He was nicknamed “Sweetness,” so of course Walter Payton drove sweet cars. And one of those cars, the NFL Hall of Fame running back’s favorite, will be auctioned in the city where he became a superstar and led the Chicago Bears to a Super Bowl XX Championship in 1986.
In a press release, Mecum Auctions announced that Payton’s 1979 Porsche 930 Turbo will be offered at its Chicago sale October 25–27. The Porsche 930 is one of 1200 produced for the U.S. market in 1979. It has fewer than 10,000 miles on the odometer. Payton owned the car longer than any of the others in his collection of high-end vehicles.
“This is his first sports car,” said Payton’s son, Jarrett, whose father died from a rare liver disease in 1999. “This was the first big-name sports car that he bought. He bought it in 1979, the year before I was born.
“He got into the league in ’75, and early on, his main focus was just playing football. That focus helped him become the leading rusher with the most carries those first three years. He worked hard to ensure he had established himself, so when he was getting to the good part of his career, when the ’80s came around, he wanted to treat himself.”
The Porsche 930 Turbo, which still wears its “WP” Illinois license plates, was one of the hottest cars on the market at the time. Sill in extraordinary original condition, it is powered by a 265-horsepower, 3.3-liter turbocharged flat-six engine mated to a four-speed manual transmission. Silver with black interior, it has a whale-tail spoiler and chrome Gotti five-spoke wheels. “He loved the silver on that body style,” Jarrett said. “He had it to match the chrome rims… He just wanted it to look clean.”
Other features include A/C, electric sunroof, and an Alpine stereo with Nakamichi speakers. “My dad loved music,” Jarrett said. We’re guessing Sweetness loved the Porsche’s signature flat-six soundtrack too.
In a nod to the famous No. 34 jersey that Payton wore for “da Bears,” Mecum is offering the Porsche as Lot S134.
Earlier this year, Mecum auctioned the 1967 Corvette convertible that was given to Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr after he won MVP honors in the first Super Bowl. The Corvette sold for $142,500.