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A Shift in the Economy Impacts Air-Cooled Porsche Sales at RM Sotheby's Palm Beach Auction

The recent Online-Only auction by RM Sotheby’s gave the first indication of the economy’s impact on air-cooled Porsche sales. Air-Cooled Porsche sales have traditionally been a hedge against the stock market, but the RM Sotheby’s auction may be an indication that the mid-level Porsche collector is sitting on the sidelines to see what happens.

Porsche GT2 Twin Turbo Sale, RM Sotheby's
1996 Porsche GT2 | Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

The buyers with money that is not hurt by the economy’s downturn and wanting a specific model of Porsche stepped up to the auction block and bought. The mid-level Porsche 911’s and 912’s that would appeal to the mid-level collectors who may be more impacted by the economy watched the sales of production-run air-cooled Porsches, but didn’t buy.

Only 55% of air-cooled Porsches sold at this auction versus a total auction sell-through rate of 69%. It wasn’t for lack of buyers. RM Sotheby’s first online-only auction had 23% more registered bidders than their last Florida auction. There were 900 registered bidders. This was originally a traditional in-person auction, but RM Sotheby’s shifted their Palm Beach Auction to an online only auction.

The top selling car in the auction was a 1996 Porsche 993 911 GT2 that sold for $891,000. The Classic Porsches that sold were the unique models such as the GT2, several Turbo models including a RUF Turbo and a Speedster. The production-run 911’s, 912’s and a 914 struggled to sell or are still for sale.

Online Auction Results RM Sotheby’s Palm Beach

Porsche 911 Sales

Porsche Sale at RM Sotheby's Palm Beach Auction
1969 Porsche 911S | Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

1965 Porsche 911 Still for Sale for $181,500

1968 Porsche 911S Sportmatic Still for Sale for $110,000

1969 Porsche 911S Coupe Sold at $132,000

1989 Porsche 911 Speedster Sold at $142,500

Porsche 912 and Porsche 914 Sales

Porsche 912 Sale at RM Sotheby's Palm Beach Auction
1976 Porsche 912E | Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

1969 Porsche 912 Still for Sale for $44,000

1976 Porsche 912E Sunroof Sold at $30,800

1975 Porsche 914 1.8 Still for Sale for $14,500

Porsche Turbo and Porsche GT2 Sales

Porsche Turbo Sales at Palm Beach Auction
1987 Porsche 930 | Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

1985 Porsche 911 Turbo Still for Sale for $82,500

1987 Porsche 911 Turbo Sold at $115,000

1996 Porsche 911 GT2 Sold at $891,000

1997 Porsche RUF 911 Turbo Sold at $159,500

Looking at the Porsches that sold you see that they sold within their going prices. The one low point was the 1976 Porsche 912 that sold for $30,800. This would have been a great bargain for someone to enter the world of air-cooled Porsches.

One 930 Turbo sold and one didn’t. The original pristine model sold for $115.000, on the lower end of turbo sales. The 911 Turbo that didn’t sell was a driver Turbo riding on BBS wheels. RM Sotheby’s is now offering this lot for sale at $82,500; the very low end for a 930 Turbo.

It will be interesting to watch air-cooled Porsche sales as the economy levels out. Will the air-cooled Porsche market bounce back?

Porsche GT2 993 RM Sothebys Palm Beach Auction
1996 Porsche GT2 | Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Tags: Air-Cooled Porsche sales, Porsche Auction Prices

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