By: Flat Sixes.
The upswing in the Porsche market shows no sign of stopping. While the upward curve is not as accelerated as it once was, the general upward trend continues. Less universally-loved Porsches are beginning to feel some of the 911's momentum in the classic car market. This year at Amelia Island there are more than 100 Porsches offered, ranging from a 1987 924S all the way to a 1998 911 GT1 Strassenversion.
Compared to last year's 930-heavy showing, this year's auctions are wonderfully diverse, with cars for nearly every budget and niche. Each auction house has at least one Carrera GT on offer, but on the whole each auction house has something different to offer than the other two, which should make March 9th and 10th very exciting days for Porsche collectors.
RM Sotheby's is bringing some of the most hard-core 911s to market, alongside some humbler Porsches, making for a very intriguing selection of cars. Alongside a trio of 911RSs, a pair of yellow 1973 2.7l cars and a 1974 3.0l, are a quartet of transaxle cars. Does this perhaps herald the arrival of the transaxle models on the radar of Porsche collectors?
1987 Porsche 924S (Est. $20,000-$30,000)
There are four transaxle cars crossing the block with RM Sotheby's at Amelia Island, and this 1987 924S is arguably the most interesting of the lot. It is also unique across all four auction houses as being the lowest-spec Porsche on offer. That is not to say that the 924S doesn't punch above its weight in terms of enjoyment, it certainly has a lot to offer, but seeing it alongside more illustrious machinery is very unusual.
1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Lightweight (Est. 800,000-$1,000,000)
The 1973 911 Carrera 2.7 RS has long been a holy-grail car for Porsche collectors, and this factory lightweight car is the absolute top of the heap. Of the 1,585 2.7RS models produced, just 200 were factory lightweights. This example is extremely original with known history back to new, and has been repainted once in its original colour.
While most Carrera 2.7s received the M472 touring package, which added most of the standard 911S comfort features back, this Porsche is about as basic as an RS can be. The only original option was Dunlop performance tires, so this car has the bare minimum of interior trim to accompany the other weight reduction measures, which include thinner-gauge sheet metal, thinner glass, and reduced sound deadening material.
The 2.7l flat six in this Porsche is unmodified, and was gone through mechanically in 2002. All of the original factory warning labels remain in place and the engine bay is extremely tidy. Porsche recently ranked this mill as one of the best sounding they've ever produced.
GOODING & CO.
Of the three auction houses, Gooding's selection of lots is the most motorsports-heavy this year. Alongside a bevy of motorsports-derived road cars are two genuine racers of exceptional provenance: an Ex-Hurley Haywood 924 GTR and a 1000km of Nurburgring class winning 934/5.
1977 Porsche 934/5 (Est. 1,400,000-$1,600,000
The Porsche 934 is the Group 4 racing derivative of the Porsche 930 street car, and this late-production car features extraordinary provenance along with original performance upgrades making it even more potent than its Group 4 brethren. This 934/5 competed in numerous events in Europe from new through 1979, and continued its racing career in Australia in 1980 and '81. In the 1980s the car was converted to road specification and used on the street in Australia. In recent years this 935 has been re-converted to racing specification in its 1979 livery. This car is unique among the ten 934/5s produced, and includes the 600hp Group 5 engine, 930/51 transaxle, and 935-style oil cooler wrapped in the original Group 4-style bodywork.
1981 Porsche 924 GTR (est. $250,000-$300,000)
Porsche produced 17 factory 924 GTR racers. This is not one of those cars. This is an Al Holbert-built car built in the same vein as the factory built originals, and is number four of six produced. This 2,000lb, 400 horsepower 924 has extensive period racing history with Hurley Haywood at Trans Am, and others at a wide variety of other events, including the 24 Hours of Daytona. This restored car wears a very handsome Lowenbrau livery, and remains an active participant in historic events.
In standard tune the 2.0l Audi-derived inline four produces around 400 horsepower, though in period it was tuned for as much as 600 horsepower. This car's full race history is documented and highlights include six Trans Am finishes with Hurley Haywood in 1981 and '82, appearances at the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring, and numerous additional Trans Am appearances with John Schneider in 1985. More recently the car has participated at Rennsport Reunion V and numerous HMSA and SVRA events. The car is also eligible for Le Mans Classique, making this a very versatile historic racer.
