Classic Porsches, along with the modern GT models, are still fetching high prices, but Brexit is definitely cooling the market. And for some within the Porsche community, that is a welcome development, making cars more affordable for enthusiasts, David Su
In the UK you can see the Brexit effect in many aspects of commericial life, as confidence wanes ahead of the March EU leaving date: falling new car sales, an all but dead London property market, and general reluctance to commit large amounts of money until we know what the future holds. And that this is becoming evident in the Porsche classic market in the UK was the message from the fourth annual auction held by Porsche Club Great Britain in partnership with Silverstone Auctions. ‘For the first three sales it seemed like the market was racing ahead, but prices are beginning to soften,’ commented the Club’s General Manager, Chris Seaward.
But if that wasn’t good news for sellers and auctioneers’ premiums, for Chris it was music to his ears: ‘It’s making the cars more accessible. We want members to be able to afford the cars, and have pride of ownership, and to bring them to events.’
Hence the sale, held at The Dallas Burston Polo Club in Southam, Warwickshire on 26th September saw little in the way of the dramatic, estimate-busting prices usually seen at the likes of Amelia Island in Florida in spring and Pebble Beach in California in August. Nonetheless, the majority of the 25 cars sold achieved prices within their upper and lower estimate ranges, just five going for less than the lower estimate figure. A total of 42 cars were entered, one was withdrawn before the day, and 16 did not sell (a slightly worse unsold rate than in 2017), though these were still being offered postauction at a fixed price, so Silverstone’s hit rate may improve.
In fact the Porsche that exceeded its upper estimate by the biggest margin wasn’t a classic, but a practically brand new, 400-mile, 2018 gen 2 GT3 with manual transmission that sold for £191,250 including 15 per cent buyer’s premium. That was £16,250 over the upper estimate, but the price spoke more about the heat of the current Porsche GT market, being almost £80,000 above the GT3’S before-option list price. Another “modern” that gave its seller a pleasant surprise was the 2008 997 GT2 Club Sport that carried a £110,000 hope but made over £19,000 more, at £129,375.
Those that exceeded their estimate by a more modest amount were a 1972 911 2.4T at £97,875, which was £7875 above, a 1958 rally prepared 356A at £82,125 (£7125), two 1998 993-model 911 Turbo S examples for £126,000 (£6000) and £185,625 (£625), a limited edition 1989 930-series 911 Turbo LE with 30,000 miles achieving £151,875 (£1875), a 1992 964-model 911 Carrera RS at £151,875 (£1875) and a 1974 911 RSR lookalike at £95,625 (£625).
We wonder if the seller of the no-reserve, 1986 924S which was described as ‘requiring some light recommissioning’ was happy with the £1350 it sold for. However, the single vendor offering the two Ruf-modified 911s would certainly have had a disappointing Friday.
The 2002 Ruf Rturbo, the German tuner’s ex-press car and star of a Nürburgring video, was expected to go for between £180,000 and £220,000, and the 1998 993 Turbo-based RUF BTR2 £150,000 to £200,000. Silverstone Auctions billed these as the centre-piece of the Porsche sale, and a trio of Rufs exceeding their estimates at 2018’s Pebble Beach suggested their prospects were good – but both went unsold, and post-auction the BTR2 was being offered for £165,000 and the Rturbo at £229,500. Another high-priced but over optimistically pitched Porsche was the rare 1963 four-cam 365C which arrived with a £550,000 to £650,000 estimate but was last seen dangling a £545,000 price tag.
So what was stuff in the “affordable” bracket selling for? Let’s call that £20,000 or thereabouts, and not surprisingly this was, if you exclude the £19,833 308 Super N tractor, ‘transaxle’ territory. An early, 1978 example of the V8 cruiser, the 928, made £14,440, towards the lower end of its estimate, while a 1994 968 Sport sold for £20,230.
How much longer good four-cylinder water-cooled cars will remain cheap is uncertain, and a 1994 968 Club Sport with 61,000 miles made a decent £31,500. But Seaward told us there had clearly been some incorrect “guiding” with respect to these and other models. A one-owner 944 Turbo with 6300 miles did not sell at between £40,000 and £50,000, and was being offered post sale at £46,000, while a 1994 968 Club Sport – widely regarded as the most collectable of the mainstream 924/944/968 family – and owned by a motoring journalist colleague of ours, failed to make its reserve somewhere between £36,000 and £42,000. Postsale it was offered for £39,675.
One particular air-cooled 911, a 1986 “Turbo-look” Carrera 3.2 looked a relative bargain, £42,750 for a widebodied Carrera a rock-bottom price (more on this in our Super Sport Buyers’ Guide elsewhere is this issue). But we consider the 996 Turbo among the best value 911s, especially when compared to the 930 Turbo which can be two, three times the price. A 2002 911 Turbo, with the preferred manual gearbox and power-enhancing X50 engine pack, and which showed a mere 55,000 miles and a ‘seamless’ maintenance history, sold for £37,083, which is the going rate, in or out of auction. But allow us on this magazine a little self indulgence when we name what we felt was the outstanding bargain of this Porsche sale: a full set of 294 911 & Porsche World magazines, issue one to August 2018, under the hammer for £12! PW
Annual Silverstone Auctions Porsche only sale saw a general softening in the market
924S, £1350 944 Turbo, Buy now £ 46,000 964 RS, £151,875 993 Turbo S, 185,625 £229,500 Ruf Rturbo, Buy now