I posted the red ducktail/stripe delete RS with RUF service history on our Facebook page on saturday that got a pretty good amount of action, and I had one follower message me asking if I was going and what cars I would be looking at. Sadly, I won’t be going this year. I went last year and also in ’09 when Porsche was the featured marque, and had a total blast. I would say Monterey Car Week ranks up there with the Indy 500, Monaco Grand Prix and Mille Miglia as my “bucket list” car guy things to do. The best part is, there is usually more than one event going on at any one time, so even if you’ve been once, there is still a ton of stuff to do. I have gone twice and have still not been to the Quail Lodge event, Concorso Italiano, or the Jet Center party. If you’re going to buy a Porsche, there are quite a few to consider. I’ve put my personal picks, and the reason I like them, below.
Gooding & Co. is a class act and I have to say, it’s my favorite auction to attend. The auctioneer, Charlie Ross is funny without being annoying, David Gooding stands next to him announcing each car and its significance as they come on the block, there’s no “wheeling & dealing” going on and in general they keep the consignments tight and flowing at a good pace (not too quick, not too slow).
1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.0: Everybody goes crazy over the icon, the 1973 Carrera RS, but the 1974 is way more rare and it was also the basis for the IROC series for one year. Since I own an impact bumper 911, I have a fondness for this car and the SCRS. This car is finished in the iconic white over gold and unlike the majority of ’73 RSs, the window trim on quite a few of these came black anodized.
1968 Porsche 911 T/R: Early sports-purpose 911s that were built and campaigned in-period are so hard to find amongst the droves of R-Gruppe cars. This one’s pretty sweet and has a great stance with the tall sidewall tires and black side stripes and light ivory. This car feels way too cheap at the low estimate of $400,000 considering early 911Ss are only about 30% cheaper (maybe less after this weekend!).
1959 Porsche 356A Super: Love these simple, honest 356s. I think they’ve still got some upward potential as far as pricing goes, and even though they aren’t fast at all, they’re great cruisers and you can even do tours with them if you’re not in a rush. This one is finished in an elegant eggshell white with the very period luggage-rack fixed to the engine lid. With the Super motor, it’ll be able to get up on the freeway adequately, but definitely not a speed demon. I was originally planning on posting the black Carrera 2 with factory sunroof, but I think the white car is better for driving on a semi-regular basis.
1955 Porsche 356 Speedster: No way I was going to miss posting a Speedster, and this one is my favorite. There’s an equally nice red one in the Gooding auction, but the Rudge knockoff wheels totally make this car. Steve McQueen used to own one just like this, and I happen to love black on red combination. $1/2 million dollar estimate and worth every penny if you ask me!
1967 Ford GT50 Mk. 1: I had to give this car an honorable mention. I haven’t seen any news about it around the net, and with the modern Ford GT prices seemingly going through the roof, it’s odd that this car hasn’t gotten any love. With a well-preserved interior and beautiful Carmen Red paint over Borrani wire wheels, this car has definitely been overlooked by the major classic car news outlets thus far. $3.5 to $4 million estimate is not cheap, but how cool would it be to have this car and a red Ford GT.
Bonhams always seems to secure some of the really significant cars to headline their auctions and this year they have a Ferrari 250 GTO to be sold without reserve, that has captured the collective attention of the worldwide collector car community. But lets move on from that and look at some Porsches.
1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7: The car that sparked this blog post, a stripe and ducktail delete RS. You hardly ever see one of these. I think I’ve only seen one other one before and it was black. This car is one of the first five hundred with the thinner sheetmetal and glass, finished in a great color combination and with what appears to be honest history that includes some refurbishing by RUF in the 1980s. I’m not a huge fan of the muffler skirt, but besides that, it’s pretty much perfect.
1970 Porsche 908/03 Spyder: Like the GT40, I feel like there has been way too little press on this car. Possibly as a result of the fact that it is a development car and thus has very light (or possibly no) notable in-period race history. Also, while Bonhams does mention the car comes with its factory transaxle, from the description it seems the car was essentially assembled from a box of parts. Even at the high estimate, this car is a cheap way to get into the upper echelons of vintage racing, and that Martini livery is iconic and to die for.
1952 Ferrari 212 Europa: I have another honorable mention. I love the color combination on this car and the interior is absolutely gorgeous with giant gauges in the center and beautiful wood steering wheel. I don’t know much about these early Ferraris, but this car appears to be the precursor to the 250 Europa, and it has the winning Ferrari formula: High-revving V12 in front and elegantly finished exterior and interior. The tall greenhouse on this car probably makes it a slightly easier car to handle than the more “chop top” style of the 250. I just had to post this car because the interior is lovely.
