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RM Atlanta Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction 2018 Recap



This auction recap is for all models previewed.

Part I our full auction preview – on air cooleds – can be read at this link.

Part II our full auction preview – on water cooleds – can be read at this link.

CBA Recaps RM’s Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

Buyers Rule the Day … Sellers Face Headwinds

How did we do?


Since Amelia 2018 we have been rather pessimistic when forecasting hammer prices in the face of what we view as overly optimistic estimates. We felt that while most examples here fell into that overly optimistic estimate pattern, some of the estimate ranges were realistic at their lower end (more so than at other recent auctions). But we also warned that this auction came wrapped in macro concerns about RM holding too many/frequent auctions, general price slippage and buyer exhaustion.

However … this auction was worse than we could have imagined (for sellers that is) – with some very big disappointments. On top of all the macro stuff we had already cited, there was bad weather and the week’s hail storm of a stock market mini-crash – perhaps the latter having the greatest impact.

After opening with a two hour sleep inducing goods auction RM began to roll the cars out. Most examples would start out slow … and then, with not much help from the auctioneers … just fizzle out altogether! It seemed that by halfway through the vehicle portion of the auction the auctioneers were trying to hurry each Lot to close just to get the whole mess over with as quickly as possible. Many ‘No Reserve’ Lots had their reserves lifted, but even then their performance was poor. Hammer prices were through the floor. Buyers were winners raising their glasses and sellers were … left drowning their sorrows at the bar.

So all that said it’s needless to say that at this auction we were mostly (way) over optimistic in our forecasts. Let’s see how we did. And as usual we consider our forecasts accurate if they are within 10% of the hammer price (high or low).

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Auction Recap

Lot 167 – 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S – 19,426 M – Black/Black – estimate $300k – $400k – Reserve.

What we said: We don’t cover these models often but have noted in the past how dramatically their prices have fallen from the highs … hammer at low estimate is possible.

Hammer price: $390k ($434k all-in).

Our take: Sometimes even up against all other circumstances ego can drive price – the auctioneer’s dream result. This seems the first and last time this effect drove the bidding at this auction as nothing we focused on thereafter (excluding maybe Project Gold) followed this track. The seller got lucky as several buyers let their emotions override their better judgement. As a result we certainly underestimated this result. Good on ya to the seller!

Lot 179 – 1996 Porsche 993 Carrera RS – 21,622 KM – Speed Yellow/Black – estimate $500k – $650k – No Reserve.

What we said: Nice German delivered car though for those wanting creature comforts … it’s hard to see this one hitting the $500k low estimate. Hammer price $450k.

Hammer price: $350k ($390k all-in).

Our take: Slow start not a lot of interest – and there it is, the theme of the RM Atlanta auction – it struggled to get bids. A nice deal for the buyer and auction house (who probably made more on it than the seller did). There were just too many 993 RS produced and too many on offer worldwide, which will lock in this price range for the foreseeable future.

Lot 183 – 2011 Porsche 997 GT3 RS 4.0 – 5,471 M – Black/Black – estimate $800k – $1m – No Reserve.

What we said: It did have the highest MSRP for North America … how much value add should this car get for its build spec and the cache of who it was built for? It’s not super low mileage and it is not being sold directly by Seinfeld. It might be a $450k hammer as it’s a nice ‘one owner’ car … so say we add $125k for uniqueness of spec and high MSRP plus $125k for the Seinfeld ‘premium’. Maybe if there is some real excitement around its uniqueness there will be a run up to a $700k hammer.

Hammer price: $510k ($566k all-in).

Our take: We tried to divine a rationale that might lift the price of this RS 4.0 up toward low estimate – should enough sensation be created around it. But even we could not achieve that and our lower than low estimate was still way high. After the Seinfeld theme played to introduce the car, with anticipation the bidding started … and then it floated adrift with no action. It felt like watching the final two episodes of Seinfeld. I think we can safely say with this result that it’s official – the ‘Seinfeld premium’ is no more (unless the car is sold by Jerry himself wielding the hammer at the podium … if even then).

