A couple of world records were set at the Silverstone Auctions’ NEC sale at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, at the NEC in Birmingham on 12th and 13th November 2016. Silverstone Auctions has established itself as something of a specialist Porsche auction house of late, and this was evidenced by the mouth-watering array of cars for sale from Stuttgart, several of which achieved new benchmark prices.
Competition for a pair of 911 (930) Turbo SE Flachbau cars was fierce, while the highest value car at the sale was a 1957 Porsche 356 A T1 Speedster. Benefitting from encouraging growth in Porsche products, no fewer than three 912s went under the hammer, the highest one going for a whisker short of £30k.
Chassis #83099, the 1957-model 4-cylinder 356 A Speedster was a firm favourite with the public and hopeful bidders alike. The legacy of the Speedster came about by the sharp intuition of Max Hoffman, the American Porsche importer who persuaded the Stuttgart management that the US sports car enthusiast wanted a stripped out 356. This model, Hoffman argued, would suit the purist sports car driver who was as likely to buy the model for boulevard cruising as he would for weekend competition. He was right, and in 1955 the first Speedster was produced with a 1488cc engine and this was followed the next year by the 356 A model powered by a larger 1582cc engine, boosting performance to over 100mph. There were few comforts in the Speedster, and it could be recognised by its low, wraparound windscreen, an entirely retractable hood, lower door waistline, and with twin bucket seats, all of which served to emphasise its sporting image. Only 2910 Speedsters were made between 1956-1958, but many of these cars would have been raced and damaged, or worse, in period. This car, having spent many years in Colorado before returning to the UK in 1996, sold for £303,563 making it the highest value vehicle at the sale.
In the early 1970s, the 911 RS 2.7 dominated Group 3 while the RS 3.0 and RSR 3.0 swept the floor in the Group 4 class. These models were followed by the 935 (Group 5), this model transforming the landscape of motor racing right up to prototype level. Making its first appearance at the Mugello 6 Hours on 21 March 1976, the works 935 was driven to victory by Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass, beating a Kremer entered 935 into second place by six laps. The seven top finishing cars in that race were 935s, 934s or 911s, and it was this kind of record of results that was the inspiration for the 911 (930) Turbo SE flat nose production model with its lower, more streamlined nose. First offered by the factory in 1983, the 911 (930) Turbo SE Flachbau, flat nose, or slant nose as it is sometimes called, was a modified production model and still came with Porsche’s anti-corrosion warranty. At Silverstone Auctions’ NEC sale, not one but two of these rare models were up for sale, and when their turn came, a bidding war ensued.
The first of the Porsche 930 SE flat nose cars to be offered was the 3.3-litre 1985 Silver Metallic example (chassis #WPOZZZ931FS001063). This very car was the first of just 50 such right-hand drive factory Flachbau models and served as the Porsche GB press car, featuring in numerous top publications in January 1986. As such, this car was the first to wear the now-famous ‘911 HUL’ registration plate which is still used today on Porsche’s press cars in the UK. It featured a number of superb factory options, including the extremely rare Recaro Ideal ‘C’ seats, special order full Can-Can Red leather interior, a full engine conversion with 330bhp, and a modified front spoiler and oil cooler. With the odometer now reading just 33,864 miles, this car was sold for a world record auction price of £202,500.
The record price, however, did not last for long as just half an hour later, the second 930 Turbo SE Flachbau went for a new world record price of £211,500! This car (chassis #WPOJB0937KS050347) is a genuine, factory-produced, Porsche 930 Turbo SE G50, built in 1989 under the Sonderwunschprogramm (Special Wishes Programme). The car was originally destined for the North American market but the order was cancelled and the car left the factory as a right-hand drive example and was delivered new to the UK on 28th July 1989. Factory options included sunroof, short-shift gearbox, CD player with an additional amplifier and finished in Guards Red with a black interior. A well-documented service history accompanied the car and the odometer today reads just 12,600 miles, making it surely one of the finest original examples of its kind in existence. Little wonder it changed hands for a world record price.
Vehicle details have been provided by Silverstone Auctions.
Written by: Glen Smale
Images by: Silverstone Auctions