Editors Note – March 2017


With this late March issue, Road Scholars Magazine begins its third year publishing. Thank you for reading us and for letting others know about us. This issue – as our very first one did and last February’s as well – reports on auction results from Arizona. We go further in this issue, looking at Paris and Amelia Island as well. Be sure and read Kevin Watts’ commentary, next up in this issue, as he discusses what is happening to the collector market and what it means.

At Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island auction on Friday, March 10, 2017, this ultra-rare 1998 Typ 996 GT1 Strassenversion sold for $5,150,000, not including buyer’s premium. Photo by Mathieu Herutault © 2016. Courtesy Gooding & Company.

The auction companies boasted even better 2017 weeks than they had in 2016, due to a greater number of sales, that is to say, more cars sold. But that claim bears a closer look. Several of the houses simply had a greater number of cars available than in previous years, You will see our coverage of the sales in Arizona, Paris, and on Amelia Island after Kevin’s commentary.

One thing was clear: The economy – in particular the exchange rate between dollars and Euros is keeping buyers on their own sides of the ocean. At Arizona and Amelia, there were very few exchanges between bidders and the auctioneers in foreign languages. It was the same in Paris where – especially at Artcurial, which is transacted in French – we heard very little English. And what we heard was spoken with a British accent. With near parity between the currencies, it no longer makes sense to buy a car, transport it across an ocean, and pay an import duty on it. It doesn’t make sense unless it is something exceedingly rare, highly significant, with excellent provenance, and in superb condition. By and large, these special vehicles have continued to reveal their true value – even in instances when they did not sell.

Just as in the past, there were many Porsches available. But as Kevin often describes them (usually in more colorful language,) many of these cars were simply “used cars”, not particularly collectible as Porsche manufactured too many of them. These lots mainly appeared for sale “without reserve.” So naturally, when the bidding stopped, the auctioneers had to sell the car. And thus many cars didn’t even reach their low estimate. It was pretty much a buyer’s market, but again, you can read about it below.

We took February off from publishing for a variety of reasons, some technical, some organizational, some just ‘cuz.

Lastly, if you have not already done so, please visit www.roadscholars.com to see our new website. Back issues of this magazine still are available there, but the new look created by Brian Rozar, Road Scholars’ new in-house media genius, is something Cam and Kevin are very proud of.

Thanks again for reading us for these past two years.

Randy Leffingwell – Editor

This unique 1964 Typ 901 Cabriolet Prototype was part of RM Sotheby’s offerings at Paris, 2017. Despite fascinating provenance and great historical significance, it failed to sell. See the stories that follow. Photo by Tim Scott © 2016. Courtesy RM Sotheby’s.

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