Editor’s Note: February 2019


With this issue, Road Scholars Magazine starts its fifth year. If you’ve been with us since 2015, we are deeply grateful to you, and we hope you’ve enjoyed what we have presented. If you’ve been with us only since January 2019, we still are grateful, and we hope all of you will enjoy what’s ahead.

We begin our fifth year much as we did our first, with auction sales reports and a commentary on what we at Road Scholars observed and think. In those days, the car auction market still was bullish. In 2019, well, regrettably that no longer is the case.

Please read our publisher Cam Ingram’s observations on Arizona last month; these immediately follow this note. Cam’s “Wrap Up” first appeared in our sister publication Road Scholars Insight but we need to repeat his very pertinent ideas. (You will find RSM’s full Porsche-related auction results from Arizona further back in this issue.)

Following Cam’s comments, we have a feature story from regular contributor Bruce Sweetman who, while prowling the paddock rows at Rennsport Reunion VI this past September with his friend Chip Perry, discovered an important Porsche Typ 904 GTS and its fascinating driver.

We follow the two news/feature stories of this issue with auction information. First comes Arizona and the results of Porsche sales from Bonhams, David Gooding & Company, and RM Sotheby’s. Here you will understand what Cam discusses when he suggests that, as is always the case, significant cars with complete histories in great condition found homes at estimate prices and above. And those that weren’t, well….

Our final listing is the Porsches on offer during the 2019 edition of the French classic show Rétromobile in Paris. There are a few choice automobiles in those listings. It may explain why, as Cam mentioned, the Europeans stayed home during the Arizona sales. Consider this: If they purchase a similar car in the U.S., they must transport it to Europe and then, in some cases, pay an import duty, and pay Value Added Tax (VAT) on their American souvenir. In some countries VAT alone can amount to 18 percent of the total figure.

Lastly, while we don’t have a story on it yet, there seems to be quite good news from Germany: According to The New York Times edition for Monday, 4 February….

A national speed limit? Verboten
Last month, a commission appointed by the German government floated the idea of a national speed limit on the autobahn. It not only sank like a stone but nearly caused rioting. The far-right opposition raged against the “stranglehold” of the state, and the transport minister, contradicting his own experts, declared the notion “contrary to every common sense” and shelved it.
With few exceptions, there are highway speed limits everywhere. But Germany, birthplace of the car, has a quasi-religious need for unbridled speed.
By the numbers: A limit of 120 kilometers an hour, or 75 miles per hour, would significantly reduce carbon emissions, environmental experts say, and at no cost. In 2017, 409 people died on the autobahn, almost half because of inappropriate speeding, according to the German statistics office. But that hasn’t swayed public opinion in a highly regulated society where the autobahn is the one place not rife with rules.

With that, Road Scholars Magazine welcomes you to our fifth year! And thanks, as always, for reading us.

Randy Leffingwell

Editor, Road Scholars Magazine

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