Last year's Paris Auction can't be described as anything other than spectacular. Between Bonhams, RM Auctions, and Artcurial, the Retromobile auctions included a 917/30, a 904, a 956, a 962C, and a 2.7 Carrera RS. How can one auction week feature that many amazing Porsches and not cause a stir? Well, this year, the three major auction houses in Paris are bringing the Porsche heat even once again. There are a total of 27 Porsche lots for sale in Paris this year, and some of them are pretty darned amazing, so let's jump right into it.
Last year's Artcurial sale wasn't exactly a top billing in the Porsche world. There were only four lots, and the headlining lot was a 2.7 Carrera RS of perhaps questionable provenance. They also had a 930 Cabriolet, a 67 912, and a 73 911S. Not bad cars, but nothing to really write home about. This year, though, they've rolled out the Porsche red carpet and are bringing a total of 10 Porsche lots, including everything from a barnfind 356 to a 993 GT2 Cup car. Its a pretty exciting lineup, and you won't want to miss this one.
Lot 16 - 1963 Porsche 356 SC Coupe (Est. $22,000 - 35,000)
This little barn find is a bit more than that. It's part of the famous Baillon collection that was recently uncovered in France. While one of the less noteworthy cars in the collection, this 356 has remained completely untouched for more than 40 years. While the Porsche's gorgeous Emilblau paint can't really shine under 40 years of dust, this car is absolutely original. Were this 356 mine to dictate its outcome, I would absolutely leave the patina intact and simply clean, rebuild, and replace the mechanical bits as necessary. A full engine, transmission, and brake components overhaul would be necessary, and a new set of tires would be deemed needed, but I would leave everything else exactly as it sits. Cars are only original once. Pick this one up for a song and have a great driver/conversation piece for your collection.
Lot 172 - 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS Touring (Est. $420,000 - 550,000)
This Carrera RS is a bargain of a car for anyone who actually wants to drive one. For the premium collectors, though, there are probably better cars out there to purchase. This Porsche uses a non-original engine that has been stamped with the original's number, which is a #1 no-no in the 2.7 RS world. The car was color-changed from Indianarot to this Gulfblau color in the late 1990s, which also adversely affects value. At the same time, the original doors were discarded for aftermarket aluminum pieces, further decreasing value.
For a car to drive around on weekends and take to low-stakes car shows, this car would be an absolute blast to own with some choice modifications to aid driveability, including upgraded brakes and a front strut bar. For the collector, though, move on. Your time is better spent at RM's auction. They have two of the better 2.7 RS on the market right now.
Lot 205 - 1992 Porsche 911 "964" Carrera RS (Est. $200,000 - 260,000)
I've never quite figured out why, but the Porsche 964 has always been an unloved chassis, except for this particular car. The Carrera RS has been a perennial favorite of enthusiasts and collectors alike. It's a pretty rare car with only just over 2000 built, and a number of those were raced, wrecked, repaired, and wrecked again. This one, though, is said to be 100% original, and presented in a gorgeous shade of Maritime Blue, one of my personal favorite colors. A professional evaluation was done a couple of months ago that state this Porsche to be in a "perfect state of presentation". That's high praise.
Lot 206 - 1995 Porsche 911 "993" Cup GT2 (Est. $110,000 - 135,000)
This Porsche has an interesting history. It started as a standard fare 993 Cup car with a naturally aspirated 3.8 liter racing engine. The car was sold in Germany and originally participated in the 993 Cup Challenge, presumably in Germany. After that season, the Porsche was sold to a French collector who upgraded it to GT2 specifications for participation in the French VdeV endurance racing championship.
From there, the Porsche's history is not really known, or at least not explained by Artcurial. The next race that the car participated in was last year's Pikes Peak International Hillclimb. The Porsche did not finish the climb at Pikes Peak, and is officially listed as a DNF, 17th in the Time Attack 1 class with Bally Jean Jacques at the wheel. At some point, the car was painted by famous French artist Patrick Moya, giving it a certainly unique visual appearance. This 993 is said to be in excellent mechanical condition with a new engine, but they don't state whether the Porsche has a 993 Cup spec engine or a GT2 spec engine. Either way, this could be a seriously fun track car for someone.
