I'm a little embarrassed to say that I hadn't heard about this sale until after it'd already occurred. No matter, though, as this sale had four very nice Porsche cars up for bid, and while one was a no-sale, the rest of them sold for very good money. We're going to take a look at each of these cars in a little more depth and see if we can determine whether they were a better deal for the buyer or the seller. Being in London in late autumn, I can't imagine the weather was all that nice for this sale, but once the champagne was flowing, I'm sure the bidding paddles were popping up left and right. So here they are, the 2014 Bonhams' Bond Street London Auction Results, enjoy!
Lot #23 - Ex-Porsche Werks 908/02 'Flunder' Langheck Sports Racing Prototype (Chassis #908.02-05)
Sold at $3,421,453 including premiums
After a 1968 season of using the 908 Coupe's aerodynamic body to excellent effect, the Porsche factory changed up their design and decided instead to throw their efforts behind an open-top car some 200ish pounds lighter than the coupe for 1969. The car was a safe bet for Porsche, using the same 3.0 liter flat-eight that they'd used in '68, still developing around 350 horsepower, to shove the 908/02 around. All three factory cars suffered failures at the season-opening Daytona 24. Further issues at Sebring kept Porsche out of the winner's circle.
This particular Porsche made its debut at Sebring that year at the hands of Elford and Attwood with a more traditional 'spyder' body. Those persistent 'issues' kept them from placing well, finishing only 7th overall. From there, the car was paraded around to lots of different tracks and driven by lots of different drivers. Elford used it as a test car at Targa Florio. It was loaned to BG Racing for Hans-Dieter Dechent and Gerhard Koch to drive at the Osterreichring.
In 1970, the spyder bodywork was ditched in favor of this new 'flunder' bodywork, named after a Sole or Flounder flat fish. Dechent was able to finagle a contract with Martini and Rossi for the season, and Porsche took the car back to Sebring to start the season with Larrousse, Attwood, and Koch. For the second year, this chassis finished 7th overall. A 1000k race at Brands Hatch saw a pair of Gerhards (Koch/Larrousse) finish 6th. Larrousse and Rudi Lins would pair in the car and suffer trouble at Monza, finishing 14th. Targa Florio gave them 13th, Spa saw 9th overall, and a strong 6th at the Nurburgring.
1970 Le Mans was a good year for Porsche, finishing 1-2-3 in their first ever overall victory at the famed 24 hour race. This chassis, now featuring a long-tail on its flunder, is the -3 in that 1-2-3. Dechent hired Helmut Marko to co-drive with Rudi Lins, and the pairing performed quite well, so too did the chassis. The white-over-red Salzburg 917 stole the show taking overall honors, and it was followed by the beautiful Martini lang-heck 917, but the Martini sponsored Flunder took third overall and won its 3.0 liter sports car category. Porsche was elated, to say the least.
After the Le Mans victory, 908/02-05 was transported to New York where it took 7th in the 6-hour race at Watkins Glen. Larrousse and Lins then took another impressive third at the Osterreichring 1000 Kms.
For 1971, Porsche and the Martini team sold the chassis to a privateer team called Auto Usdau. The car then went on to contest the World Championship, where it failed to finish with engine trouble at Buenos Aires, finished tenth at Brands Hatch, crashed out of contention at Monza, finished 25th overall at the Nurburgring with consistent issues, and then suffered a gearbox failure at Le Mans.
The flounder was quickly purchased by Jo Siffert and leased to Solar Productions for Steve McQueen's Le Mans, essentially used as a moving prop. It appeared in many scenes wearing the Martini International Racing Team livery that it was sold wearing just last week.
When Siffert died, ownership of 05 was moved along to Swiss collector Hans Grell who kept it in his private museum of more than 120 cars. Peter Monteverdi, another Swiss collector then purchased the car before selling to Ernst Schuster, then it moved all the way to Napa, California to the collection of Julio Palmaz. An undisclosed owner purchased the car from Palmaz, who sold the car to a private business, and it was the business which brought the car to auction. Whew, that's a long list.
Supposedly the entire car is original, though presumably the engine and transmission have been replaced after respective failures in 1971. Additionally, the Langheck tail had to be replaced somewhere along the line. Aside from that, the nose section, doors, floors, and everything else are all correct for the car and are original to the chassis. The engine that is with the car was recently rebuilt by ex-works Porsche specialist Gustav Nietsche.