This 1994 Porsche 964 3.6 Turbo is a two owner example which stayed with its original owner until late 2015. While the 964 platform was heavily revised from the preceding G-Series cars, the Turbo originally launched with a lightly revised version of the old 3.3l 930 engine. This car is fitted with the 3.6l engine which Porsche had always intended for the new car. With nearly 360 horsepower on tap the 3.6l Turbo was substantially more powerful than its predecessors, and with just 1,500 produced it is one of the rarest
The cabin is every inch traditional 911, and shows minimal wear consistent with the car's 50k miles. No interior modifications are present, and the car even retains its original radio.
The centrepiece of the 3.6l 964 Turbo is its engine. The M64 mill provided greater power, smoothness and flexibility than its predecessors.
2005 Porsche Carrera GT (Est. $600,000-$700,000)
While the Carrera GT may not have the motorsports history of many Porsche models it remains a dynamically challenging analogue supercar in its own right. The 5.7l V10 used in the Carrera GT is the centrepiece of the car, and produces some 612 horsepower at a remarkable 8,000 RPM. This example is unmodified and shows just 8,500 miles from new. Though the Carrera GT was never raced, the chassis is very race car-like, with pushrod actuated coil overs and massive 6-piston aluminium brake callipers.
This Porsche has a very striking colour combination, with black paintwork over a Terracotta leather interior. A matching Terracotta leather luggage kit is included, and this Carrera GT bears the number 0542 on its numbered dash plaque.
The 5.7l V10 is one of the most extreme naturally aspirated units ever installed in a road car. With its origins in a stillborn early 1990s Formula effort, this unique mill revs beyond eight thousand RPMs, and produces one of the wildest engine notes on the planet.
Motostalgia is bringing 13 Porsches to Amelia Island, notably including two replicas and two tribute cars. Among the genuine Porsches are two 930s, a 356A Cabriolet and the only 914 offered by any of the auction houses. Motostalgia's offerings on the whole appear to lean towards the more user-friendly end of the market, with intriguing options for every budget.
1978 Porsche 911 3.6l RSR (Est. $50,000-$75,000)
The builder behind this '78 911 wanted a car that performed like a genuine RSR, but ostensibly without the risks involved with racing a real-deal RSR. This vibrant yellow, aggressively flared car offers 424hp from an updated drivetrain, extremely wide multi-piece Fuchs, lightweight Plexiglas windows, and an SCCA/SVRA roll cage.
The cosmetics are somewhat scruffy, but entirely appropriate for a racer.
Power comes from an aggressively built naturally aspirated 993 engine. Reportedly good for some 424 horsepower, this car offers more power than its smaller displacement forerunners.
1975 Porsche 914 (Est. $12,000-$15,000)
This 1975 Porsche 914 is a nicely cared for example of a late-production 914. Per the consignor the car shows no evidence of rust or past damage. The bronze paintwork appears handsome and uniformly applied. No modifications are noted, but an aftermarket exhaust. The stock wheels remain in place; a boon as this style is one of the more handsome variations offered on the 914.
The cabin is unmodified apart from an upgraded stereo head unit, and the tan upholstery shows very little evidence of wear and tear. While these late-production, rubber bumper 914s are not the most handsome of the series, they are still involving driver’s cars which deserve more respect than they often receive.
Convertibles appear to be the name of the game at Hollywood Wheels. Twenty one of this auction house's offerings are either convertibles, Targa’s, Speedsters, or the odd cloth-sunroof’s 356. For sunshine lovers Hollywood wheels looks like a must-visit. Unlike the other auction houses Hollywood Wheels has opted not to pre-release lot numbers or pre-auction estimates.
1989 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet
This Turbo Cabriolet comes from the final year of 930 production, and wears and extremely unusual colour scheme. Where Apricot over Mahogany may not suit all, the two-tone scheme given by the light paintwork and darker top will certainly attract attention. According to the sellers this is one of just 244 built. While this generation of drop-top 911s was not known for its rigidity, this 930 should be an enjoyable cruiser with the ability to show its taillights to more modern sports cars- at least in a straight line.
The mahogany coloured leather and carpets show well, and no modifications are visible. This car is equipped with a raised steering wheel hub and top-of-the-line stereo from the factory, along with a factory limited slip differential
1993 Porsche 928 GTS
Along with the 968, the 928 GTS represents the end of the transaxle Porsche's brief dynasty. Just 190 928 GTSs made their way to US shores, and represent the top of the 928 performance heap. Exterior cues include widened rear bodywork, wider wheels than earlier 928s, and subtly updated front and rear valences
At the heart of the 928 GTS is a 5.4l quad-cam V8 producing some 345 horsepower? In this example that potent mill is backed by an automatic transmission, which may dampen the fun slightly, but is well suited to the 928s large, flexible power plant. This 59k mile car is sold with books and records, and should provide a lot of performance per dollar.