For top-end Porsche market values, look no further than the likes of RM Sotheby’s, Gooding & Company and Bonhams’ sales results. For ‘real world,’ though, check out the results from Silverstone Auctions’ Porsche only sale in partnership with PCGB
If you want to know what the very top classic Porsches are selling for, and whether their values are continuing to rise or are falling back, the high profile international auctions run mainly by RM Sotheby’s, Gooding & Company and Bonhams will supply that information. Not too many of the Porsches at these sales now go for much under six figures, and a few hit seven, so to take the pulse of the “real world” market you need to look locally, and for the past three years Silverstone Auctions in partnership with Porsche Club Great Britain has staged an autumn sale allowing us to do just that.
The Porsche 2017 sale, held in late October at Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire saw 58 Porsches offered, the oldest a 1962 356B Super 90 Cabriolet selling for £163,125 (including buyer’s premium, but not the VAT on the premium) and the newest a 2007 997-model 911 GT3RS making £100,333. The cheapest Porsche sold was a 1991 two-owner 944 S2 from entered with no reserve and fetching £9225, while among the parts for sale, a 1970s 911 offside front wing ‘in decent condition’ sold for £96, and a set of four 6Jx15-inch five-spoke Fuchs alloy wheels from 1975 collected £1800.
The most expensive car was a 1998 993-model 911 Turbo S in right-handdrive, whose £253,125 price would have seen this rare car – just 26 were built in RHD – sit comfortably in an international auction at Amelia Island or Pebble Beach. The price was nearly £32,000 under its pre-sale upper estimate, but Silverstone Auctions said, ‘The online and phone bidders were squeezed out early on in the battle by a heated two-way battle in the room’. The sale’s most unusual lot had to be the 1962 Standard J Tractor, purchased for £15,525, and perhaps the most eyeopening result was the £219,375 paid for the 1992, UK spec 964 RS in Touring form.
Cars that didn’t reach their reserve and thus did not find new owners on the day included a 2003 911 Carrera Tiptronic (manual 996s are always more coveted), three 928s, two 993 Cabriolets, a 1970 911T equipped for classic rally events, a 2000 911 GT3 in Clubsport trim and a 2002 911 GT2. Notably, four out of the six 930-model 911 Turbos offered failed to sell, including a 1985 car with a £180,000–£220,000 estimate bought new by Glenn Tipton, lead guitarist with Judas Priest, and with just 14,100 miles from new, and which might have been better entered in an international sale. The obvious conclusion is that sellers’ expectations of this Porsche, which has shot up in value over several years, may now be unrealistic. The 930s that did sell were a 1988 `Cabriolet with just 24,000 miles, making £92,813, and a 1980 coupe for £81,000.
Unsurprisingly, the most affordable cars in the sale were the four-cylinder cars, 924s and 944s. But with an average sale price of £19,800 (albeit hauled up by the £32,775 a 29,000-mile 1991 Turbo Cabriolet realised), the 944, and particularly the Turbo is clearly no longer the throwaway Porsche. The 924, the original 1970s “transaxle” Porsche has also found its feet, a last-of-the-line 924S from 1987 going under the hammer at £26,100 – although with it being in exceptional condition and its sole, lady owner covering just 6600 miles in her 27-year ownership, some might have expected a higher price. One of the 75 examples of the 1981 924 Carrera GT made £37,688.
From the air-cooled 911 era, a trio of 911SCS sold for between £34,313 and £60,750, while the average sale price for that model’s successor, the 911 Carrera 3.2, was £53,625. Interestingly, the inexorable rise of the Carrera 3.2 has to some extent redefined one model that back in the day was not well regarded, the Super Sport Equipment model, with the Turbo’s wide body and uprated brakes, but retaining the standard Carrera 3.2 engine. Thirty years ago it may have been referred to as Porsche’s “sheep in wolf’s clothing”, but that perception is clearly history now, as the £103,500 paid for the 1988 20,000-mile example attested; the same model from 1989, with 35,000 miles and obviously not quite so fresh, made £73,125.
The broad opinion is that the 911SC and Carrera 3.2 marked steps forwards in 911 usability, but preceding, pre1974 models have overtaken them in value, if Silverstone Auctions’ sale was an accurate litmus test. The eight “early 911” cars sold averaged £66,946, the cheapest a 1971, base-model 911T, the left-hand drive California-spec car going for £42,750, and the highest priced a short-wheelbase matching numbers 1968 911 in pristine condition and with the optional five-speed gearbox and 15-inch Fuchs alloys, making £92,250.
“Recreations” of famous Porsches can be auction nightmares that remain unsold when you mix the near impossibility of valuing a one-off car together with a seller’s often over optimistic sense of its worth, but the F1 circuit event saw two such cars find buyers, and at semiserious money. The Special Editions Inc-built “1955 Porsche Chamonix 550 Spyder”, a replica of the 550 Spyder that was a factory racer in the 1950s but was prominently lodged in motoring and celebrity history when actor James Dean fatally crashed in one in California in 1955 sold for £43,875, while a 1984 Carrera 3.2 modified to look like the iconic 1973 Carrera 2.7RS, and with carefully rebuilt engine and suspension, made £60,750.
The sale, attended by over 300 Porsche Club GB members, was over in just three hours, cars despatched in an average of three minutes, and more than £2.5 million flowing through the auctioneer’s bank account. With 86 per cent of the lots sold, Nick Whale, managing director of Silverstone Auctions said, ‘It was a remarkably successful auction, helped enormously by the quality of the cars on offer,’ and described the cars for sale as a fantastic catalogue of stunning Porsches.’ It seemed a not unreasonable claim.