Big sales of exclusive Porsche models only tell part of the story

Darin Schnabel ©2023 Courtesy o

Porschephiles tend to have a near-encyclopedic knowledge of the colors their favorite models came in, and that’s no small feat given the range of hues the company has offered over the years. Onlookers of  “the White Collection,” a Porsche-centric sale hosted last week by RM Sotheby’s, had things a little bit easier—of the 56 Porsches crossing the block, only two were something other than a shade of, you guessed it, white. Despite the more limited palette, however, the sale of these Porsches offered plenty of variety, and some market lessons to boot.

While we typically focus on a single vehicle in our Sale of the Week, this round features a few cars from this auction in order to shed a little light on the current market for newer Porsches. In an overall market that’s been cooling for more than a year, the fact that Porsche’s recent GT products still command a significant premium or dealer markup demonstrates how resilient they’ve been in the face of market forces. Other exclusive models from Stuttgart have displayed similar strength.

Record transaction prices from the White Collection sale would appear to back that up, but the big numbers aren’t simply indicative of a segment of the market continuing a nonsensical post-pandemic frenzy. Digging a little deeper reveals something about what buyers are prioritizing within the P-car world.

Darin Schnabel ©2023 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

For instance, this paint-to-sample Grand Prix White 2019 911 GT2 RS Weissach with a scant 15 miles on the odometer sold for a record $1,006,000 including fees. More than $344,000 worth of options led an MSRP of $639,345 when new (a full 116 percent above its $295,345 base price). However, its sale at the White Collection represented 110 percent of the condition-appropriate price ($478,199) for a base GT2 RS Weissach without those add-ons. That suggests that the options are the primary price driver, and though the number itself is dramatically more than what other GT2 RS Weissachs have sold for, this is a consistent sale that doesn’t reposition the GT2 market.

A 2016 911 R—a darling of collectors since its debut— commanded a premium rooted less specifically in its option list. Selling for another record at $1,105,000 including fees, it wore add-ons that bumped its original MSRP 48 percent, but it sold for 81 percent more than #1- (Concours) condition value. With less than twenty miles on the odometer and everything from detailed order correspondence to its pre-delivery coverings, it’s not too surprising that this museum-grade 911 R came at an additional premium.

Darin Schnabel ©2023 Courtesy o

Even further on the spectrum, RM Sotheby’s snagged a record-breaking $3,937,500 for this 2015 918 Weissach Spyder. Wearing the same paint-to-sample Grand Prix White and Yachting Blue interior colors as the above GT2 RS, this 918 is yet another museum piece and includes a wealth of collector accessories. Whether or not its new owner fits into the included racing suit, shoes, and helmet is beside the point—this car’s value is no longer associated with its enormous capabilities at the track. Despite options that added a comparatively paltry ten percent to the original MSRP, it sold for 75 percent above its #1-condition value. With such a pristine example of one of Porsche’s best-ever road cars, it’s no surprise that options played a less significant role in its sale price.

According to manager of valuation analytics John Wiley, for The White Collection’s sales of 997 and 991 GT cars, 911 R, 911 Turbo S Exclusive, and the 918 Spyder, the average share of options as a percentage of the base price explains 78 percent of the premiums these cars achieved. What does that mean? A couple of things: first, decked-out cars tend to hold their value well in the Porsche community. Second, options don’t explain the whole story for each car, and low mileage, unique appointments, and outright intangibles still propel GT and high-end Porsches to a premium.

Despite that, we are beginning to observe a slight tightening in the GT market. By no means have premiums gone away, but they have generally been flat or trended down this year, with the exception of those for the 991 GT2 RS and the 2023 GT3 RS. Don’t get your hopes up for a comparative bargain anytime soon, though—the 2019 GT3 RS still commands a premium north of 30 percent, and that’s the lowest of the group.

The White Collection’s dramatic numbers reaffirmed the continued strength of this segment. It also demonstrated that top-flight Porsche sales are subject to rational behavior, and that’s a sign of a healthy market.

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    I can appreciate the white theme here. It had been Germany’s original racing color and those Brumos Porsches come to mind as well. Yet in this setting they not only look unobtainable (except for the privileged few) but so cold and antiseptic as to be somewhat undesirable. I’d rather see an old bench seat for seating, a wire spool table and a Bosch banner. It almost seems as there should be a Porsche GT3 RSR Pan-pretentious in the collection. The one saving grace is with 2019 911 GT 2 having just racked up just 15 miles it reminds me of ‘Taps’ Nigel St. Nigel saying – ” No ones every going to play this guitar. No don’t even touch, don’t even look at it. Time to look away now.”- So thanks for the laugh.

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