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Pebble Beach 2019 Auction Recap

 

Pebble Beach 2019 Auction Recap

Estimate Ranges Too High and Too Wide

A Lot of Fumbling at Pebble

 

Imagine the scene. A special video plays an intro for Type 64 the highly anticipated one and only pre-Porsche Porsche coming to the stage – certainly destined for aggressive high bidding action from around the globe. The auctioneer opens the bidding at $30m – what? The crowd oohs and aahs and the auctioneer stutters a defense for his opening gambit that this is “… a very special car.” A bidder waives their hand and the massive display board pops $30m on the screen. Before the stunned crowd can absorb their disbelief in this number being accepted the auctioneer cries out a $40m bid – the crowd cannot believe what they are witnessing – surely an all-time record will be made tonight.

And before one could blink their eyes at the big screen board popping up to $40m the auctioneer cries out $50m, then $60m, then $70m … where for a moment a breath is taken by everyone present, online or anywhere within range of the electricity being generated from this unbelievable happening. The crowd is going wild!

…. but wait, what’s that? 70m? … “no no” the auctioneer says. “It’s 17 million … 17 million … I guess my accent made it sound like 70 million”. And then, as a fitting ending, the hammer stayed raised and the auction immediately fizzled out and was over with an anticlimactic ‘no thud’ … ending one of the funniest debacles I have ever seen at auction. I guess the auction staff didn’t communicate internally what the opening bid request would be for arguably their most important car of the weekend – huh? Overall that night RM’s board operator (now the coffee runner) was all over the place popping bids that hadn’t happened and pulling them back or not keeping up with actual bids being announced – poorly done.

In truth RM Saturday night performance was a fitting end to an auction weekend that disjointed, clunky and off. More than usual, what happened on the stage was changed post auction – no hammers became sales and hammers became no sales. Arguably one of the messiest auction weekends we’ve seen in this regard.

Without further ado let’s see how we did – as usual we consider ourselves winners on no hammer calls or on hammers +/- 10% from our forecast … anything else we attempt to explain away :).

 

RM Sotheby’s

Lot 234 – 1996 993 GT2 Strassenversion – 10,404 KM – Speed Yellow/Black – estimate $1.25m to $1.4m – Reserve.

What we said: A $1.3m hammer is not out of the question.

Hammer price: $1.1m Hammer – Reserve Pulled – ‘Still for Sale’ at RM

Our take: This lot was a very quick hammer but then it’s ‘still for sale’, so – as seems not so rare for this Pebble weekend – what one witnessed live wasn’t exactly what happened. If the auctioneer had taken some more time this car could have done better – we thought it should have – and maybe the hammer would have taken if he had. The estimate spread was tight which was good but it should have opened lower to gain more interest. This is probably about where the 993 GT2 is these days. Demand for all air cooleds is not what it was a few years ago.

  • RM Sothebys Low Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +14%
  • RM Sothebys High Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +27%
  • CBA/PORS9 Forecast vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +18%
  •  

    Lot 247 – 2005 Carrera GT – 265 M – PTS Arancio Borealis/Dark Grey – estimate $1.2m to $1.5m – No Reserve.

    What we said: No PTS Carrera GT has sold for more than this one recently did and that was for less than the low estimate here all-in. A $1.1m bid would get the new owner all-in around the recent threshold.

    Hammer price: $1.080m Hammer ($1.19m all-in) – No Reserve

    Our take: Funny bid increments near the end of the action on this lot brought a laugh from the auctioneer. Those funny increments landed it where it should have. This car will be worth substantially more once it cracks the 25 year mark.

  • RM Sothebys Low Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +11%
  • RM Sothebys High Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +39%
  • CBA/PORS9 Forecast vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +2%
  • View this car’s build spec here.

     

    Lot 325 – 2011 997 GT3 RS 4.0 – 5,118 M – Black/Black – estimate $500k to $600k – Reserve.

