Monaco is known for high-dollar big-rollers and is synonymous with pricey cars both historic and brand new. Perhaps, then, that is why there are a series of automotive auctions happening in concert with the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique event. Our old friends in the form of RM Sotheby's and Bonhams are showing up to the event with a scad of beautiful Porsche lots. This event is a big deal, but still not quite on the level, from an auction experience, with Monterey or Paris. The level of historically-significant vehicles is a bit less than either of those two events, but as you can see from the listings, there are some excellent Porsches around for you to bid on.
RM probably has the car I would need to buy if I won the lottery tomorrow, and is certainly the headliner of the weekend as far as Porsches are concerned. The 911 GT1 was amazing in its day, and even more amazing today. Somehow that car even makes 996 headlights look good! And that's not all they've got. There's an early 911 Art Car, a 964 Carrera RS, a Carrera GT, a 959, and a 2.7 RS Touring. What more could you ask for from an auction as a Porsche fan? Some of their lots seem a little optimistic on the pre-auction estimate, but I'm excited to see what they end up bringing.
Lot 261 - 1997 Porsche 911 GT1 Evolution (Est. $3,090,700 - 3,434,100)
Chassis no. GT1 993-117 - Engine no. M86/60-109 - Gearbox no. G96/80/117
Here it is, one of the coolest cars Porsche has ever built. Not only that, but it is presented in one of the coolest color schemes you could possibly select for a racing car. It looks so simple and minimal, while somehow still being full of character and historic significance. I love everything about it.
This car has been extensively documented by Porsche expert Jurgen Barth. His records indicated that only six factory GT1 chassis were built for motorsport purposes, and an additional eight chassis were built for customer efforts. How many other Porsches out there can be described as one-of-fourteen? It goes without saying that this is a rare beast, and should not be treated lightly. Bytzek Motorsports had three such chassis, and raced them extensively in 1996. One of their cars was damaged during a race at Mosport, and was no longer serviceable. Porsche Motorsport North America ordered up a new 1997 tub for Bytzek to transfer parts from the damaged car so they could get back to racing ASAP.
Because of the unique circumstances of this car's build, this is the only 1997-spec GT1 Evolution sold new from the factory, as all of the others were simply updates on 1996-build chassis. Bytzek was able to transfer the drivetrain from their crashed car, as well as some of the suspension components. Everything that wasn't updated from 96 to 97, and was damaged in the crash, was purchased new from Porsche at the same time. It didn't take long to get the car back on track and fighting for the win.
GT1 993-117 remained with the Canadian team through the early-2000s, and helped them rack up a lot of success. The history of this particular chassis has faded some with time, but it is believed that this chassis entered 31 races with the team, and of those it won an unprecedented 13! Bytzek was successful with all of their cars at the time, taking the Canadian GT Championships from 1999 through 2001. Apart from that campaign, the team also took three GT1s to Daytona for the 24-hour race in 2001, though only two were entered. This car, chassis 117, was driven by Klaus Bytzek, Scott Maxwell, David Empringham, and Richard Spenard. The car qualified in 12th position, and ran toward the front for a bit, though they were forced to replace the transaxle late in the race, and could finish no better than 41st overall. If they hadn't lost that time in the pits, would they have run well enough to win? Unlikely, but a lot can happen in a 24-hour race.
This Porsche GT1 is believed to be the only street-registered racing version, and is currently road legal in the UK. The car comes with a comprehensive package of restoration paperwork, including invoices and photos. All factory documents and shop manuals are also included with the sale. The seller has loads of spares for the car, though they are not included in the sale they can be negotiated for after the car has changed hands. If you showed up to a vintage race event in this bad boy, you'd be king for a day, I can assure you of that.
Lot 215 - 1965 Porsche 911 '007 Art Car' By Peter Klasen (Est. $229,000 - 343,400)
This Porsche started life as chassis 300617, and was delivered on 11 March 1965 in Light Ivory with a black leatherette/grey corduroy interior. The options shown on the Kardex included a Webasto gas heater and wider Dunlop tires. The car sold to a Dr G. Gouderko through Baden-Auto of Freiburg-im-Breisgau. That same dealership also regularly serviced the 911 through 1967, by which time it had already covered 44,390 kilometres.
What sets this Porsche apart, however, is its 'Art Car' livery. In the late 'oughts', the car was handed to Peter Klasen, and the livery you see was created. He titled the project '007', and completed it in 2009. The artist's signature is adorned on the car, just above the driver's door. The uniquely painted 911 was shown at a retrospective of Klasen’s half-century of work at the Le Tri Postal show presented in late 2009 in Lille, France. Furthermore, this vividly adorned Porsche was included in his catalog raisonné. While Klasen may not be widely known for creating art cars, he actually has a lot of experience doing just that. This piece is part of a series of Porsche racing cars that Kalsen has given his touch to, as well as a Ferrari 328 GTS and a Tesla Model S. If you know his work, you can tell that this car certainly fits his vision.
