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January Editor’s Note

by | January 2016

Spoiler Alert: Scottsdale Auctions are Coming!

Happy New Year! There’s good news already: If you’re reading this, it means you survived the holidays. It suggests you did not end up experiencing your own version of some movie like TriStar’s creepy Silent Night, Deadly Night, or Billy Bob Thornton’s misbehavior as Bad Santa, or Catherine Deneuve’s discoveries in the startling A Christmas Tale. And you avoided Margot Kidder’s experiences in the freaky Black Christmas, and Sarah Jessica Parker’s alien encounters with her future in-laws in The Family Stone, or getting slimed in Ghost Busters 2…to say nothing of getting your licks in with Michelle Pfeiffer and Michael Keaton in Batman Returns. Prudently, you did not invite Alan Rickman to be the diehard at your company Christmas Party, and, hopefully, you did not get lost on the way to your holiday gathering the way three hapless wise guys did in Life of Brian. If life – especially at holidays – imitates art, the list goes on and on. It may even be endless. But I’ll stop…

Central Arizona Beckons

Because, just when those risks have passed, a new one looms: the January auctions in Arizona. Examining the cars on offer from Barrett-Jackson, Bonhams, Gooding & Company, RM Auctions, and Russo and Steele makes it clear the auction houses still are interested in Porsches.

Well, sort of. The total number of Porsches to be sold in all venues barely exceeds the auction inventory of just one company at Monterey in 2015. And Mecum – who listed more than 60 Porsches last August spends this time of year hanging out in Florida.

Is Porsche’s luster fading? Is common sense returning? Did you miss your selling opportunity? Is a new acquisition window opening?

Who’s Who, and Where, and What’ve They Got?

Barrett-Jackson once again runs a full week of auction activity at “Westworld of Scottsdale,” 16601 North Pima Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85260. Their first sale, of Automobilia, begins at 9am Monday, January 25, with an invitation-only opening night gala starting at 7pm that night. The automobilia offerings kick off the second morning at 9am and conclude at 2pm with the start of the automobile auction. Wednesday through Sunday the automobilia are on offer from 8:45am till 10am when the cars move to center stage. Their website at www.barrett-jackson.com lists their location, schedule, and it shows the cars consigned. With consignment numbers reaching 1,700, they are not Porsche-heavy, with about 15 cars listed. Some of the interesting vehicles include a Strosek-rebodied 1976 911S Cabriolet, a pair of mid-1970s 911 “slant nose” coupe conversions, and a 2015 918 Spyder.

Bonhams auction takes place one day only at 11am Thursday, January 29, at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, at 6902 E. Greenway Parkway, Scottsdale, AZ, 85254. Their website at www.bonhams.com provides complete details. Out of 115 lots on offer, about 19 of these are Porsches, ranging from a black 1955 Pre-A Continental coupe to a 1962 356 Carrera 2 GS coupe, to a 1973 911 RS 2.7 Carrera Touring, and on through a 1974 Carrera 2.7 and a 1975 Carrera 2.7, and then past a 1977 930 and a 1978 930. The newest of the offers is the second Strosek to appear in Scottsdale, a 1993 “Mega” Speedster, the perfect car for the collector who finds Porsche’s own 964 Speedster a bit tame. Their website lists lot numbers and price estimates for these and all their vehicles in US dollars, British pounds, and Euros.

David Gooding’s auctions take place at 11am on Friday and Saturday, January 29 and 30, at Scottsdale Fashion Square, located at 4700 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251. Gooding has 156 lots they’re offering and of these, 19 are Porsches. A 1955 Speedster starts the marque off, and the cars include a 1958 A Speedster, a 1960 356B Roadster, a 1961 B Super 90, a 1965 911, a 1971 S, a 1973 T, a 1976-, a 1978- and a 1979 930 Turbo (each offered without reserve). Their list continues with a 1997 993 Turbo S, a 2005 Carrera GT, and – as of now – culminates with a 2011 997 GT3RS. Go to www.goodingco.com for complete details, lot numbers, and price estimates (in US dollars).

RM Auctions take place at 5pm on Thursday and Friday, January 28 and 29, at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa at 2400 East Missouri Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85016. With something like 97 lots on their schedule, their eight Porsche offerings range from a 1960 356B Cabriolet through a 1968 S Targa, a 1974 US specification 2.7-liter Carrera (in black, with electronic fuel injection) and a 1974 Euro spec mechanical injection 2.7 Carrera model in white. There’s a 1976 930 and a 1989 3.2 Carrera Speedster. RM also has a 1988 Komfort version 959 and a 2015 918 Spyder. For the specialist Porsche collector, they also will offer an “APAL-Porsche 1600GT coupe.” Imagine a long-wheelbase (and slightly swollen) Abarth Carrera and you have a sense of the appearance of the car. It’s one of roughly 150 fiberglass coupes manufactured by a Belgian firm using enhanced VW platforms fitted with lots of Porsche bits. It’s an odd head-turner and may be worth going to www.rmsothebys.com to see it and also full details on the other actual Porsches up for sale.

Russo and Steele offer cars starting at 12pm noon Thursday through Sunday, January 28 through 31 at their compound at 18601 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85255. Russo and Steele, while better known for selling American muscle cars, hot rods and customs, do welcome European sports cars and they have about seven Porsches available out of some 240 cars consigned (as of just before Christmas 2015, consignment closed at New Year’s Day). Among Russo and Steele’s offerings are a 1962 356B T6 Cabrio and a 1962 Super 90 coupe, a 1970 911 S coupe, a 1976 930 and a 1984 930, a 1991 964 C2 Cabrio, and a 1997 993 C2S. A VW-engined 550 Spyder replica will cross the auction platform as well. See the website at www.russoandsteele.com for full information and later additions to the consignments list.

(For those keeping score, Mecum Auctions in Kissimmee, Florida, runs from January 15 through 24. Their website – www.mecum.com – showed 1,113 automobiles (!) on their list just before Christmas. Of those, just 26 are Porsches.)

So, out of the hundreds of cars offered at the end of January in Arizona, only about 70 will be Porsches – manufactured by Porsche. Their quality and value can only be determined by preview and inspection. The Romans had an expression for it: Caveat Emptor.

That said, happy hunting, good luck, and save us a seat. We’ll be there to report to you in our February issue. And we’ll include what happened with Mecum in Kissimmee as well. It’s all interesting. And it may get fascinating.

Randy Leffingwell
Editor, Road Scholars Magazine
randy@road-scholars.com

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