Well, the auctions are over and I was mostly correct on guessing it would be a shit show. Again, as usual, the great cars brought great prices and the rest left a gaping hole in their owners’ wallets! The auction houses are cleaning up with 10% coming from the seller with additional shipping and registration fees and 10-12% coming from the buyers. Take the percentages and add on a few grand more for said fees and over 25% from each car is going to the house! The House always Wins!!!!!
Bonham’s started off the show with lackluster prices across the board. The Porsches were hit and miss and the educated buyers showed up and paid average money for average cars. Overall Bonham’s cars are improving but a few dogs snuck into the show.
RM Sotheby’s featured a collection of 964 Porsches from a big collector in Arizona. He had been buying them for many years and just may have been one of the first. I would say overall the market has spoken with the Yellow 1993 3.8 Liter RS hammering at $1,500,000(+10%) before heading to its new home up the coast.
Gooding’s was interesting with its headline Porsches: The trio of the 1993 3.8 Lightweight, 1995 993 RS and 1996 GT2 ringing the bell. All three examples were exceptional, unusual colors, and very low mileage and the results showed. The 964 brought $1,600,000, the 993 brought $650,000, and the GT2 brought $1,350,000 at the hammer! Gooding’s headline car the 1974 Carrera RSR 2.1-liter Turbo in Martini livery was a no sale at $5,400,000. This is an excellent car with great provenance but it should have been sold!
Amelia will be noted as Scottsdale was for its lack of headline cars. Gooding and Bonhams put on a Bold Face/Attempt while RM seems to have thrown in the towel. The reason behind this is simple: the seven and eight figure cars are selling privately. Why are the selling privately you might ask? It’s really quite simple; the collectors that have coveted these machines for decades have also figured out the game. Why should they pay the auction houses anything and have their laundry dragged around in public. By selling the cars privately the buyer ends up paying for everything and usually it’s a lot less than 10-12%. The only reason I can see to bring a car to auction is if it has a checkered past as the auction houses have a bullet proof contract everyone signs saying its the seller’s fault for not disclosing it and the buyer’s fault for not doing his home work. When you buy a car off a trusted dealer/broker they have skin in the game, they want repeat business and want you to tell your friends how they helped you. It’s personal with them.