From RM Sotheby's regarding Klasen -
Klasen has generated a following in what has been described as La Nouvelle Figuration. He employs a pictorial language that relies on tensions between objects, images, being, and having. The Ludwig Museum in Koblenz, which presented a 2010 exhibit of the artist, stated in its catalog that by the 1960s, Klasen was creating images that dealt with the contemporary world of media—photography, magazines, film, advertisements, and scholarly medical literature. Klasen himself states that, “My painting, related to the urban environment in which I live, must be understood as a refusal, even as a denunciation”.
This early 911 is presented in race-prepared condition, including a set of wider and lighter Fuchs wheels, lightweight body panels, a safety roll bar, racing buckets with proper harnesses, and more. The sale of this car also includes its FIA HTP paperwork. If you're looking for an opportunity to own one of the earliest short wheelbase 911s, and you're a fan of modern art, and you want to go racing on the weekends, then this car is perfect for you!
Lot 210 - 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster (Est. $171,700 - 194,600)
Lot 213 - 1988 Porsche 911 Turbo 'Ruf CTR' (Est. $200,300 - 257,600)
Lot 237 - 1961 Porsche 356B 1600 Super Roadster (Est. $274,728 - 297,600)
Lot 244 - 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Touring (Est. $664,000 - 778,400)
Lot 253 - 1988 Porsche 959 Komfort 'Stage II' (Est. $1,030,200 - 1,430,900)
Lot 267 - 2005 Porsche Carrera GT (Est. $801,300 - 973,000)
Lot 269 - 1991 Porsche 911 (964) Carrera RS (Est. $429,300 - 515,100)
I'm not sure what to think about Bonhams' Porsche lot listing. I'm sure they didn't intend for this to happen, but they've got three examples of cars that RM also has; the Carrera GT, the 959, and the Carrera 2.7 RS. That said, the 911 Turbo market is hot right now, and they've got two of them on hand, an early 3.0-liter car and a later 3.3-liter cabriolet. Both are rare, and both should sell for a good premium. It's a small group of Porsches, but they each have their own merits. I'm just worried that they won't bring the biggest sales dollars as there are other (perhaps better) examples at RM's sale.
Lot 133 - 1973 Porsche 911 2.7 Carrera RS Touring 'Lightweight Conversion' (Est. $540,000 - 650,000)
Chassis no. 911 3600805 - Engine no. 6631320
The Carrera RS is one of Porsche's most iconic designs of all time, and over the years has gained status as one of the most desirable collector pieces. If you have a Porsche collection, and you don't have a Carrera RS, some might question the validity of such a collection. Luckily, they've been flooding the market lately, and we've seen a few dozen change hands at public auctions over the last couple of years. The 'Lightweight' version of the RS, however, is the rarest and perhaps most desirable version around.
This Porsche started life as a 'Touring' version, but has been converted to full 'Lightweight' specification. Often the conversions leave a little to be desired, but this one appears to have been done correctly with the right door cards, the right fixed-back seats, and the properly deleted rear seat. In addition to that, the car benefited from a full restoration in Switzerland some dozen years ago, and remains in exemplary condition.
The seller has campaigned this Porsche in numerous events, primarily in Italy, and is said to have performed very well. Events entered include the 2005 Vernasca Silver Flag Hill Climb, the Coppa Pedavena in 2007 and 2008, the 2008 Città di Forli, the 2010 Modena Cento Ore Classic, and numerous Coppa Città di Modena events as well as the Rally Elba Graffiti.
Finished in light yellow with black interior (a repaint in original colors), this Porsche is offered with restoration invoices, Porsche Italia certificate, CSAI Fiche (No. 1368), and Italian Carta di Circolazione. It should be noted that the original engine has been replaced with a correct 2.7-litre unit from another 1973 Carrera RS. It would seem to me that this is an excellent way to get the driving experience of a Lightweight Carrera RS while paying less than half what they traditionally sell for. Take advantage of the words "conversion" and "non-original engine". You could have an excellent car in great condition for surprisingly little. If I had any money leftover from my lottery winnings after buying that GT1, this would be the next car I would purchase.
Other Bonhams Porsche Lots For Sale
Lot 108 - 1987 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.3L Cabriolet (Est. $170,000 - 230,000)
Lot 111 - 2006 Porsche Carrera GT (Est. $740,000 - 860,000)
Lot 117 - 1972 Porsche 911S 2.4L Targa (Est. $170,000 - 230,000)
Lot 123 - 1976 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0L (Est. $190,000 - 250,000)
Lot 135 - 1988 Porsche 959 Komfort (Est. $570,000 - 680,000)