    What we said: It disappointed (at RM’s 2018 Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction) with a $510k high bid on an optimistic $800k low estimate – not sure how much better it will do here. Maybe Seinfeld’s prior ownership can get this to a $525k hammer despite it having higher mileage than is desirable for a true collectible.

    Hammer price: $600k Hammer ($655k all-in)

    Our take: This lot opened at $350k and some decent action got it to our forecast of $525k on the nose … where it stalled out and was ready to hammer. Then the winning bidder not only decided that they wanted the car, but that no one else should even think about it … and spiked an irrationally exuberant $600k bid in the end zone. A whole run of high value big action Ferraris preceded this lot so maybe some pent up enthusiasm from those lots carried over here. Seems more money than sense should be on everyone’s bucket list.

  • RM Sothebys Low Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: under -17%
  • RM Sothebys High Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: on the money +/-0%
  • CBA/PORS9 Forecast vs. Hammer/Last Bid: under -13%
  • View this car’s build spec here.

     

    Lot 336 – 1991 C4 Leichtbau – 4,500 KM – Black/Black – estimate $450k to $550k – Reserve.

    What we said: We really like this car for its interesting engineering as documented on our C4 Leichtbau website. But no matter how much we like em these don’t ever seem to sell for what we think they should. No hammer unless reserve is lifted.

    Hammer price: $410k Hammer ($456k all-in) – Reserve Pulled

    Our take: Clearly the owner did not want to take this one back. Reserve was off from the get go and from a $275k start it was over quickly.

  • RM Sothebys Low Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +10%
  • RM Sothebys High Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +34%
  • CBA/PORS9 Forecast vs. Hammer/Last Bid: no estimate – reserve lifted
  •  

    Lot 339 – 2005 Carrera GT – 5,031 M – GT Silver Metallic/Ascot – estimate $625k to $725k – No Reserve.

    What we said: A $650k hammer should be welcomed.

    Hammer price: $650k Hammer ($720k all-in)

    Our take: The end result is market correct (for now) for a mid-mileage GT Silver example fully serviced, updated and ready to go. It will be interesting to see how long Carrera GT prices can stay up at these levels.

  • RM Sothebys Low Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: under -4%
  • RM Sothebys High Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +12%
  • CBA/PORS9 Forecast vs. Hammer/Last Bid: on the money +/-0%
  • View this car’s build spec here.

     

    Lot 369 – 2016 911 R – 353 M – White/Black GT Silver Stitching – estimate $325k to $375k – No Reserve.

    What we said: Estimate range is far too high for a car that should hammer at $265k.

    Hammer price: $280k Hammer ($313k all-in)

    Our take: 911R prices will drop further ultimately settling at about 25% over MSRP but for now they are still up at 50%+ over.

  • RM Sothebys Low Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +16%
  • RM Sothebys High Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +34%
  • CBA/PORS9 Forecast vs. Hammer/Last Bid: under -5%
  • View this car’s build spec here.

     

    Gooding and Company

    Lot 028 – 1989 959 Sport – 4,955 M – Guards Red/Grey – estimate $2.0m to $2.4m – Reserve.

    What we said: Hard to find another one … a hammer at $2.1m makes sense if there is a collector who must fill this slot in their garage.

    Hammer price: $1.7m No Sale

    Our take: This is the pinnacle 1980’s production Porsche but it seems that no one needed to fill this slot. A quick run to $1.65m bid flushed all the interest out and it was a fast no hammer. In truth if preauction indications of interest were such that this car was going to perform this poorly v. house estimates the auction house should have withdrawn the lot because now the owner is stained by this result.

  • Gooding Low Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +18%
  • Gooding High Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +41%
  • CBA/PORS9 Forecast vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +24%
  •  

    Lot 036 – 1992 964 RS – 5,661 KM – PTS Saturn Yellow/Black – estimate $500k to $600k – Reserve.

    What we said: Someone will certainly love this color but unless the reserved is dropped it seems like this one will be a no hammer.

