Even if you’re not one of the many loyal acolytes of the marque, it’s been hard to escape the hullabaloo surrounding Porsche’s 70th anniversary this year.
Not that you’d want to escape. It’s been full of surprises, and we’ve gladly gone along for the ride: from the original 356 from 1948 to the 1,948-edition 911 Speedster to the super-secret Classic Project Gold. Though we do wish it had been a literal ride.
And therein lies our one beef with the festivities. While Porsche has made their name in high-end sports cars, this year has seen a slew of particularly unattainable models. The original 356 sits at a 0% chance of ownership, while the Classic Project Gold hovers around .01%.
But fear not, autoliebhaber! There’s more than enough German adrenaline to go around, as demonstrated by the lots on offer at the Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction, put on by RM Sotheby's in Georgia in collaboration with the Porsche Experience Center Atlanta.
The sale “will feature approximately 70 of the world's most important and most sought-after collectible Porsche models, spanning the marque's illustrious 70-year history as a sports car manufacturer.” That includes Project Gold, the estimated price for which is available on request (i.e., if you have to ask, you can’t afford it) and many other too-rich-for-my-blood showstoppers.
Fortunately, collectible doesn’t always mean out of reach. And there are plenty of cars hitting the auction block on October 27th that are well within your leather-gloved grasp.
Below, our favorites from the bunch that are currently flying under the radar (unlike Seinfeld’s custom job), all estimated to sell for under a million, most in driving condition and each from a different decade of Porsche’s fruitful 70 years.
Photo: Loic Kernen ©2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
1951 Porsche 356 1300 'Split-Window' Cabriolet by Reutter
Estimated price: $650,000 - $800,000
Why it’s special: The earliest model featured in this auction, this 356 was built in the last year Porsche used the split windscreen and the body-integrated bumpers. If you’re looking for a hardtop, they’ve also got a slightly younger '51 Porsche 356.
Photo: Jonathan Oppenheim ©2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
1960 Porsche 356 B Super 90 Coupe by Reutter
Estimated price: $140,000 - $160,000
Why it’s special: This Super has been through the wringer: first by a vintage racer who drove it in the La Carrera Panamericana long-distance rally, then by a collector who commissioned a full restoration. But since the two-year makeover — which included an engine rebuild to original spec — it’s only been driven 500 miles and is ready for racing or runabouting.
Photo: ©2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
1969 Porsche 911 E Coupe by Karmann
Estimated price: $70,000 - $90,000
Why it’s special: Part of the 911 B series — and the last to feature a 2.0-liter rear-mounted, air-cooled, flat-six engine — this particular model “was driven into a barn on a farm in Evington, Virginia, around 1986 and left untouched for the next 32 years.” That’s right: barn find, baby! Unfortunately it doesn’t currently start, but think of how happy it'll be once you nurse it back to health.
Photo: Nathan Leach-Proffer ©2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
1980 Porsche 924
Estimated price: $30,000 - $40,000
Why it’s special: This 924 is the runt of the litter, with the lowest estimated price (not even able to best the Porsche tractor). But the history of this odd duck — originally slated to be a Volkswagen-Audi combo sportscar, then dumped on Porsche — and the pristine condition mean it’s about to be someone’s Cinderella story.
Photo: Ashton Staniszewski ©2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
1988 Porsche 911 Turbo S 'Flat-Nose' Coupe
Estimated price: $250,000 - $300,000
Why it’s special: Not sure who the original owner was, but he or she spared no expense. This Porsche got not only the highly covetable flat-nose job, but an upgrade called the “Flachbau” package that included “vented front fenders, pop-up headlamps, boxed rockers, and rear quarter vents, but also an electric sliding sunroof, heated seats, a limited-slip differential, special foil stone guards.” And much, much more.
Photo: Lucas Scarfone ©2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S Club Coupe
Estimated price: $120,000 - $160,000
Why it’s special: Porsche built 50 of these to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Porsche Club of America. It wasn’t only exclusive in terms of its higher performance engine and Azurro California colorway, but the 48 models that went up for sale were only offered to randomly chosen members at the time. A badge on the drivers' side door notes this is no. 39.
Photo: ©2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 3.8
Estimated price: $175,000 - $200,000
Why it’s special: It fulfills all the aesthetic checkpoints of your first-gen The Fast and the Furious fantasies. More importantly, this 997.2 GT3 RS has been well taken care of during its lifetime, meaning the 450-BHP, 3.8-liter Mezger flat-six engine is as raring to go as it’s ever been. Oblige it.
Main image via Jonathan Oppenheim ©2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's