Charity auction for the final 991-gen Porsche 911 commands $550,000, with proceeds totaling $1M
Earlier this week, Porsche and RM Sotheby’s announced that it would be partnering up to auction off the final 991-generation 911—a dashing Speedster model finished in a historic livery—to raise money for United Way’s COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund. In addition to the chance to own a fantastic Porsche like the 911 Speedster, the winner of this online-only auction will also be treated to 911 Speedster wristwatch, as well as a number of exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime Porsche experiences. The package includes a private tour of Porsche’s development headquarters in Weissach, complete with a test-track run with 911 and GT model line chiefs Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser and Andreas Preuninger. Porsche Cars North America President and CEO Klaus Zellmer will personally hand over the keys to the 911 Speedster at a special event, along with a unique illustrated book of the car’s build process, including photos and sketches from the Speedster design team.
[UPDATE: The final price for this charity sale came in at $550,000. Porsche is matching the winning bid of $500,000 for a total of $1 million to benefit United Way, with RM also donating a significant portion of the $50,000 buyer’s premium.]
If this all sounds over-the-top, that’s the idea, Zellmer tells Hagerty. “Our mission for this car is to get as much money as possible to raise money for this cause. We wanted to do something that resonates with our fans and customers, but also outside those groups, to encourage people to engage during these difficult times. Hopefully, people will learn about United Way, and even if they don’t get the final bid, still donate.”
Although it is fairly common for the final vehicle of a generational run to be a special or limited-edition model, it just so happened that the final 991-generation 911 was a U.S.-spec car. The dealer for whom the Speedster had been allocated was more than willing to offer the car up for this charity auction, and of course, Porsche will make sure the dealer is made whole.
The 991.2 iteration 911 Speedster is limited to 1948 examples—a nod to Porsche’s founding year. It’s not a stretch to say that the car is a topless version of the raucous 911 GT3, down to its 502-hp, 4.0-liter flat-six and cutting-edge suspension kit that includes four-wheel steering and dynamic engine mounts, plus carbon-ceramic brakes. With enthusiasts and Porsche purists in mind, the sole transmission option is a six-speed manual.
For Porsche, this iteration of the 911 Speedster is especially significant, Zellmer says. It is the first 911 Speedster to be completely development by Porsche’s motorsport department, which honors famous importer Max Hoffman’s original intention for the first Porsche speedster—the 1952 356 1500 America Roadster—to be light and visceral.
RM Sotheby’s, the auction house handling the sale, will be also be donating a “significant portion” of the 10-percent buyer’s premium. “Kudos to Porsche for bringing such an exciting concept to the table, and for doing it so quickly,” said RM Chief Operating Officer Alain Squindo. “Offering the final series of a vehicle generation has intrinsic collectible value, but then you add in the VIP treatment and it becomes a perfect storm of interest. Opportunities like a private tour at Weissach are unobtanium even for high-level Porsche collectors.”
“History tells us that there is a bit of bidding fervor in the final 24 hours, and the last hour is always interesting,” says Squindo.
We’ll be watching closely to see the final bid when the hammer drops. With all proceeds (excluding taxes and fees) headed to United Way’s COVID-19 aid fund, let’s hope it’s a massive result.