View this car’s build spec here.

Lot 185 – 2015 918 Spyder Base – 255 M – Liquid Metal Chrome Blue/Onyx Black/Acid Green – estimate $1.4m – $1.6m – Reserve.

What we said: Prices are down no matter what is advertised and recent auction results have demonstrated overly optimistic estimates. Special paint, CXX options and lots of carbon fiber in and out … 1 of 1 in this color combination with the 918 Spyder Platinum Satin wheels. A $1.45m hammer is achievable.

Hammer price: $1.275m ($1.40m all-in) – RESERVE PULLED.

Our take: This 918 could have hit our forecast … if it wasn’t at this auction. None-the-less 918 owners take notice … 918 chips are down. This is as nice of an all around 918 Base that can be bought yet to sell it required abandoning the reserve. Low estimate did not seem unreasonable … but it seems in Atlanta it was.

View this car’s build spec here.

Lot 186 – 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 3.8 – 3,625 M – Carrara White/Black – estimate $175k – $200k – No Reserve.

What we said: Interestingly, per the PORS9 Search App, it is 1 of 2 for North America in Carrara White with Red contrast, Black leather seats, PCCB’s and front axle lift. These are great cars shadowed by the RS 4.0. This one should hammer at $190k given the current market.

Hammer price: $175k ($196k all-in).

Our take: Nice bidding action on this car. Hammer below our estimate but within our target range. The rare fair deal for both parties at this auction.

View this car’s build spec here.

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

Lot 191 – 1985 959 Prototype – 26,517 KM – Ruby Red/Burgundy – estimate $1.3m – $1.6m – Reserve.

What we said: Prototypes don’t necessarily command more than their production brethren and they only really appeal to a certain type of collector. The estimate range does not seem unreasonable though … bit of a WAG is a hammer at $1.5m.

Hammer price: $1.025m – NO SALE.

Our take: We should have stuck with our gut on ‘prototype’ valuations … as we certainly overestimated the interest this one might bring. High bid was around what a comparable production 959K might sell for.

Auction post script: Listed as sold at $1m inclusive of fees.

Lot 193 – 1994 Turbo S X85 Flachbau – 9,921 M – Black Metallic/Cashmere – estimate $600k – $750k – Reserve.

What we said: 1 of 3 1994 Turbo S Flatnose (out of 76 total) produced in LHD in Black Metallic. This seems a very nice and totally complete example, though not super highly optioned, with good miles. We know the market has softened for these … a realistic hammer should be around $690k.

Hammer price: $530k – NO SALE.

Our take: Action for this car was tepid from the start. Fair disclosure we have a built-in bias for the X85 especially in Black Metallic – so we won’t comment too much on the disappointment we felt in the last bid leading to the no sale. Lot 193 was again symptomatic of this auction’s biggest flaw … a real lack of interest. Cars like these will probably leave the market for a while until there is a bona fide resurgence in demand.

Auction post script: Listed as sold at $560k inclusive of fees.

Lot 195 – 2016 991 Porsche GT3 RS – 68 M – PTS Azure Blue/Black – estimate $175k – $225k – No Reserve.

What we said: It seems de rigueur to have a 2016 GT3 RS at every auction these days. It’s well optioned with an MSRP of $223,970 which is well above average … but at Porsche franchise dealers alone there over 100 2016 GT3 RS for sale at the moment. This one will pick up at $195k hammer.

Hammer price: $192.5k – ($215k all-in).

Our take: We were accurate on this one … but with so much 991.1 GT3 RS inventory on the market the number was fairly estimable.

View this car’s build spec here.

Lot 199 – 2011 997 GT2 RS – 894 M – Guards Red/Black – estimate $700k – $800k – No Reserve.

