A n unwritten rule about buying cars from Stuttgart is to search both ends of the timeline; chasing down either Ferdinand and Ferry Porsche’s earliest efforts or sourcing the most modern examples one can find. Unlike lesser companies, the team of engineers and designers who carried the torch of performance motoring after the elder Porsche’s untimely death in 1951 and his son Ferry’s retirement in 1989 proved that the performance-oriented spirit of the company’s namesake did not dissipate.
RM Sotheby’s is proud to celebrate this continued dedication with a Swiss-based, stand-alone single-owner collection of some of Stuttgart’s finest sports cars from the modern era as the exciting climax to our Online Only: Open Roads, February auction, with a staggered closure over 19-28 February:
1995 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet
Starting off with an air-cooled, turbocharged bang, this open-top 911 existed so far above other 993-generation Porsches as to be essentially nonexistent: Merely 14 were constructed by Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur at the request of Fitz Haberl, one of Porsche’s most influential dealers in Munich. With widened rear wheel arches and a factory-optional spoiler fitted, the black-on-black theme of this ultra-rare 911 is broken only by its Maroon-colored cloth top. Originally priced with an 89,500 DM premium over the non-turbocharged variant (the approximate equivalent of a $110,139 surcharge today), this example sets the tone for the rest of our list: Unapologetically extraordinary.
2004 Porsche Carrera GT
Unveiled in spectacular fashion on the eve of the 2000 Paris Motor Show, the concept Carrera GT was a statement that Porsche was not beholden to the rear-engine, six-cylinder formula that built the brand’s reputation. Instead, when the production version of the Carrera GT supercar was released in 2004, it marked many milestones not simply in the history of Porsche, but in the automotive world writ large: The Carrera GT was the first production vehicle built around a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, a foundation that makes up nearly every serious supercar today. Unlike the offerings of today, however, this U.S.-spec Fayence Yellow-over-Dark Grey Carrera GT is shifted by its driver.
2010 Porsche 911 Sport Classic
Sometimes, a look back can provide an opportunity for reinvention. The “Classic” in this Sport Classic can easily be observed in this example’s timeless silhouette, echoing some of the dramatic highlights from the brand’s history, right down to the headline-grabbing "ducktail" spoiler. And yet, factory-equipped with a ‘Power Kit,’ the Sport Classic’s 3.8-litre, horizontally opposed, six-cylinder engine comfortably produced 408 horsepower—nearly double the 210 horsepower produced from the 2.7-litre, air-cooled engine under the original “ducktail”: The 1973 Carrera 911 RS 2.7. This example was only the twelfth ever built out of a limited run of 250 ever made. As such, the desirability among Porschephiles for the few Sport Classics released has been strong from the time it was announced. A modern icon.
2014 Porsche 918 Spyder
As truly old-school Porsche followers will no doubt recognize, hybrid power has flowed in the brand’s blood since the Lohner-Porsche of 1900. Though Ferdinand Porsche’s first effort was driven by electric motors mounted in wheel hubs (a true innovation, spawning several modern imitators), the elder Porsche could scarcely have conceived of the levels of power and refinement achieved by the 918 Spyder. Showing under 5,500 km from new, this tasteful, hybrid hypercar has been optioned with Porsche’s Liquid Chrome Blue Metallic over Mocha Brown leather with Silver accents—one of only three ordered in this exact specification. The perfect counterpoint to the raw emotion from the Carrera GT supercar, this 918 is proof of Porsche’s evolution into a world-class OEM that can offer both exhilarating performance and unparalleled refinement in the same forward-thinking package.
2010 Porsche 911 GT2 RS
Not the first model overseen by this individual, but the first on our list, this 2010 Porsche 911 GT2 RS marks for us the introduction of a name that will no doubt one day be added to the list of greatest-ever automotive engineers: Dr. Andreas Preuninger. Reputed among the motoring press as the person who nearly single-handedly re-established Porsche performance, Dr. Preuninger has overseen every GT-branded model but one (if you have yet to see it, this recent Top Gear segment is illuminating). For this 2010 example, Dr. Preuninger achieved outright domination of the leaderboards, not only on paper, with the GT2 RS earning the title of “fastest and most powerful 997-generation 991” upon its release, but on the track as well, with the model setting a 2010 record on the Nürburgring Nordschleife that remained unbroken internally until the 991.2 Turbo S in 2017. Deeply impressive.
2017 Porsche 911 R
In almost a year of compiling this semi-regular blog for RM Sotheby’s, your humble writer has tried to keep his personal preferences private, but with this example, he must confess an undeniable bias. Since serving as an editor on the English-language translation of the definitive book on the making of the modern 911 R, this writer was struck by the sincerity of the true believers within Porsche who balance respect for the brand’s history while understanding the necessity to reinvent it. Practically covered with grace notes and “Easter Eggs” instantly recognizable to Porschephiles everywhere down to the “pepita”-patterned inserts on the brown leather seats, this model was a nod to the original motorsport-inspired 911 R from 1967. For many other brands, the hint at history would be merely aesthetic, but underneath the skin existed the same GT3 RS-spec suspension and 4.0-litre powerplant that made all of Dr. Preuninger’s other output so exemplary. The most critical addition was a six-speed manual gearbox; no spoiler necessary. This example, the 401st constructed out of 991 total, is made even more extraordinary by its Paint-to-Sample Gulf Blue exterior.
2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS
Proving exactly the ethos of individualism that has from the beginning been integral to the Porsche brand, this RennSport-spec, Paint-to-Sample Porsche 911 GT2 RS was ordered new in this striking shade of Azzurro California Metallic with contrasting gold-colored center-lock wheels. The outspoken exterior of the GT2 is balanced by its straightforward, motorsport-inspired interior, with adaptive sport seats trimmed in two-tone, light blue-over-black leather. Underneath the skin, Dr. Preuninger’s lightening regime truly shines, with the roof of this 911 GT2 RS fashioned from the ultimate natural material for lightweight strength: Magnesium. With carbon-fiber components used throughout this example, it is clear this colorful car makes a modern statement that the future of Porsche performance is bright.