Other Artcurial Porsche Lots For Sale
Lot 101 - 1968 Porsche 911T Hard-Window Targa (Est. $22,000 - 35,000)
Lot 148 - 1973 Porsche 911S Coupe (Est. $185,000 - 210,000)
Lot 153 - 1958 Porsche 356A Speedster (Est. $260,000 - 320,000)
Lot 154 - 1961 Porsche 356B T5 Super Cabriolet 'Dutch Police Force' (Est. $155,000 - 230,000)
Lot 170 - 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster (Est. $145,000 - 180,000)
Lot 171 - 1971 Porsche 911S Coupe (Est. 107,500 - 130,000)
I find it interesting that RM Auctions had a 904 Carrera GTS at their Paris sale last year, and have opted to bring a second 904 Carrera GTS to their Paris sale in 2015 as well. What's that? They sold a 904 just weeks ago at their Scottsdale auction as well? Hmm. Perhaps RM is on to something with these 904 sales. It makes me ask two questions. One, how long until 904s are going to bring $2 - $3 million dollars? Two, why are all of these Porsche 904 owners interested in selling all of a sudden?
The 904 isn't their only interesting lot, though, as they have 8 Porsches in total. The 1969 911S rally car is pretty interesting, and a pair of gorgeous Carrera RS 2.7 should bring some interest. Everyone's desire du jour, the 1989 911 Speedster is also present. Should be a good sale.
Lot 144 - 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS (Est. $1,575,000 - 2,050,000)
Originally delivered to a Porsche dealer in Kaiserlautern, Germany, this 904 was destined for competition use as it was fitted with safety belts and a long tube sports exhaust. Originally painted in silver metallic with the common blue velour interior, this car was presented much like many other 904s of the time. The car sat on the dealer's lot for two months from February to April before it was purchased by Fritz Leinenweber, an already successful sports racing competitor.
Leinenweber's first run with the 904 was the Hunstrück Bergrennen Revival in August of 1964. Leinenweber not only won his GT category, but posted the fastest time of day, setting a new hillclimb record in the process. He then went on to set similarly dominant performances winning his class six more times that year, including victories at Bergrennen Happerg, Course de Côte d’Urcy in France, Bergrennen Luxemburg, Course de Côte Merveilleuse, Bergrennen Viaden, and Bergrennen Taubensuhl (also a new course record). Leinenweber and 904-026 truly dominated their 1964 hillclimb racing season, and were a venerable pair. Their first race in 1965, however, resulted in a second in class, and Leinenweber sold the car to a Mr. Michel Weber who was intent on victory in the German hillclimbing championship.
Weber, who had previously owned and competed with 904-029 (a gorgeous Signal Red car), was familiar with what the Porsche 904 was capable of, and set right to work on attaining victory. He first drove the car at the Bergpreis Bad Neuenahr, which netted a 1st in class. A month later, at the Taunus event, Weber came home in third, which was no mean feat, as he followed famed racers Rolf Stommelen and Udo Schuetz. From then on, though, it was success after success. Weber won three class hillclimb victories on the trot at Bergrennen Eberbach, Sudelfeld-Bergrennen, and Spessart-Bergrennen. A second place in class at the Alpen-Bergpreis Rossfeld was immediately followed by another victory at the Olympia-Bergrennen Axamar Lizum in Austria. Some believe that just before the Austrian race, Weber slightly flared the rear arches of the 904 in order to fit wider rear wheels and tires, helping him to victory. More victories for Weber came at Bergpreis Freiburg-Schauinsland, Bergrennen Ratisbona (*identical times as Sepp Gregor resulting in a tie for victory), a return for 906-026 to Hunsrück-Bergrennen Revival (where it broke its own record from the previous year, winning overall), and a wet and stormy victory at the Bergpreis Rhön against Works prototypes from Ferrari and Porsche. A successful season, indeed.
For 1966, Weber turned his attention away from hillclimb and toward circuit racing, aiming to take on Le Mans. The 1000 Kilometer race at Monza saw Weber team with Jochen Neerspach. Unfortunately the team would retire with engine troubles, and shortly afterward, Weber traded 904-026 in to Porsche as partial exchange for an ex-factory 904 with a flat-six engine, with which he competed in the remainder of the 1966 season.