    Hammer price: $390k No Sale – Listed ‘Sold @ $400k/$445k’

    Our take: This car was a no sale with high bid of $390k … but our eyes and ears must have been lying because it shows as sold for $400k … that did not happen live. In any event this lot was over estimated going in and the all-in price paid was arguably still on the high side.

  • Gooding Low Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +25%
  • Gooding High Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +50%
  • CBA/PORS9 Forecast vs. Hammer/Last Bid: no estimate – no sale live
  •  

    Lot 046 – 1993 964 RS 3.8 – 4,253 KM – Guards Red/Black – estimate $1.6m to $2.0m – Reserve.

    What we said: A very complete example – this one will be hard to top any time soon. While the high estimate is most likely not in the cards, a $1.625m hammer is conceivable.

    Hammer price: $1.55m Hammer($1.71m all-in)

    Our take: Starting the bidding at $500k was smart to get the interest going and it allowed for a solid run to $1.2m … a little stalling around and the hammer fell at $1.55m. Seems a fair market representation of where a prime examples are these days – we thought it could do a little better.

  • Gooding Low Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +3%
  • Gooding High Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +29%
  • CBA/PORS9 Forecast vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +5%
  •  

    Lot 061 – 2011 997 GT2 RS – 752 M – Black/Black Red – estimate $400k to $500k – Reserve.

    What we said: It seems 997 GT2 RS pricing is destined to slowly drift lower. A hammer at $385k is about right for this low mileage example if reserve is abandoned.

    Hammer price: $350k Hammer ($390k all-in) – Reserve Pulled

    Our take: This lot performed even worse than our lowered expectations predicted. By the winter auctions the all-in price for an equivalent example to this one will be this lot’s hammer price.

  • Gooding Low Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +14%
  • Gooding High Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +43%
  • CBA/PORS9 Forecast vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +10%
  • View this car’s build spec here.

     

    Bonhams

    Lot 70 – 2019 991 GT3 RS – 350 M – GT Silver Metallic/Black – estimate $225k to $275k – Reserve.

    What we said: No sale unless reserve is dropped for a $180k hammer.

    Hammer price: $180k Hammer – Reserve Pulled – ‘Still for Sale’ at Bonhams

    Our take: This example is unremarkable with a $203k MSRP … and interest reflected this. Started out at $120k … a lot of crickets … with not much action it managed a $180k hammer. But … seems to be ‘still for sale’ so maybe the buyer backed out?

  • Gooding Low Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +25%
  • Gooding High Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +53%
  • CBA/PORS9 Forecast vs. Hammer/Last Bid: on the money +/-0%
  •  

    Lot 136 – 2015 918 Spyder Weissach – 980 M – Sapphire Blue Metallic/Black Silver Alcantara – estimate $1.6m to $1.9m – Reserve.

    What we said: Low estimate is too high for a car that already couldn’t sell for that number all-in … so unless the reserve is dropped this is a no sale.

    Hammer price: $1.325m No Sale

    Our take: Not much to say here except that 918 owners in general have an unrealistic view of the value of the their cars. Auction houses needing inventory seem more than willing to enable them.

  • Gooding Low Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +21%
  • Gooding High Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +43%
  • CBA/PORS9 Forecast vs. Hammer/Last Bid: no sale
  • View this car’s build spec here.

     

    Lot 137 – 2008 997 GT2 – 4,976 M – Basalt Black/Black – estimate $175k to $225k – Reserve.

    What we said: If the car had recently not sold at a higher price (it couldn’t) we would say differently – but only low estimate is attainable here – $175k hammer.

    Hammer price: $145k No Sale

    Our take: The 997 GT and Turbo GT markets continue to collapse … plus similar comments as with the Gooding 997 GT2 RS.

  • Gooding Low Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +21%
  • Gooding High Estimate vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +55%
  • CBA/PORS9 Forecast vs. Hammer/Last Bid: over +21%
  • View this car’s build spec here.

     



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