At just over $3 million dollars, this 908 was well sold, but they buyer was smart to spend that, as no other 908 can stake the claim of winning its class at Le Mans in 1970. This car is a piece of history, driven by some of the best drivers in their day. Whoever got the car should be proud to display it.
Lot #9 - One-Owner, Low Mileage 1988 Porsche 959 Komfort
Sold at $791,372 including premiums
I was afraid that 959s had all become million dollar plus cars after the results we saw at auctions earlier in 2014. This one, however, sold for less than half what one brought at Monterey this summer. It's sort of crazy to think of almost $800 grand being a bargain for a car, but in this case, I think this one was very well bought.
This is a one-owner (well, two-owners now) Porsche supercar with extremely low miles, fewer than 17,000 miles to be precise. Additionally, it's presented in a very original, very pristine condition. According to the original buyer, the car was used a handful of times to drive back and forth between his business in Bologna, Italy and his home in Stockholm, Sweden. The car was recently subjected to a full service at Porsche of Sweden and warrants a description of "generally excellent condition". The car was sold with a full original tool kit, the owner's handbook, and original registration papers.
Whoever ended up with this beautiful and rare white on red 959 got a real bargain. At the rate these Porsches keep increasing, the new owner could probably double the mileage on the odometer in a year, and still double down on his investment.
Lot #22 - 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS Touring
No Sale - Pre-Auction Estimate $860,000 - 1,000,000
A surprising no-sale, this Carrera 2.7 RS looks like an absolutely stunning machine. I can't imagine why nobody thought it worth dropping 7 figures. With some of the prices Carreras have been fetching this year, this one would have been a really good buy at around $900,000 unless, of course, there was something seriously wrong with it.
This Carrera was originally delivered to a customer in Germany, and is said to be 100% the genuine article. With chassis number 0936 and its original type 911/83 engine, this little beast should easily have fetched its reserve. It is one of only 60 cars delivered in Grand Prix White and Viper Green accent, my personal favorite. I can only hope that this car will resurface next spring at one of the Arizona auctions, Amelia Island, or even Monterey. It looks like it really deserves to find the right audience, and that will help it bring top dollar.
Lot #30 - Right Hand Drive 1959 Porsche 356A 1600 Super Cabriolet
Sold at $203,987 including premiums
An extremely rare iteration of Porsche's venerable 356, this A Cabriolet is not only of the significantly more expensive open-top variety, but also the extremely rare right-hand drive variety. This car was originally delivered to an owner in Melbourne, Australia in a fetching shade of Meissen Blue.
In the 80s, Australian owner number 2 gave the car a restoration, but decided on a color-change at the same time to a more 80s appropriate shade, I'm sure. After 'restoration' was completed in 1987, the owner drove it regularly with a well documented service history. That owner then sold the car to owner number 3 in the Netherlands. The Dutchman carried out a full restoration, including a strip-down and repaint in Meissen. Invoices over 15 thousand pounds are also included.
Most recently, the car was treated to a full bevvy of repair work, including a full engine rebuild done by Maxted-Page and Prill, who are certainly capable of excellent work. The receipts for this more recent work total 'well over' 23 thousand pounds. An equally rare beige interior and matching beige top are sure to leave your mouth watering.
At 200 large, this cab is well above market. Nobody really knows how many right-hand drive cabriolets were built, but its sure to be a very low number, and as such, this car was probably worth the premium. If you were a wealthy Englishman with a penchant for early air-cooled cars, and really wanted an RHD example, you'd probably be happy with your purchase. Equally, the seller is probably doing their best Scrooge McDuck impression right now, diving into a swimming pool filled with a couple hundred thousand one-pound coins.
Other Porsche Blog Posts You Will Enjoy
How The 909 Bergspyder Impacted Porsche’s Racing And Development History
Why Didn’t This Porsche 908/3 Sell at Amelia Island?
2014 Amelia Island Porsche Auction Results
2014 RM Monaco Auction Porsche Results
2014 Monterey Porsche Auction Results
Gooding Showcases Gorgeous Porsche 959 S For Sale