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Pebble Beach 2018 Recap



CBA Recaps Pebble Beach 2018
$2,500 Bid Increments – Low Estimates Abandoned – Carrera GT v. 918 Market


Rare Air Cooled Market Still Off? How Did the ‘Story Cars’ Perform?

Watching these auctions what struck most was auctioneers trying to keep the bidding going on mid six figure cars (and higher) with $2,500 bid increments – felt odd. And that combined with the plethora of no reserve offerings … and as it turned out cars whose reserve was pulled well below low estimate … made events anticlimactic. Sure there were not a lot of great cars in the categories we pay most attention to compared to say Amelia Island 2018, but the response to what was available did not leave an impression even close to the auctions earlier this year. The energy did not seem to make it to the floor. We’ll leave it to the reader to determine whether the auction houses are living up to expectations or not.

Given the fluctuations and unpredictabilty of the market these days we consider ourselves ‘on-the-mark’ if we are within the 10% buyer’s commission. So let’s look at what happened and see how we did by that benchmark.

Have you seen our new ‘Porsche Dealer Inventory Weekly’?

Gooding & Company

Lot 014 – 2015 918 Spyder Weissach – 92 M – Rhodium Silver Metallic/Black – estimate $1.6m – $2.0m.

What we said: … given the failure of most 918’s to sell at auction and with a 10% commission pushing the price right up against the market … around low estimate is probably all it can achieve. Hammer $1.65m.

Hammer price: $1.5m ($1.65m all-in).

Our take: The 918 market appears to be softer than we thought. We were within our 10% margin benchmark but we certainly overestimated the strength of 918 interest. Money and interest appears to be rotating into Porsche’s previous super car the Carrera GT.

View this car’s build spec here.

Lot 060 – 2004 Carrera GT – 4,500 M – GT Silver/Terracotta – estimate $550k – $650k.

What we said: … although it’s with reserve – it should really not be, maybe that will change during the live auction. No sale unless reserve is pulled..

Hammer price: $660k ($726k all-in).

Our take: The Carrera GT market is indeed hotting up. This result probably speaks more to that than the appeal of this example itself. We never imagined that a car with such an odd backstory (read our Pebble Beach Auction Preview 2018) would sell at low estimate let alone at more than high estimate. That said, at the ‘all-in’ price a patient buyer could have bought a similar original US spec example without the story.

Lot 127 – 2016 991.1 GT3 RS – 55 M – Ultraviolet/Black – estimate $175k – $250k No Reserve.

What we said: The right result is a hammer at or below low estimate..

Hammer price: $175k ($192.5k all-in).

Our take: Not much to say. Turns out this was part of an auction house liquidation which is why this was here. We figured a low estimate hammer was about market when taken ‘all-in’ and that’s exactly where it hammered. The latest update of our Porsche Dealer Inventory Weekly shows a whopping 61 991.1 GT3 RS’s on offer including 14 in Ultraviolet.

View this car’s build spec here.

Lot 158 – 1993 964 3.8 RS – Guards Red/Black – 28k KM to 48k KM – LHD – estimate $1.1m – $1.4m.

What we said: Given its rarity it’s hard imagine that this is only a $1.1m car at the hammer, but on the other hand given its story it’s hard to imagine it’s a $1.4m car either. Rarity alone could allow this car to hammer around low estimate … unless the story gets in the way.

Hammer price: $910k ($1m all-in).

Our take: It’s a 3.8 RS … but notwithstanding its rarity the story did seem to get in the way. Reserve pulled and the car sold. Someone got one of 55 built at pricing just as we forecasted. Read the full story in our auction preview.

RM Sothebys

Lot 118 – 2004 Carrera GT – 176 M – GT Silver Metallic/Ascot Brown – estimate $700k – $900k.

What we said: Of course all of that may not matter to the right buyer who wants to let it sit for future appreciation and never drive it. The estimate range is not out of reason. A $775k hammer is possible for the right buyer..

Hammer price: $850k ($940k all-in).

Our take: As previously mentioned the Carrera GT market is hot and still on the boil, and we have underestimated its relative strength (v. the 918). While auctions are not always the best barometers for making market comps, it seems that a 2004 GT Silver Metallic with super low miles is creeping toward the $1m mark. Other less common colors and a 2005 vintage just might be over that hill already.

View this car’s build spec here.

Lot 146 – 2011 997 GT2 RS – 4,500 M – GT Silver Metallic/Black – estimate $440k – $480k.

What we said: No sale unless reserve is pulled..

Hammer price: $400k ($445k all-in).

Our take: Indeed the 997 GT2 RS is not pulling a lot of demand these days. As we prognosticated reserve would have to be pulled for the car to sell … and that is what happened. Clearly the seller did not want to take it back.

View this car’s build spec here.

Lot 154 – 2016 911R – 20 M – Black/Black/Green – estimate $325k – $375k No Reserve.

What we said: No reserve seems smart as the car should hold ‘all-in’ value to a $340k hammer..

Hammer price: $340k ($379k all-in).

Our take: A nice looking example with the right miles (most 911 R’s are not driven). Our estimate was exactly ‘on-the-hammer’. This offering was bought and sold right.

View this car’s build spec here.


Lot 035 – 2015 918 Spyder Weissach – 7,988 M – Black/Interior to Sample Cognac – estimate $1.35m – $1.75m.

What we said: Possibly low estimate … but no sale if bidders can hold out..

Hammer price: $1.275m ($1.4m all-in).

Our take: Bidders never had a chance to hold out as reserve was pulled. A bit of a messy listing, but a nice looking car with driver miles. Bottomline – another example of softening market prices for 918’s (for reference this car had a $959k MSRP).

View this car’s build spec here.

Lot 154 – 1996 993 GT2 ‘Clubsport’ – 39,529 km – Grand Prix White/Black – estimate $1.5m – $2m.

What we said: This car should have had a low estimate of $1.25m to get the party started and then let the bidders lift it from there. No sale unless the reserve is pulled.

Hammer price: $1m ($1.1m all-in).

Our take: To us this was the most interesting Porsche at any of the auctions but its estimate range made no sense. You can read what we said about it here. A weaker result than we imagined and reserve was quickly abandoned. The scheme of buying interesting and rare cars in Japan to turn and sell here seems to be tiring the market and would appear a very risky strategy going forward (it’s not 2014/15 anymore) just have a look at Amelia results for Japan cars earlier this year.

On Tap – RM’s 70th Anniversary Porsche Auction Preview!