6 Porsches That Should Be On Your Retromobile Shopping List
“Don’t count your chickens before they hatch,” is how the old saying goes. But…
As car enthusiasts, we all have “the list,” a tally of dream cars we would buy if we received a massive influx of money. And if you have the money, we recommend you head to Paris early next month, as the City of Light once again plays host to Rétromobile. From February 3rd through 7th, 2016, the city is alive with, well, retro.
At the same time, the first European collectible car and motorcycle sales will also be taking place, with three of the major auction houses—Artcurial, Bonhams, and RM Sotheby’s—all holding court nearby. Here are six to warm up your bidder’s paddle for.
1970 Porsche 914/6
Bonhams Lot #375
For those that might remember, it wasn’t all that long ago that one could pick up almost any 914 very inexpensively. From the beginning, the 914 suffered from a reputation that it was “not quite a Porsche”. Today, things are looking quite different, and Bonhams estimates this 914/6 will go to a new home for somewhere between $92,000-150,000.
Resplendent in what looks to be Signal Orange, a very bright, but appropriate color for the time period, this 914 has slightly more pick-up and go than four-cylinder as it is powered by the the Porsche 911 T’s 2.0-litre six, and is coveted today by enthusiasts who may have been priced out of an early 911, but still want a classic Porsche with an air-cooled flat six.
1965 Porsche 911
Estimate: $240,000–$280,000 Usd.
Bonhams Lot #327
1965 was considered the first year of the 911, and an early model like this one is a wonderful thing. It’s the simplicity, you see. This particular example has had a repaint to silver from its original Polo Red, and a few other small modifications that err on the side of drivability, but we think this matching numbers SWB coupe is a winner.
These cars should never seriously drop in value, are fun to drive, so just enjoy while the market catches up or even passes what you paid. This one was thoroughly gone over in 2004, so it has mellowed a bit in the past decade, but that’s a good thing in our book: just get out and drive it. Bonhams estimates it will trade hands for a cool quarter million, and we think the auction house is probably right on the money.
1992 Porsche 911 RS
Estimate: US$ 150,000 – 175,000
RM Sotheby’s Lot #129
While outwardly similar to its siblings from the time, Porsche went to great lengths to make the RS the most dynamic 911 since the original RS of 1973. The company would dispose of many of the 911’s usual luxuries, and instead subscribe to the simple: “reduce weight, add power” philosophy, with the end result being a superlative and focused driving machine.
Air-cooled 911s of any age continue to grow in popularity with enthusiasts and collectors, especially the RS models which many regard as the “purest” models. They are, after all, everything you need and nothing you don’t.
This Grand Prix White example is low-mileage, with only 41,000 kilometers from new, and evidentially well-maintained. While hooning it around a track—and the potential damage it might incur—might dampen its future value, we think it would be an absolute blast for its next owner. Besides, this car was meant to turn its wheels in anger.
1955 Porsche 550 Spyder
Estimate: $2,400,000–2,800,000 Usd.
RM Sotheby’s Lot #143
Unveiled to the public at the 1953 Paris Motor Show, the 550 was the company’s first dedicated sports racer. It’s an open-cockpit design inspired by the earlier sports cars built and campaigned by Walter Glockler, a German Volkswagen dealer, using Porsche mechanicals residing in a light tubular frame. Their success inspired Dr. Ferdinand Porsche to launch the 550. Famous drivers who parked themselves behind the wheel include Stirling Moss, Hans Herrmann, Richard von Frankenberg, and Italian Umberto Maglioli.
RM Sotheby’s reckons this 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder, with period racing history, is worth every penny of its $2.4 million Usd. low estimate. While the price isn’t as light as the body, purchasing 550-0068 will gain you admission to almost all of the classic racing events, including the Mille Miglia, Tour Auto, Le Mans Classic, Goodwood Revival, Monterey Classics, and Monaco Historic Grand Prix, among others—and that, as the credit card ads say, is “priceless”.
1988 Porsche 959 Komfort
Estimate: $1,300,000–1,500,000 Usd.
Artcurial Lot #142
One of the most iconic supercars of the ’80s, this 1988 959 “Komfort” model—because it was more luxurious and comfortable than the “S”—is powered by a 444 horsepower, twin-turbocharged 2.8-liter flat-six connected to a six-speed manual driving all four wheels. While these figures might seem quaint now, the 959 was far ahead of its competition—the Ferrari 288 GTO and Lamborghini Countach both come to mind—in both technology and speed, and still extremely potent today.
Perhaps because it did not look as outrageous as the cars from Maranello and Sant’Agata, the 959 flew a little under the radar for many folks, but one still ended up on my bedroom wall. 959s are now more than 25 years old, so importation of cars like this 1988 example is open to bids from almost anyone, which is good news for American car collectors and enthusiasts who have the $1,300,000–1,500,000 that Artcurial estimates it would take to make this yours. Not just for your bedroom wall, mind you—but in your actual garage.
1973 Porsche 911 RS Touring
Artcurial Lot #206
The public would first see the Carrera 2.7 RS at the 1972 Paris Auto Show. A special model used to homologate the 911 in Group 4 racing, the RS was developed from the standard (if it could be called that) 911S, and was lighter and more potent in almost every area. Production began in April of 1972 and finished in July of the same year with 1,580 cars built. Around 1,300 of these were the standard Touring model like the model on offer from Artcurial. One of the initial 500 produced, and finished in tangerine, it has been completely gone through fairly recently, and is said to be ready to hit the track for any vintage events you might choose to compete in.
No Porsche collection could be complete without an RS, and Artcurial will gladly sell you this one…if you can come up with at least its low estimate of $650,000 Usd..
You probably didn’t win the massive $1.5-billion dollar Powerball lottery, but if you’re shopping for Porsches at Rétromobile, these are the ones we’d examine first.
Photos courtesy of Artcurial, Bonhams, & RM Sotheby’s