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RM Sotheby’s Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

Porsche Experience Centre Atlanta
Porsche 911s on track at the Porsche Experience Centre Atlanta (Courtesy of the Porsche Experience Centre Atlanta)

RM Sotheby’s, in collaboration with the Porsche Experience Centre Atlanta, will host the Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction, an exclusive, single-marque auction to be held on the weekend of 27 October at the home of Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) in Atlanta. The auction will feature approximately 70 of the world’s most important and most sought-after collectible Porsche models, spanning the marque’s illustrious 70-year history as a sports car manufacturer.
The American market has long been one of Porsche’s most important export markets, but far from being a geographic sector to just push cars into, the US has over the years been at the forefront of creating some of the manufacturer’s notable memories. In the early years, it was thanks to far-sighted entrepreneurs such as Max Hoffman and John von Neumann, who were responsible for building the Porsche marque in the US. Through folk such as these, Porsche sports cars soon began to attract attention in America with numerous racing achievements, which resulted in a strong growth in sales.

Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction sales catalogue
The auction sales catalogue for the Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction has been printed with four different colour covers (Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)

In the early 1950s, Porsche regularly beat thoroughbred racing machines with much bigger and more powerful engines, and this reputation earned them the nickname of ‘giant killers’. It was in races such as the Carrera Panamericana where the diminutive Porsche 550 Spyder earned its stripes the hard way, when in 1954 it came home in third place behind two works Ferraris. The 1498 cc 4-cam Carrera-engined 550 Spyder (chassis #550-004) was driven that year by Hans Herrmann in this epic 2000-mile (3200 km) road race, the fifth and final time the event was held. Although few in Europe had heard of this marathon race (apart from the manufacturers and top racing drivers), it was far better known in America from whence many privateer drivers hailed. It was this market that Porsche had its eye on, and a successful five-year motorsport campaign it turned out to be.
Before the running of the 2018 Sebring 12-Hour race, Porsche had notched up 18 overall victories and 70 class wins, making it the most successful manufacturer in this classic endurance race. After the race on 17 March this year, Porsche had added one more overall and a class victory to that tally. Porsche can legitimately claim to have won most of the major international endurance races around the world repeatedly, over many decades, including the biggest of them all, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. With Porsche’s heritage built on the foundation of such a motorsport record, their road cars have found homes around the world with an exceptional and enthusiastic following.
In all honesty, the RM Sotheby’s sale on 27 October at the Porsche Experience Centre Atlanta contains some of the most iconic Porsche road and race cars that you could wish to see. Added to this, is a collection of Porsche memorabilia that would impress even the most ardent follower of the brand. With the above in mind, Porsche Road & Race has assembled a small selection of the cars and collectible items from the sales catalogue for your convenience. We hope you will feel inspired:

1983 Porsche 956 Group C
Lot 200 – 1983 Porsche 956 Group C: estimate $5,250,000 – $6,750,000 (Matthew Howell © 2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)

The wonderful example offered here, chassis 956-110, was purchased new in May 1983 by John Fitzpatrick Racing and delivered just prior to that year’s Le Mans effort. This car was the overall winner of the 1983 Brands Hatch 1000 km, and was the only 956 to compete and win on American soil in period, taking the chequered flag at the 1983 Can-Am Road America race. It was also campaigned in 1983 and 1984 in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Chassis 956-110 is the most original surviving example of the nine WEC privateer 956s and has a documented history from new, having had only three private owners. An extensive history of the Porsche 956 and 962 can be found HERE.

1985 Porsche 959 Paris-Dakar
Lot 196 – 1985 Porsche 959 Paris-Dakar: estimate $3,000,000 – $3,400,000 (Robin Adams © 2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)

Chassis no. 010015 is one of three cars prepared specifically for the 1985 Paris-Dakar Rally. To satisfy homologation requirements, these 959 test mules were developed from 911 SC chassis and then substantially modified to 959 specifications. Incorporating the naturally aspirated 3.2-liter Carrera engine, all three cars were fitted with a new heavy-duty suspension and electronically administered four-wheel drive. Unfortunately, after winning two stages this car suffered a ruptured oil line, forcing its withdrawal from the rally.