RM Auctions sold the lot with the highest hammer price last year, a Ferrari 275 NART Spyder that was purchased by Canadian retail magnate and Ferrari collector Lawrence Stroll. They have a great group of cars this year, and a couple in especially unique colors that caught my eyes.
1955 Porsche 356 Continental (pre-A) Cabriolet: I was pretty much blown away as soon as I saw this car. Speedsters are nice, but with the hundreds of replicas out there, they are more “seen” than cabriolets. Usually, there is also a later cabriolet at every Porsche event, such as a Convertible D. But I rarely see these Pre-A cabriolets and this one finished in paint-to-sample orange with the unique steering wheel is about as off the beaten air-cooled path as it gets. With only 55 hp from the Super engine, it’s definitely an around town cruiser, but with the estimate in the same range as Super engined Speedsters, it would be real shame to pass this up for one of those.
1972 Porsche 911 S Targa: I don’t have much to say about this car other than I give a lot of credit to the person who decided to restore a Sepia Brown car. I can’t get into this color no matter how much I try, but I’m sure it will make a nice driver or concourse participant, and you don’t see a whole lot of these cars because most were repainted to something a little “less period” at some point.
Mecum is the wheeler dealer’s dream. Grab a beer, figure out what cars you want and start cracking wise with the handlers while they get in your face trying to suck another bid out of you. While it may not be everyone’s style, Dana Mecum always has something for everyone. From sub-$20,000 lots all the way on up to the multi-million dollar stuff, it’s a show and an auction all wrapped into one.
1981 Porsche Cabriolet RUF Turbo: This car has resurfaced in the past couple years after having originally appeared in Joe Rusz’s article that I covered in a previous post about the RUF NATO. It essentially started off as a 1981 Porsche 911 (probably a Targa, but I’m not positive) and was converted to a Turbo cabriolet before the factory had built/sold its own. It’s a nice car that I haven’t quite gotten around to putting in the registry, but will soon. I think the estimate of $175,000 to $200,000 is way too high considering you can get a CTR for around the same or a little more, but it is coming after some pretty high dollar cars.
1997 Porsche 993 Turbo: Yep, I’m a total sucker for an Arena Red 993 and I’m not ashamed to admit it. This is pretty much as perfect as it gets, a Turbo in Arena Red with the Cashmere Beige interior with the upper section in black. Not much else to say. Perfect spec on a spectacular car.
1968 Porsche 911 Soft-Window Targa: Not many soft-window Targas out there this year. Actually, I think this is the only one. Finished in classy Irish Green over Brown leatherette, the only thing letting this car down for me is those god-awful finished wheels. With a proper set of early narrow Fuchs it would be proper.
1989 Porsche 911 Speedster: These ’89 Speedsters seem to pop-up here and there pretty often and I think all the auction houses are selling at least one. This one is by far the most unique, Grand Prix White with CanCan Red interior is very American and seen often on classic American cars from the ’50s and ’60s (thinking C2 Chevy Corvette or ’60s Chevy Impala). Usually they put the black or white seat piping with red interior, which would have been a nice touch, but that’s a small gripe. I’ve ridden in an impact bumper Speedster and they’re a total blast with the low windshield, the perfect car for Southern California. It’s too bad most of them are tucked away as collectors items.
1995 Porsche “962″ Kremer K8 Spyder: I don’t know much about this car or its history, but a million bucks for a car that won first overall at the 24 hours of Daytona sounds like a good deal by any standards, let alone Porsche. Kremer brothers have come up with some magic over the years using Porsche as their basis, and this car look like it’s no exception. The fact that it beat three Ferrari 333SPs to win is nothing short of remarkable. The livery is probably the worst part, and it certainly looked a little more racy in period with white 5-spoke wheels versus the gold mesh that are on it now, but that’s a small detail.
1991 Porsche 928 GT: This is my honorable mention from Mecum. A 22,000 mile 5-speed 928 in very desirable gray on gray, the ultimate ’90s banker-mobile. I think this may very well slip under the radar and somebody might get a deal since the 928 market has accelerated a little, but seems to remain very quietly under the radar with 911 prices going insane. I have spent some time driving a 928 and have to say the reason I think they don’t get much credit is that they drive pretty poorly under 85 mph, which with our speed limits, makes it hard to appreciate. At speed though, the steering and controls are perfectly weighted, and they are excellent cars to spend extended periods of time making a transcontinental jouney in.
Alright, that’s it for me. If you hit the auctions, we’d love to hear from you. Post on our Facebook page or drop me a line at info@rufregistry if you come across any cool RUFs or other cars.