What we said: A very nice spec indeed. But the estimate range is simply too high given recent 997 GT2 RS price performance (or even historical price performance). A $625k hammer would put this at the very very top of the real money market.

Hammer price: $485k – ($538k all-in).

Our take: Our forecast was at the very very top of what we could imagine for the hammer and yet we were still way off … which makes you wonder where the fantastical auction estimate came from? This and the Seinfeld RS 4.0 seem to signal a real drop in valuations for limited, numbered, production 997 GT’s … and given that uncertainty, going forward, a no reserve strategy for such cars seems ill advised unless you just don’t want to take it back home.

View this car’s build spec here.

Lot 207 – 2004 Carrera GT – 1,525 M – Seal Grey Metallic/Dark Grey – estimate $650k – $750k – Reserve.

What we said: Given market and other considerations a $690k hammer is not out of the question.

Hammer price: WITHDRAWN.

Our take: Either the luckiest, smartest or most prescient seller at the auction owns this car … they walk away untainted by a prospectively poor performance.

View this car’s build spec here.

Lot 209 – 1994 Turbo S ‘Package’ – 8,700 M – Black/Black – estimate $775k – $950k – Reserve.

What we said: This is a very well kept example of one of the lowest production, but somewhat less unique, rare air cooled Porsches. Package cars have always seemed to exceed their Flachbau siblings in price (again though they are certainly less unique) and maybe this one can too. This example could hammer at $730k if reserve is taken off.

Hammer price: $725k – ($797k all-in).

Our take: As off as we were with the X85 Flachbau, we were on with this car. Given the Flachbau’s weak performance it’s a bit surprising that this car held up as well as we forecasted. The action quickly jumped this car to a $650k bid then it stalled and crawled to the hammer … as we suggested in our preview, the seller was smart to pull the reserve in order to let this one go.

Auction post script: Listed as still for sale.

Lot 211 – 2008 997 GT2 – 2,800 M – Speed Yellow/Black – estimate $260k – $300k – Reserve.

What we said: The 997 GT2 is still probably one of the better values from the 997 era … and this one might very well sell at a $275k hammer … or more.

Hammer price: $235k – ($258k all-in) – RESERVE PULLED.

Our take: Reserve was off from the get go and after a few quick jumps it basically stalled out. Typical behavior at this auction. Again, we overestimated the interest this car deserved … same old story for the 997 GT2.

Auction post script: Listed as sold at $235k inclusive of fees.

View this car’s build spec here.

Lot 213 – 2007 997 GT3 RS – 600 M – RS Orange/Black – estimate $260k – $300k – Reserve.

What we said: Miles are right on this car for collectors … and it might be bought for less than it was priced at when at Roads Scholars some time back – and it needs to be to sell. This is a $235k hammer if the reserve comes off … otherwise no sale.

Hammer price: $230k – ($253k all-in) – RESERVE PULLED.

Our take: Another car for which the reserve was off from the get go. Nearing the end of a somewhat painful auction day, Lot 213 seemed hurried by the auctioneers to a quick conclusion in what felt like an effort to just get the whole proceeding over with. Our forecast was accurate.

Auction post script: Listed as still for sale.

View this car’s build spec here.

Lot 220 – 2018 Porsche 911 Turbo Classic Series “Project Gold” as see on display at Rennsport VI – estimate Upon Request.

What we said: Porsche have clearly stated they will never build another car like it … perhaps most importantly Porsche AG declared that net proceeds from the car’s sale, above its hypothetical original retail value and actual auction expenses, will go to benefit the Ferry Porsche Foundation, a non-profit charity organized in Germany. Only a WAG can suffice for a car like this so we’ll go with a $1.75m hammer.

Hammer price: $3.1m – ($3.415m all-in).

Our take: Nice movement in $100k increments up to $1m then it stalled … momentarily … only to ramp back up (including some $200k increments) to hammer at $3.1m. Congratulations paddle #4005!

What’s on the Market?
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