The Amelia Island Concours is quickly approaching with an auction weekend that has become known in the industry as the place to sell your Porsche. In many ways, the announcement of the Drendel Family Collection sale of 18 Porsches in 2012 at Gooding & Company was a Malcolm Gladwell “match point” event that forever changed the Porsche market. It marked the first time that such a focused Porsche collection with very significant cars went to auction and the world record-breaking results that ensued shocked the collector car world at large.
The Porsches in the Drendel Collection brought more than 16 million dollars that weekend and all of a sudden, Porsche was no longer the redheaded stepchild of the blue chip collector car market.
The results of that weekend confirmed what we already knew in our business: The Porsche market was on fire. The after-effects of the financial crisis of 2007-2008 had everyone in asset acquisition mode. In effect, one could consider the Drendel Collection auction as Patient Zero and a pivotal moment for legitimizing Porsche in the collector car world.
On the industry side, we saw long-term Ferrari collectors stand up and take notice, and a proliferation of Porsche brokers came out of the woodwork to convolute the market into what we see in the landscape today.
Fast forward to Amelia Island 2016, where Jerry Seinfeld sold 15 Porsches from his collection for more than 22 million dollars, solidifying Amelia as the auction weekend with the heavy emphasis on Porsche.
For 2019, mainstream media has already made headlines with the founder of WhatsApp Jan Koum bringing 10 Porches to Amelia to be sold by Gooding & Company. It’s another possible bellwether Porsche auction and all eyes will be fixed on the results of these 10 cars. All 10 examples are desirable and represent the popular Rennsport-themed cars that have had a strong market run up. It will be interesting to see how the 964- and 993-generation 911’s perform versus the later water-cooled variants. As I’ve been saying since 2005, the rare RS 911 variants will always transcend the market and that is why we see so many RS themed collections around the globe.
There will be more than 50 Porsches offered this year at Amelia between Gooding and RM Sotheby’s auction houses. The old adage of wisdom that proclaims great cars always sell for great numbers certainly holds up in today’s private market. Now the question will be, are collectors coming to Amelia with a market-conscious state of discipline or are they coming to buy with their hearts.
I will save the great debate of what’s a better way to sell a Porsche from a collector standpoint for the future, but the auction companies have the same challenges we do. Finding great wares to sell. There are actually some terrific Porsche lots for sale and some questionable candidates as well. For example, it’s pretty amazing to list a significant Porsche and also confirm on the listing that the car is a re-tub.
Almost every Porsche segment will be represented over the weekend, from 356, to long hood 911, to 918 Spyder, and everything in-between. As with every auction, there will be good and bad buys, dictated by people with varying degrees of knowledge and emotion. I look forward to the post auction analysis and anecdotes.
Post Script: Matt Drendel was a wonderful human being and friend. He built one of the world’s best Porsche turbo competition collections with thoughtfulness, perseverance and passion. He was a true car guy, connoisseur, and is still missed.