Venezuelan driver Armando Capriles would then purchase the car from Porsche, and he paired with Alfredo Atencio at a number of endurance events throughout 1966 and 1967. Not much is known about this period of the car's life, but it is presumed that the Porsche was fitted with a 6 cylinder engine at this point. The car sort of faded into obscurity until resurfacing again in 1972 at the hands of Caracan driver Flavio Espino, who raced it at Road Atlanta that year.
The 904 was then purchased by a man named Harem Cruz who fitted the car with a brand new factory built four-cam typ 587/3 engine, refurbished it a bit, and intended to flip the car for a profit. The 904 was then listed in Road and Track magazine for $8,500. In August of 1973, the car transferred ownership from Venezuela to Jim Wayman of Hawaii. Wayman painted the car a gorgeous shade of Rubinrot, and drove it for a couple of years before relisting the car for sale, this time in the PCA's Panorama, asking $15,000.
In late 1975, the car traded ownership again to Bill Steen of Louisiana. A year later, Steen sold to John Robbins, of Nebraska. Robins found some parts to be missing, so he refitted the correct pedals, taillights, and front indicator lights, as well as performed other minor modifications. After the proper parts were fitted, Robins returned the 904 to road use, keeping the Porsche until 1986. At that point, the 904 was purchased by an independent Porsche dealer in Savannah, Georgia, eventually finding a new home with Raymond Perroud, who took the car back to Europe. Perroud’s collection housed 904-026 for almost 20 years before selling to a Swiss enthusiast with a vast collection.
It was at this point that the car was treated to a comprehensive restoration by Raceline Feustel GmbH of Germany, a highly knowledgeable shop that specializes in old racing Porsches. It is said that Raceline Feustel even went to such lengths as using the original 904 chassis assembly bench. The restoration reportedly cost more than eight hundred thousand dollars to complete, and the Swiss owner never raced, rallied, or showed the car post restoration.
The current owner and seller has only had the car for a handful of year, though he has campaigned the car at the 2012 Silver Flag where it won best GT-category car plaudits. The Porsche was most recently shown at the 2014 Villa d'Este.
With a recent restoration and significant hillclimb history, will this be the Porsche 904 to break all of the previous auction records?
Lot 153 - 1969 Porsche 911S "Ex-Works Rally Car" (Est. $1,200,000 - 1,475,000)
For more on this car, and to see some excellent video of it being run about with EVO's Richard Meaden at the wheel, see our post about this individual car's history here. Seriously watch the video, and be sure to turn up your speakers, because this car sounds excellent.
Lot 148 - 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Sports Lightweight (Est. $1,125,000 - 1,600,000)
This car has been inspected and 100% verified by Juergen Barth, the premier historian of merit when it comes to these Carrera RS 2.7 cars.
As it sits, this Carrera 2.7 RS is presented in its original colors, with black Carrera scripts, a correct black leatherette interior, a pair of deep racing bucket seats, lap and shoulder safety belts, thin black rubber floor mats, and a leather Sports steering wheel. The rear of the cabin has thin black carpeting without rear seats. The wheels are correct six- and seven-inch wide anodised Fuchs, and the collapsible spare remains intact.
This RS will be offered with an extra detailed file of restoration photographs. The car has only had two documented owners since new. Barth inspected the car in August of last year, and confirmed then that the original engine and gearbox are fitted, and match up to the car's production number correctly. Upon inspection, he was quoted as saying the car “corresponds in every detail to the original factory condition”, further attesting to the quality of the restoration. I don't know about you, but that's good enough for me. Everyone star whipping out your checkbooks, and let the bidding begin! This will be a big sale.
