Editor’s Note – November 2018


Most of you are aware that RM Sotheby’s conducted an all-Porsche auction at the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Immediately following this note, please read our regular commentator Kevin Watts. Our sister publication Road Scholars Insight sent out an e-mail blast on the morning of the sale with Kevin’s previews and prognostications, and he addresses those observations and predictions here.

Our next story is “live” coverage of the PEC/ATL sale, written and shot for us by a new contributor Andrew Miterko. It is his image above of three unusual auction consignments.

Our final feature takes out typical look back at – we hope – the last auctions of 2018 in which Porsches are offered. One was this 70th Anniversary sale at Porsche’s Experience Center, that RM Sotheby’s conducted with typical class and success. The other took place some 6,000 miles east where Bonhams Auctions ran its sale at Padua, Italy, on the same day but, well, with time zones and other, well, things, started and ended before PEC/ATL event started.

In some ways, results in Padua may…may have affected those in Atlanta.

But…since we are looking back – something I am doing pretty much every day for the past eight years and continuing through the coming four or five months as I write towards completion Porsche’s Racing History- the First Hundred Years – I have been gleaning and retrieving and reading ever more “history” as I cast my net farther and farther out from the ship.

As I shifted through print editions of Motor Sport Magazine, I arrived at their issue one year ago now: cover date October 2017. Two pieces grabbed my attention:  the first, “ turbocharged American Dream,” appeared on page 148 of this issue. Remember: this IS a year ago.

The unidentified writer talks about “that sales records aplenty fell at Pebble Beach last month and you will see that, far from being soggy, demand is as strong as ever for the right cars.”

Why is it I hear Kevin Watt’s voice echoing “the right cars”!

But what follows next is perhaps Watts’ best and strongest point in his commentaries in this magazine during this past year:

“And it is significant that some of the more eye-watering prices (£17.5m for an Aston Martin DBR1) were achieved in America.” The point of this Motor Sport story was to announce a British firm that was taking the daring step to open facilities in, well, The Colonies.

As the proprietors suggested, “America really drives the car-buying market. What we are seeing is that although prices are off the peaks seen in 2014-15, quality still sells. Cars that don’t need an explanation, in other word those that are obviously beautifully original and restored and have clear provenance, are still commanding good prices.”

I personally think it would have been fitting if they had given Watts co-writer credit.

“It’s easy to become figure blind in Monterey,” another unidentified reporter wrote for Motor Sport magazine’s same October 2017 issue. “With eight-digit sums being thrust about, you may find yourself describing previously spine-tingling amounts as petty change. After all, this is the venue of the world’s most prestigious Concours d’Elegance and as the entire Monterey peninsula transforms into the ultimate classic car showroom, monetary sums become a mere sideshow.”

Kevin Watts has reported for us over the past years that, increasingly, European buyers are not arriving for U.S. auctions despite the advantage in exchange rate between their Euro and our dollar. There certainly have been exceptions, but as Road Scholars Magazine has continued its coverage of auctions and sales that Rob Meyer, David Gooding, and Bonhams have organized, the story has grown more and more nuanced with each event.

We will leave it to Kevin to offer his observation on two sales the same day in which nearly every Porsche sold in a Porsche-rich/Porsche friendly environment at the Experience Center in Atlanta, contrasted to the same-day many no-sales which Bonhams suffered in the less Porsche centric venue of Padua, Italy. Our final piece in this issue is our typical auction results coverage and this will give you full details.

Next month, a traditional gift-giving time arrives and, once again we will endeavor to introduce you to some books you should give yourselves if others miss the hints you leave around. In addition, we’ll take a look back at some other things that happened this year that did involve Porsches but did not include a gavel.

Finally, thank you – once again – for reading us.

Randy Leffingwell

Editor – Road Scholars Magazine    

latest from rs insights

stay up to date.

Get RS Insights sent to your e-mail monthly.