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The Tale of Three Porsche 914 Sales at Amelia Island

Updated: Mar 29, 2020

Three Porsche 914’s appeared in the prestigious Gooding & Company Amelia Island auctions. Has the Porsche 914 finally earned the respect it deserves as a Porsche collector car?

Porsche 914, Porsche 914-6
The Three Porsche 914 on Auction at Amelia | Images Gooding & Co

Air Brigade looks at the three that were auctioned; a 1973 914 2.0 that met expectations, a 1970 914-6 that exceeded expectations and a 1971 914 vintage racecar that performed below expectations.

Porsche 914 Amelia 2020
1973 Porsche 914 | Image Gooding & Co

The 1973 Porsche 914 2.0 sold on point for its pre-sale estimate of $45,000 - $65,000 at a final hammer price with fees of $47,040. This price was on target for the auction house but would be considered very high on the open market. Here was the Gooding & Company catalog description for this Porsche 914:

This Porsche 914 2.0 was delivered new to its first owner through Wester Porsche/Audi in Seaside, California, in August 1973. According to the window sticker, which stated a suggested retail price of $6,174.50, this example was finished in the unusual and extra-cost L99A Delphi Green Metallic. It came well equipped with 15″ forged alloy wheels; four-wheel disc brakes; front and rear stabilizer bars; and a console that featured a clock, voltmeter, and oil-temperature gauge. Tinted glass, intermittent windshield wipers, and dealer-installed AM radio were listed as the only additional options.

The original owner placed this 914 2.0 in storage in 1989 and retained it until 2018. Today, the car shows less than 33,000 miles and is accompanied by manuals, tools, jack, window sticker, a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, other records through 1989, and a spare set of steel wheels and tires. The opportunity to purchase a two-owner 914 this well documented may not come again anytime soon.

I think there were four factors why this 1973 Porsche 914 2.0 sold for the price that it did:

  1. Environment: It sold at the prestigious Gooding & Co Amelia Island auction. This venue and auction house alone is going to add a premium price.

  2. Model: The 1973 914 2.0 is considered the model to own within the 914 lineup. The 2.0 engine powers this lightweight chassis at a good clip and the bumpers are the most pleasing prior to the large federalized bumpers required by the US Government in later years.

  3. Color: The color Delphi Green Metallic was a special order in 1973, is unique and hard to find. I saw this car in person and the pain was exquisite.

  4. Ownership: It is a two-owner original stock 914. That is hard to find and the quality of what must have been a refurbishment after years of storage was high. It was a well-documented car.

Porsche 914/6 Amelia 2020
Porsche 914-6 | Image Gooding & Co

The 1970 Porsche 914-6 was one of the air-cooled Porsche stars of Amelia Island. It was estimated to sell at $80,000 - $100,000, the going rate for a nice six. The price blasted through this estimate with a final sale price of $123,200.

The Gooding & Co catalog description described this car as:

This 1970 914/6 is finished in lovely Signal Orange over a black leatherette interior and is equipped with Fuchs wheels, chrome bumpers, passenger-side footrest, and front fog lamps. Presented in very original condition throughout with the exception of a high-quality repaint in its original hue, it presents incredibly well, a testament to its fastidious care. The 914/6 was added to Tommy Trabue’s collection 13 years ago and has benefited from consistent upkeep as evidenced by maintenance receipts on file.

Accompanied by its tools, keys, jack, and spare tire, this 914/6 was serviced in September 2019. Arguably more balanced to drive than its contemporary 911 sibling, 914/6 models, like this fine example, are increasingly sought-after collectibles.

There are three factors for this high price:

  1. Environment: PCA was celebrating the 50thanniversary of the 914 so you had Porsche enthusiasts in a premier setting bidding on a low volume Porsche that is coming of age. It was the perfect storm to produce a high sale.

  2. Color: Orange is the color for a 914 and this example showed well in Signal Orange. Orange 914’s were also the stars at Werks Reunion with a Tangerine 914-6 winning the 914 class at this PCA event.

  3. Originality: This was a well-documented, original, un-restored car from the collection of a respected Porsche collector. Everything was right on the car and there were no needs.

Porsche 914 Race Car Amelia 2020
1971 Porsche 914 Vintage Racer | Image Gooding & Co

When I first saw the pre-sale estimate of a 1971 Porsche 914 at $80,000 - $120,000 I was shocked to see it estimated for more than than the 1973 and more importantly, more than the 914-6. There was nothing remarkable about the 1971 model year. Once I saw the catalog I realized that a lot of value was being given to the vintage racer set-up. But, this ’71 only sold for $44,800, finishing far behind its pre-sale estimate.

Here is the catalog description by Gooding & Co.

Finished in Continental Orange with black upholstery and sitting on Fuchs alloy wheels, this 914 was prepared for vintage racing for Tommy Trabue by Sanders Imports of Marietta, South Carolina, and is accompanied with an extensive file of invoices documenting work performed. Developing an estimated 180 hp, the engine is a race-prepared 2.0-liter flat-six with twin Weber carburetors, single plug distributor, Carrera oil pump, and Xtreme cylinder heads. The five-speed gearbox is upgraded with a billet aluminum intermediate plate, Guards limited-slip differential, and a transmission cooler. Wired for night driving and equipped with a Fuel Safe fuel cell, this 914 was raced at past HSR Group 2 events in Road Atlanta and Sebring and is offered with an HSR logbook.

Offered with a removable Richie Ginther-style windscreen, which produces an approximately 36% frontal area reduction and 50-pound weight savings, converting this car into a spyder, this well-developed and competitive 914 race car stands ready to thrill its next caretaker.

So, why did this vintage racer fail to perform even though it came from the same collection of as the star performer 914-6. I believe three reasons caused this “fail to win performance”.

  1. It’s a Race Car: Race cars are always tricky to price and unless they have significant history they usually far underperform the amount of money invested into the car to make it competitive.

  2. Wrong Audience: The Gooding & Co Amelia Island buyers are not vintage racers; they are concours people. This car needed to sell at an auction in conjunction with a historic race.

  3. Not Real: This 914-6 vintage racer was estimate to sell at real 914-6 pricing but it sold for a built six off a four pricing. The price was a tad low for a HSR race-prepared Porsche 914 but the market only valued it at 914 outlaw six pricing.

Porsche 914 Race Car Amelia 2020
Porsche Vintage Race Car at Amelia 2020 | Image Gooding & Co

Tags: Porsche 914, Porsche 914-6, Amelia Island

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