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RM Petersen Automotive Museum Auction 2018 Recap



CBA Recaps RM

Petersen Automotive Museum Auction

Too Much + Too Soon = Exhaustion?

Read our auction preview here.

Our level of interest in this auction was, as an auction of individual cars, a shrug and a “meh” (well maybe excluding the 290MM Ferrari – but that was an anomaly here – and FWIW it sold at low estimate). If anyone else was interested, notwithstanding our feeling about it, was what our interest really was in this auction … seeing if and how the inventory on offer would be absorbed. To gain more insight into questions like are there are too many auctions, too close together, and therefore too few quality and/or interesting cars on offer? Does this result in downward price pressure? Are buyers exhausted and generally disinterested in anything which is not a bargain? And does all of this mirror the market in general? Finally, where are things going in 2019?

We are preparing a blog post to explore all of this in more detail.

But for now let’s see how we did this time around. And as usual we consider our forecasts accurate if they are within 10% of the hammer price (high or low).

Auction Results

Lot 198 – 1987 Porsche 959 Komfort – 41k KM – Black/Grey – estimate $950k – $1.1m – Reserve.

What we said: A good driver for someone who wants to cruise the California coast in a 959 without worrying too much about losing value as a result. Hammer around $900k if reserve is lifted.

Hammer price: Hi Bid $870k – NO SALE.

Our take: Although it seems to be true at the moment that a decent 959K should command $1m – which is near where this one would have landed all-in if the high bid was accepted – this will most probably not be true in 6-12 months. And from the bottom (wherever that is) it could be a very long slow climb back up. The seller should have taken this money because this car is forever a decent driver not more not less – and those are the cars that appreciate most slowly.

Lot 222 – 2005 Porsche Carrera GT – 8,749 M – Black/Terra Cotta – estimate $700k – $900k – Reserve.

What we said: This one could move at low estimate but buyer’s are cautious and patient and when reality sinks in there are plenty of higher mileage $750k CGT’s, so likely its reserve is pulled for a $675k hammer.

Hammer price: $700k ($775k all-in).

Our take: CGT maintenance is a much bigger consideration than most realize. The costs (tires, engine out service, clutch, cams, fuel pump/gas tank … and on and on) can add up very quickly. This one being fully updated and ready go greatly helped its case. Sold right where it should have.

View this car’s build spec here.

Lot 225 – 2011 997 Porsche GT2 RS – 5,350 M – Black/Black – estimate $400k – $500k – Reserve.

What we said: A second chance all around but at a $380k hammer … otherwise no sale.

Hammer price: Hi Bid $370k – NO SALE.

Our take: Limited series (600 delivered worldwide). Last Mezger turbo charged engine (the pinnacle). Manual only GT turbo (the good old days). Someday a must have collectible – but that day is not today. It seems they are not as respected as they should be particularly as compared to the awesome but in many ways much less special 991 GT2 RS (we estimate that more than 1,000 of these will be delivered to North America alone by the time production ends in 2019).

View this car’s build spec here.

Lot 227 – 2015 918 Spyder Weissach – 279 M – PTS Oryx White Metallic w/ Matte Black Wrap/Onyx Black – estimate $1.5m – $1.7m – Reserve.

What we said: Prices of 918’s have fallen considerably in 2018 and continue to do so. We like this car at a $1.575m hammer and a flash back to 2017 at which time it’s hammer price may have been a little under market.

Hammer price: $1.395m ($1.54m all-in) – RESERVE PULLED.

Our take: We were a little off on this one (13% v. 10% target) … which surprised us a bit. Prices for 918’s are falling a little faster than we forecasted. We’ve long predicted that around this time the inventory of available 918’s would start stacking up and it has (15+ on the North American market on any given day). Considering how many have low to no miles we can anticipate concerns about deferred maintenance, leaky seals and failing battery packs.

View this car’s build spec here.

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