Significant Road and Racing Cars Could Make Impact at Auctions



Ultimate collector cars are showcased across the Monterey Peninsula every August; but for a lucky few, they may end up taking them home.

Outside of the Concours and assorted events, auctions represent another opportunity to witness some of the legacies of worldwide automakers. They are time capsules of road and racing history, and they await the next chapters of their stories on the stages of Monterey auctions.

For yet another year, the extensive histories of the RDS brands bring significant automobiles into play for potentially record prices. For Porsche, Maserati and more recently, McLaren, classic and modern collector cars are popping up with legendary stories and similarly gaudy estimates.

Porsche’s long and broad history spans extensively into road and racing cars, with a selection of both coming up at the auctions. One of its earliest successes was the 550A Spyder, delivering Porsche its first overall win in a major sports car racing event in the late 1950s. Two examples of the 550A are hitting the blocks this month, expected to fetch close to $5 million each. Following the victories of the 550A, Porsche’s 718 RSK carried the torch as it campaigned in various races, including a class win at Le Mans in 1958. Gooding and Co. will be offering a 718 RSK that competed in the 1959 race, and the estimate ranges around $4 million.

The following decades of Porsche racing were equally fruitful and ranged across various classes and tracks. In the late 1960s, Porsche entered a 908 Short-Tail at the 1000km of Spa, where it finished third before retiring to become a collector’s item. Since then, it has been used for show at Rennsport Reunion gatherings and various Concours events, where it has secured prestigious awards thanks to its enthusiastic care-taking and prominent history. Sotheby’s expects it to fetch close to $2 and a half million.

Few Porsche racing cars have quite the history of the 962, however. After its 1984 debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona, the car took on a life of nearly a decade of competition. The 962 available at auction this month competed at the 1989 Daytona race, and won with Derek Bell at the helm. Because of that lineage, the car is expected to fetch $2 million or more at Mecum’s Monterey auction.

The broad racing history under the Porsche umbrella contributed to innovative strides among road-going cars, which comprise a healthy sampling of the auction cars this year. With the longest history, of course the 911 has the most variants represented at this year’s auctions.

One of the most hardcore variants across history is the GT2, and as such, it has become one of the most collectible in the brand’s portfolio. This year, a few rare examples will be looking for new ownership and will surely set the course for pricing of these cars moving forward.

The first 911 to see the GT2 name was the 993, and it is the rarest of the GT2 models to date. The name implies motorsports pedigree and the car demonstrates that character. The GT2s offered this year are the truest testament to that, with Gooding’s example being a heavily-campaigned 1995 race car, and Bonhams providing the ultimate road version, the 1996 GT2 Clubsport. The road car is expected to demand nearly a stratospheric $2 million.

These GT2s paved the way for future GT2 road cars, namely both the 996 and 997 generations. But with the 997 generation, Porsche decided to tack on its “RS” badge and create the ultimate in 911 performance: the GT2 RS. The 2011 GT2 RS was the most powerful production 911 ever, packing over 600 horsepower and staying true to a 6-speed manual. It was demanding, and now, in today’s market, it is demanding premiums well beyond its selling prices nearly a decade ago. Sotheby’s and Mecum will both find out where that market is now, but both are looking at $400,000 or more.

The GT2 RS overtook the Carrera GT as the most powerful production Porsche, but the Carrera GT’s legacy remains a spectacular one. It fully endorsed the “race car for the road” concept and remains one of the last truly analog supercars of the era, or any era for that matter. As it continues to ascend the ladder of collectability, expected values rise from $600,000 to $900,000 among the vehicles on offer this year.

The flagship Carrera GT left a void with its departure, but a successor emerged from its wake after nearly a decade. The 918 Spyder then became the most powerful Porsche road car ever produced, coaxing 887 horsepower out of a mid-mounted V8 and two front-mounted electric motors. This complex system paved the way for a revolution of electric supercars, and these systems will continue to translate to other road vehicles in Porsche’s history. Because of its industry innovation and ultimate performance, the 918 Spyder will demand nearly double its original asking price, with three examples crossing the blocks expected to reach close to $2 million. Additionally, its competitor, the McLaren P1, will have a pair of sales during the week and are expected to fetch similar prices.

Maserati’s dynamic history is an intriguing one that features classically coachbuilt masterpieces as well as racing legends. For 2018, prime examples of these will creep near $5 million or beyond. Variations of the A6G are plenty, and among some of the most desirable Italian classics on the market. Three of these qualify for the 2018 Monterey auctions, including an A6G/2000 Zagato with prominent racing history, an A6GCS/53 Spider by Frua and an A6G/54 with unique Zagato coachbuilding. Each is expected to reach over $4 million this month.

Records could potentially be set this month, but the market will nonetheless adjust to the current climate of collector car.