AUC­TION/SHOW­ROOM/CLAS­SI­FIED MARKETWATCH

Many of us look long­ingly at the Porsches bought for six- and seven-fig­ure sums at in­ter­na­tional auc­tions. So af­ter re­port­ing a few of those sales, we move on to cars closer to our hearts – these sold for real world money at a clas­sic car auc­tion near you

911 Porsche World - - Market Forces -

Ev­ery year in late Jan­uary a bunch of filthy rich car en­thu­si­asts gather at a se­ries of posh events in and around Scotts­dale, Ari­zona in the US for the year’s first round of clas­sic car auc­tions. These whose jet set life­style hasn’t af­forded a win­dow to at­tend but fancy bid­ding stay on the sunbed and do so by phone or on the web.

And this year the usual crop of su­per valu­able clas­sics shifted from one se­curely garaged col­lec­tion to an­other. RM Sotheby’s’ high­est priced Porsche sale was of a 1987 959 Kom­fort that made $1.16m, (about £784,244), over £96,000 ahead of its pre-sale es­ti­mate – a sum that would have bought you a 959 a dozen years ago. RM also achieved healthy prices on sev­eral mod­ern Porsches in­clud­ing num­ber 196 of the 356 997- model Speed­sters in­tro­duced at the 2010 Paris mo­tor show, which sold for $280,000 (£196,800), an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of nearly £53,000 over its new price in 2011. And did some­one say the 996 is the unloved 911? RM took $428,500 (£301,100) for a 1996 RS 3.8, based on the Car­rera Cup car and serv­ing as an ho­molo­ga­tion car for GT rac­ing.

Over at ri­val auc­tion house Good­ing & Com­pany funds were flow­ing fast, with at one end of the age spec­trum an out­stand­ing, late 356 Speed­ster from 1957 mak­ing $553,500 (£389,000) and at the other a 2004 Car­rera GT achiev­ing $715,000 (£502,400) and un­der­lin­ing how af­ter a wob­bly start in the col­lec­tors mar­ket the car­bon­bod­ied V10 road­ster is ac­cel­er­at­ing to­wards price su­per­star­dom.

But these two auc­tion­eers were up­staged by the ef­forts of Bon­hams, which had man­aged to con­sign an ac­tual 1958 works Porsche 550A Spy­der with prove­nance flood­ing off its curvaceous alu­minium body: sec­ond in class at the 1958 Le Mans, wins at the Nür­bur­gring, and 10 en­tries to the Mille Miglia re-run. One of 40 Spy­ders built, it’s reck­oned to be one of the top three ex­am­ples in the world, and it sold for $5.17m (£ 3,63m). This lot alone earned Bon­hams around £330,000.

But that’s enough about how 0.1 per­centers amuse them­selves in win­ter. What was go­ing on in the cold and damp auc­tion halls, the places to fre­quent should you be in need of a cheap set of Porsche wheels?

In its Christ­mas sale in De­cem­ber, Barons, which stages its sales at the Sandown Park race course in Sur­rey of­fered a pair of 944s, a 1987, 93,000-mile 944S and a 1990 Turbo with 149,000 miles, their re­serves some­where be­tween £12,000 and £14,000, and £11,000 to £13,000. But nei­ther found a buyer, so it would seem that although 944s are now ap­pre­ci­at­ing, they’re not do­ing so as fast as some sell­ers be­lieve.

How­ever, there were no un­re­al­is­tic hopes for the 1997, 96,500-mile Boxster 2.5, the tidy look­ing car in sil­ver and oh-so-1990s or­ange leather prob­a­bly a de­cent buy at £4500. A 2005, 69,500-mile Boxster 3.2S, also a man­ual, made £10,450 – hard to de­cide which of this pair rep­re­sented the bet­ter value, but it sure shows that if you want a cheap Boxster, get your bid­ding reg­is­tra­tion in at the lo­cal clas­sic auc­tion, be­cause this is where early 986s are in­creas­ingly to be found at more than af­ford­able prices. At the same sale a 2000 996-model 911 Car­rera Cabri­o­let looked a sen­si­ble £13,000 worth, es­pe­cially since it was the man­ual ver­sion (many are the less sought af­ter Tip­tronic), had cov­ered just 76,000 miles and even came with a fac­tory hard­top.

Anglia Car Auc­tions runs reg­u­lar clas­sic sales that usu­ally at­tract “any­thing goes” en­tries, some­one at the Jan­uary event pay­ing £450 for a barn find 1964 Mor­ris 1100 that ap­peared to have some of the barn in­side it, and £400 se­cur­ing some­one else a Sin­clair C5 mi­nus bat­tery and un­used for many years. There were scant de­tails on the 911S “mod­i­fied in the style of a 993 RS”, which had been in the pre­vi­ous owner’s garage for al­most 20 years, but it made £29,680, which was £3680 over its top es­ti­mate, this per­haps re­flect­ing the cur­rent pop­u­lar­ity of 1970s 911s, what­ever form they come in. A more run of the mill of­fer­ing was a 1998 Boxster 2.5 with a main­te­nance his­tory from 2002; pos­si­bly the main chal­lenge for the new owner, who paid £4345, would be liv­ing with the turquoise paint­work.

While Barons did not shift its two 944s, a buyer at the sale hosted in late Jan­uary by South Western Ve­hi­cle Auc­tions in Poole, Dorset took home a re­spectable 1986 ex­am­ple in white for £5600 plus pur­chase fee. It seemed to be the car so many seek: a war­ranted 63,000 miles, 22 main dealer stamps, cam­belt and wa­ter pump at 45,000 miles, the last owner for eight years, and even two keys. SWA also sold a white 1979 930 Turbo, a right-hand-drive, Aus­tralian spec car for £52,500 plus pre­mium, which seemed rea­son­able value given how the value of this model has rock­eted over sev­eral years.

If you’re look­ing for an or­di­nary Porsche at an or­di­nary price, the lo­cal clas­sic car auc­tion is where you’ll find it, and the auc­tion en­vi­ron­ment is much more “safe” for the in­ex­pe­ri­enced buyer than it used to be, so there is no rea­son to be put off. There is even an ar­gu­ment that there is greater trans­parency than in many pri­vate sales, be­cause ma­jor is­sues on the car are not hid­den. And the adrenalin rush fol­low­ing a suc­cess­ful bid on a £5000 Porsche 944, or sim­i­lar, on a wet Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon can be as big as when buy­ing a £5m Spy­der in the Texas sun­shine! PW

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