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Why was this Porsche 356 Super 90 Cab a No-Sale?

The Amelia Island Collector Car Auctions seem like an ideal place to sell a Porsche 356 Super 90 Cabriolet yet at the Bonham’s Auction they recorded a “No-Sale” for this 1962 model. Why?

Porsche 356 for sale Amelia Island
1962 Porsche 356B Super 90 Cab | Image Bonham's

At the end of the article you can see the Bonham’s Auction House description of the Porsche 356 that was offered. In summary, it was a 1962 Porsche 356B Super 90 Cabriolet with Coachwork by Reutter that featured:

  • 1596 cc OHV Flat 4-Cylinder Engine (non-original)

  • Twin solex 40P11-4 Carburetors

  • 90bhp at 5, 500 rpm

  • 4-speed Manual Transaxle

  • 4-Wheel Independent Suspension

  • 4-Wheel Dual Circuit Hydraulic Drum Brakes

  • A repaint from Ivory over Black to Black over Burgundy

This Porsche 356 was estimated to sell between $100,000 and $130,000. The 2020 Sports Car Market Price Guide reports the median price of this model to be $148,500. Based on the color and the car not being original the 25% reduction in price by Bonham’s to estimate the sale price as being between $100,000 and $130,000 seems to be accurate pricing.

So Why didn’t this well-presented 1962 Porsche 356B Super 90 Cab sell?

Porsche 356 Super 90 Cab
1962 Porsche 356B Black over Burgundy | Image Bonham's

Air Brigade believes there were three key reasons:

  1. Non-Original: The fact that this car did not feature the original engine, colors or speedometer would be check marks against the car. However the 25% discount in price would seem to have reflected these non-original to the car elements since they are period correct elements.

  2. Demanding Buyers: The Porsche 356 owner/buyer is one of the most discerning buyers in the Porsche market. Having everything original and correct is a requirement when sharing your car with other Porsche 356 owners. As the catalog notes the car will get you in the popular rallies but will not qualify you in the prestigious 356 shows with non-matching components.

  3. Mis-Match in Auction to Venue: The Amelia Island Venue means that you are going to have a room full of buyers that are concours minded as opposed to driving minded. This car as noted is a great car for driving in vintage rallies. The Amelia Island crowd clearly stated they wanted show cars, not driving cars.

The importance of selecting the correct venue for the auction of a collector car was reinforced with the no-sale of this well-presented 1962 Porsche 356B Super 90 Cabriolet. It looked good, but did not check the marks for the discerning Porsche 356 buyer in the audience that day: numbers-matching and original that was required to have some spend $100,000. A sub-$100,000 price was needed for this Porsche 356 to be sold, but the seller decided to hold out for another venue for another try to sell at his required $100,000 plus price.

Amelia Island Sale of Porsche 356
1962 Porsche 356B Super 90 Cab at Amelia Island Bonham's Auction | Image Bonham's

Catalog Description from Bonham’s Auction House

This Porsche Super 90 Cabriolet, one of about 700 built, was completed at the factory on August 2, 1962. Originally finished in Ivory over Black leather, it was optioned with foglights, chrome-plated wheels, Roadmaster horns, and a tonneau in addition to the top. It was delivered new through Otto Gloeckler's agency to Walter Hennicke of Bad Soden outside of Frankfurt on the 8th of August, 1962. The Kardex further lists the car returned for service a few times with the last record dated April 19, 1962 with 15,800km on the odometer. Today the car is trimmed in black over a deep burgundy interior. The present owner has had the car in his Florida collection for the better part of eight years. Appearing to be a well-kept, it was been the recipient of a lacquer repaint and retrim at least a decade ago, although the paint under the front hood and around the build tag appear to be original and untouched. Mechanically, the well detailed Super 90 motor is not the one with which the car was born—it actually predates the car by about 12-18 months, but provides the requisite 90 ponies nonetheless. Additionally, the original metric speedometer has since been replaced with one in miles-per-hour. Refreshed shortly after acquisition in 2012, the engine and gearbox are reported by the seller to have been properly sorted by Marty Gilbert of Pompano Beach, Florida with the seller reporting some $25,000 in service and restoration service being completed from 2012 to 2018. Briefly heading north before heading back to the Sunshine State, the most recent receipts on file from May 2019 indicate over CA$6,600 worth of maintenance. A popular car for tours such as the Copperstate, Going to the Sun, and New England 1000, this Super 90 Cabriolet is sure to provide plenty of top down fun and smiles.

Saleroom notices

Please note, the title for this vehicle will be in transit.

Tags: Porsche 356B Cab, Porsche 356 Super 90

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