Other RM Auctions Porsche Lots For Sale
Lot 123 - 1963 Porsche 356B Super 90 Cabriolet (Est. $170,000 - 225,000)
Lot 127 - 1955 Porsche 356 Pre-A Speedster (Est. $255,000 - 280,000)
Lot 136 - 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster (Est. $155,000 - 205,000)
Lot 163 - 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Touring (Est. $500,000 - 625,000)
Lot 169 - 1992 Porsche 911 "964" Carrera RS (Est. $170,000 - 215,000)
This Bonhams sale is interesting in that nothing really stands out from the crowd, and yet they have a full docket of varying Porsches, nine of them in total. With four 356s, three of them being open-top cars, you can't really go wrong, as they are the blue-chip collector car of the Porsche world right now. They are climbing in value, but not in leaps and bounds like early 911s are, so you can sort of feel confident that their values will stay high for a while.
The very early 911 Turbo slant nose car is an interesting lot, and I'd keep an eye on that one, because the non-pop up headlamp slant nose cars are very rare, and were very expensive when new. This is also the first major sale, from a major auction house ,that I've seen with a 914-6 as a featured player, but hey, if 912s can cross the spotlit dais, then so can a proper 6-cylinder car, right? Bonhams doesn't really have a Porsche headliner like the other auctions do, but I'd still be very interested to attend this one, because of the esoteric cars they are bringing. Neat stuff, for sure.
Lot 369 - 1990 Porsche 911 "964" Cup Racing Car (Est. $180,000 - 215,000)
The 964 Cup was Porsche's first foray into one-make racing with the 911 (previous attempts were made with 944 Turbos, however), and that has turned out to be an absolute boon for them. Today, GT3 cup cars are sold by the truckload all over the world. The 964 Cup, however, was a bit more sedate than the GT3 cars used today. Built on a standard 964 Carrera 2 chassis, the Cup was lightened significantly through a stripped interior and an aluminum front trunk lid. Wider wheels were fitted, the engine was blueprinted, and ABS was deleted. A lightweight flywheel helped revs, and the transaxle was fitted with a limited slip differential and revised gear ratios. It was no slouch on the racetrack, but then again, neither was the 964 Carrera.
This car is #33 of only 50 cars built, making it a true Porsche rarity. The car was originally campaigned in a number of 964 Cup events (including those supporting the 1990 British and Belgian Grands Prix) by Rolf Rosenkrantz, sponsored by Dorint Hotels and 'Starlight Express' the musical. The car is currently shown in its 1990 Belgian Grand Prix livery.
1n 1991, Rosenkrantz drove the car, with some help, to a fourth overall at the 24 hours of the Nurburgring. After selling the car in 1992, it was used by its three subsequent owners as a club level racing car until it was purchased by the current owner in 2013, when the restoration began. With help from Rosenkrantz, the car was comprehensively restored to original spec with the engine freshly rebuilt. At that point, the car was registered for road use for the first time, and has occasionally been road driven since then, but not raced. An extensive collection of racing and restoration build photos are included with the car. You'll likely never find another like this one, especially with road legal registration.
Lot 309 - 1970 Porsche 914-6 (Est. $67,500 - 90,000)
This 914-6 is a rare and desirable 'two owner' car, with the first owner keeping the car from new through to 2012. The original owner had the car restored in 1999, and then retouched in 2011. The car is described by Bonhams as being in generally very good condition. The original engine has been rebuilt to 'like new' standards. Documentation is included that spells out the 2011 work, as well as the invoices for all procedures.
914s are gaining in value at extremely rapid rates, and I would not be surprised to see this one reach toward the upper end of its estimate. Expect a sale of at least $75,000, I'd say.
Lot 301 - 1982 Porsche 936 Replica Junior Kart (Est.$17,000 - 30,000)
For more on this crazy little piece of memorabilia that you can actually drive, please see our comprehensive profile here.
Other Bonhams Porsche Lots For Sale
Lot 310 - 1964 Porsche 356SC Coupe (Est. $55,000 - 80,000)
Lot 335 - 1992 Porsche 911 "964" Carrera RS (Est. $225,000 - 340,000)
Lot 388 - 1957 Porsche 356A Speedster (Est. $260,000 - 295,000)
Lot 402 - 1960 Porsche 356B T5 Roadster (Est. $175,000 - 210,000)
Lot 403 - 1982 Porsche 911 Turbo Flachbau Sunderwunsch (Est. $157,500 - 205,000)
Lot 432 - 1962 Porsche 356B T6 Cabriolet (Est. $170,000 - 205,000)
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