1975 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 3.0
Lot 215 – 1975 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 3.0: estimate $2,000,000 – $2,200,000 (Loic Kernen © 2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)

Chassis 9115609121 was delivered new to the factory-supported Tebernum Racing Team, and is one of just 52 RSR 3.0s built, with only ten being built in 1975. It has an extensive European racing history and was the winner of the 1975 European GT Championship. It was a two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans entrant in 1975 and 1976, and was owned formerly owned by renowned actor and racing driver Paul Newman. This car was a Class winner at the Le Mans Classic in 2016 and 2018.

1951 Porsche 356 1300 'Split-Window' Cabriolet by Reutter
Lot 184 – 1951 Porsche 356 1300 ‘Split-Window’ Cabriolet by Reutter: estimate $650,000 – $800,000 (Loic Kernen © 2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)

Completed by Porsche on 8 September 1951, this early 1300 split-window cabriolet is finished in its original colour combination of Pascha Red over Beige leather. It was delivered new to a company in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where it stayed for over 30 years. It was then shipped to the U.S. when it was purchased by its new German owner where it underwent a restoration which was completed in 1990. The 356 remained there until 2007 when it was purchased by the current consignor who more recently restored it in its correct and original colour combination. The car retains its original 1300 engine.

1991 Porsche 911 Turbo
Lot 189 – 1991 Porsche 911 Turbo: estimate $225,000 – $275,000 (Robin Adams © 2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)

Painted in rare paint-to-sample Meteor Grey over special Matador Red leather upholstery, the 1991 911 Turbo offered here was a special-order by its original owner. The car’s build sheet and original window sticker show $20,621 in optional extras that pushed its original list price to $118,421. The car’s original owner was an attorney in the Washington, D.C., area was delivered to its first owner on 30 July 1991, to the Porsche dealership in Arlington, Virginia. Today the car shows just 18,400 original miles on the clock.

1990 Porsche 944 S2 Cabriolet
Lot 222 – 1990 Porsche 944 S2 Cabriolet: estimate $40,000 – $60,000 (Rasy Ran © 2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)

The 944 S2 was introduced in 1989 powered by a new 3-litre, normally aspirated engine, making it the largest 4-cylinder engine in series production at the time. The S2 brought increased power output and was capable of almost 150 mph. This superb example is finished in Titanium Metallic with a sumptuous Linen (light gray) leather interior and remains in spectacular original condition. It is fitted with the original Blaupunkt stereo head unit with optional Blaupunkt BEA 80 Equalizer Amplifier Unit. This Porsche has lived a charmed life in Texas since it was delivered new to its one and only original owner, and has fewer than 15,000 original miles on the clock.

Porsche Sebring 12 Hour Race Framed Poster, 1968
Lot 103 – Porsche Sebring 12 Hour Race Framed Poster, 1968: estimate $600 – $800 (© 2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)

Porsche 356 C Driver's Manual
Lot 114 – Porsche 356 C Driver’s Manual: estimate $250 – $350 (© 2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)

Porsche Racing Posters, 1980s
Lot 130 – Porsche Racing Posters, 1980s: estimate $1,500 – $2,000 (© 2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)

Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction schedule

Date Time Event
Friday, 26 Oct 2018 10h00 to 17h00 Preview – $50
Saturday, 27 Oct 2018 10h00 to 13h00 Preview
13h00 Auction

For anyone looking to speak with an RM Sotheby’s specialist for further information about the cars, they should contact:
Alexander Weaver
Car Specialist, RM Sotheby’s
Culver City, California
+1 310 559 4575
For those looking to register to bid on any of the cars in the Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction, bidder registration is available online at rmsothebys.com or by calling the California office at +1 310 559 4575.
Written and edited by: Glen Smale
Images by: Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s – copyright on each image

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