RM Sotheby’s celebrated 70 years of Porsche on the last Saturday in October with the company’s single-marque Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction at the Porsche Experience Center Atlanta (PECATL), also the home of Porsche Cars North America. RM Sotheby’s achieved $25.8 million in total sales, with 92 percent of all lots finding new homes.
Purveyors of Porsche descended on the Porsche Experience Center for the Friday preview of the cars on offer, alongside a symposium, gala, and special concert performed by music legend and Porsche enthusiast, John Oates. Enthusiastic bidders on auction day represented 25 countries around the world, with nearly 50 percent bidding with RM Sotheby’s for the first time. Bidding at the single-marque sale was spirited from the very start, with plenty of interest in the wide variety of memorabilia on offer and many of those collectible lots exceeding expectations, including a group of Porsche 911 Sales Literature, which well surpassed its estimate at a final $20,400 (Estimate: $5,000–$7,000).
The offering of 63 of the world’s most important and most sought-after, privately owned Porsche models was led by a 1985 Porsche 959 Paris-Dakar, one of just three built to contest the 1985 Paris-Dakar Rally as a Works entry and the very first example ever offered at auction. One of seven developmental cars, four of which are retained by Porsche, chassis no. 010015 was piloted by three-time Paris-Dakar winner René Metge, representing Porsche in the most grueling rally of all time. After a sustained competition between several bidders in the room and on the phone, the 959 sold for a final $5,945,000, nearly doubling its high estimate (Estimate: $3,000,000–$3,400,000).
Additional motor car highlights included the 1958 Porsche 356 A 1600 ‘Super’ Speedster, which, after having emerged from storage since 1983, was recently returned to driving condition and would be the ideal restoration project. The wonderfully distressed Speedster was offered without reserve, soaring past its high estimate to bring a final $307,500 after tremendous interest (Estimate: $125,000–$150,000).
In what was one of the most anticipated moments of the auction, the 2018 Porsche 911 Turbo Classic Series “Project Gold” came under the hammer to applause from the crowd and significant interest on the phones and in the room. An exciting 10-minute bidding competition ensued, with nine bidders in the room and on the phone, with the car eventually selling for an incredible $3,415,000 to a bidder onsite at the PECATL. Project Gold is the final air-cooled 911 Turbo, built 20 years after the end of 993 production. This incredible undertaking began at the Porsche factory one and a half years ago with an existing genuine Type 993 body shell. The experts at Porsche Classic were able to rely on a selection of over 6,500 parts, assembling this “new” 993 Turbo S at the Porsche Classic restoration workshop near Stuttgart. An exciting car with a worthy cause, proceeds from the sale of Project Gold will benefit the Ferry Porsche Foundation.
“After many months of preparation and cooperation with Porsche Cars North America, we were delighted to see so many like-minded enthusiasts, clients, and collectors from all over the world make the journey to celebrate the marque’s 70th Anniversary at the most impressive Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta, Georgia,” said veteran Car Specialist and Auction Manager, Alexander Weaver, following the sale.
“The overwhelmingly positive response to the cars offered was characterized by a pool of global bidders that helped achieve outstanding prices for many models and numerous exciting moments throughout the auction. The Porsche market continues to establish its own baseline as we witnessed new Porsche enthusiasts join seasoned collectors to take part in bidding on rare and unique examples consigned to our first single-marque Porsche auction.”