Ah, Paris is a beautiful place this time of year, don't you think? What could be better than a major international automobile auction in the French capital? The big three auctions of "Retromobile", RM, Artcurial, and Bonhams, brought a load of really good Porsche lots. This isn't always the most important collector car auction in the world, but it's certainly one of the best in Europe. Any auction that brings out a trio of RS models, Speedsters, and a 904 is certainly one to keep your eye on. Some really good cars sold, and some really surprising ones were left on the block waiting for more bids that never came.
Total Porsches Sold: 5
Total Porsche Dollar Value: $2,866,197.18
The star of RM's show, from a Porsche perspective, was this beautiful 904 GTS that didn't quite beat their previous 904 sale in Scottsdale just a few weeks ago. Aside from that one car, their other two major hitters were no-sale disappointments. Both the "Ex-Works Rally Car" and the beautifully rare Carrera RS 2.7 Lightweight failed to find new owners in Paris. Both of those cars should have easily cleared a million dollars, but I guess the right buyer just wasn't in the room that day.
It would seem that 904s have not been appreciating much. Perhaps that's because the owners don't seem to want to keep them. We've seen half a dozen of them sell in the last year or so, and they all seem to be sticking right around that $1.5-1.6 million mark. If you want one, buy now, because they're sure to go up once people realize every other Plastic Porsche is increasing by leaps and bounds.
Lot 127, the '55 Speedster, is one of my favorites. I like the unfettered look of the Pre-A cars, and that Speedster was the one that really started the craze. It was the least expensive of three Speedsters to sell over the course of the weekend, too. Apparently the market doesn't agree with me, and prefers the later A-bumper Speedsters, as the choice 1958 car at Artcurial brought almost one hundred thousand dollars more than this one.
Lot 144 - 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS - $1,616,353.20
Lot 163 - 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Touring - $564,138.96
Lot 123 - 1963 Porsche 356B Super 90 Cabriolet - No Sale
Lot 127 - 1955 Porsche 356 Pre-A Speedster - $254,677.50
Lot 136 - 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster - $202,836.48
Lot 148 - 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Sports Lightweight - No Sale
Lot 153 - 1969 Porsche 911S "Ex-Works Rally Car" - No Sale
Lot 169 - 1992 Porsche 911 "964" Carrera RS - $228,191.04
Total Porsches Sold: 6
Total Porsche Dollar Value: $829,955.90
Bonhams was, by a good margin, the most conservative of the three auction houses in terms of Porsche lots for sale. They brought out some oddball and interesting choices, as well as some blue chip stuff, and a few up and comers that are getting some attention. A trio of open-top 356s, a premium 914-6, and probably the coolest piece of memorablilia Porsche has ever made, the 936 Junior Kart.
The big surprise for me is the 914-6 bringing a whopping $85,000. It's a fantastic car, don't get me wrong, but they've always sort of been in the shadow of their long-hood 911 contemporaries. This one was well prepared and well turned out, if slightly unoriginal. It wasn't all that long ago that this kind of cash would get you an original M471 914-6 GT.
The 936 Juniors don't sell often enough to really have a market value, but $23,000 for what is ultimately a very large piece of memorabilia seems a strong price. I'd wager that the seller is happy with this, but then again, the buyer isn't going to see another one of these in his lifetime (I've still only seen one, myself) so it's probably worth the cost to them as well. Neat piece, and it's a very nice one, so this is probably a rare instance of well sold AND well bought.
The Blue Chip cars that I talked about, the open top 356s, accounted for a pair of surprising no-sale lots. The T5 Roadster looked very nice, and should have been in the high 180s, I would have thought. The T6 Cabriolet normally would have been at least $150 thousand. The '57 Speedster sold right about on the money for what it was, so the fact that there were no buyers for the other two is a little disheartening. Is the 356 market drying up?
Lot 309 - 1970 Porsche 914-6 - $84,609.52
Lot 301 - 1982 Porsche 936 Replica Junior Kart - $23,430.33
Lot 310 - 1964 Porsche 356SC Coupe - $62,480.88
Lot 335 - 1992 Porsche 911 "964" Carrera RS - $273,353.85
Lot 369 - 1990 Porsche 911 "964" Cup Racing Car - $188,744.32
Lot 388 - 1957 Porsche 356A Speedster - $260,337.00
Lot 402 - 1960 Porsche 356B T5 Roadster - No Sale
Lot 403 - 1982 Porsche 911 Turbo Flachbau Sunderwunsch - No Sale
Lot 432 - 1962 Porsche 356B T6 Cabriolet - No Sale
Total Porsches Sold: 8
Total Porsche Dollar Value: $1,448,325.98
Artcurial's Paris sale was dominated by the inclusion of the massive barn find "Baillon Collection", which got all of the headlines with a multi-million dollar Ferrari. With 8 lots selling on to new owners and only two no-sales, this was probably the most successful auction for Porsche guys.
The interesting lot to me, and to many of you, is #16, a 1963 356 SC Coupe. To be a 1963, it would have needed to have been a very late production 1963, as the disc-brake C and SC cars were officially 64 and 65 only. The fact that this barn-find car went for a mind-blowing $101,000, significantly more than a near-pristine version went for at Bonhams the same weekend, would indicate that there is someone here paying for provenance and backstory, more than the car itself. In this condition, the car should normally be valued between twenty and thirty grand. In fact, the pre-auction estimate was in that ballpark, and flew right past those numbers. Two people REALLY wanted this car.
While I personally really like the 964 Carrera RS, and everything it represents, I am absolutely astonished that a car like this can fetch a quarter of a million dollars while 'regular' 964s are still wallowing at about one tenth of that price. The whole "forbidden fruit" thing with the RS makes me want it all the more, but I'm surprised we aren't seeing more replicas of the RS of this generation. If you want an RS, you can recreate one for a fraction of this price. Collectors can keep them perfect, I'd rather drive an RS clone at 10/10ths.
The Carrera 2.7 RS is not exactly a surprising no-sale lot. It had the wrong engine stamped with the original number, it was originally Indianarot and repainted Gulfblau (Indianarot is much prettier, in my humble opinion), and there have been a number of "upgrades" that made it less than desirable. The seller probably values the car highly, but the market doesn't agree with them. Would I love to drive it? Definitely. Would I pay high-dollar prices for it? Not a chance.
Lot 16 - 1963 Porsche 356 SC Coupe - $101,123
Lot 101 - 1968 Porsche 911T Hard-Window Targa $56,628.89
Lot 148 - 1973 Porsche 911S Coupe $235,953.72
Lot 153 - 1958 Porsche 356A Speedster - $337,076.74
Lot 154 - 1961 Porsche 356B T5 Super Cabriolet 'Dutch Police Force' - No Sale
Lot 170 - 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster $161,796.84
Lot 171 - 1971 Porsche 911S Coupe $161,796.84
Lot 172 - 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS Touring - No Sale
Lot 205 - 1992 Porsche 911 "964" Carrera RS $256,178.32
Lot 206 - 1995 Porsche 911 "993" Cup GT2 $137,771.63
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