a fair result for all of that wonderful history. Rusty barn find Speedsters needing everything have brought more recently. It just goes to show that Speedster buyers want their cars two ways — dusty and with the optional raccoon nest and yellowed newspaper option package or flat-out perfect. 


1951 Porsche 356 1500 Coupe — $1,017,000 (Lot # 247 RM/Sotheby’s)


Photo courtesy RM/Sotheby's

This may well have been one of the wildest results in Monterey. Don’t get me wrong, this was a great car, but by no means perfect. It may well have been a record price at auction for a pushrod, normal production 356. It exceeded its pre-sale estimate by about $300,000 during an auction cycle when low- to mid-estimate sales are the norm. The only explanation here was that two passionate bidders squared off and one of them didn’t blink until the $1 million mark.

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