Paul Newman’s Porsche 935 To Headline The Pebble Beach Auctions
Pebble Beach Auctions, run by Gooding & Company, often throws up some exciting rare and historical cars, with Porsches historically making up a good proportion of them. It’s no real surprise, bearing in mind the buoyancy of the classic Porsche market then, that the latest glut of historic Porsches going under the hammer in Santa Monica contains some real gems.
Headlining the auctions, which will take place on August 20th – 21st, is a 1979 Porsche 935 in which legendary actor and racing driver, Paul Newman, made his 24 Hours of Le Mans debut in the same year. Alongside team mates Dick Barbour – team owner who also lent his name to the team – and Rolf Stommelen, the 935 finished second overall to the Kermer Racing 935. Adding to the car’s desirability is the fact that in the 1980 season it was sponsored by Apple Computers. It remains the only car the tech brand has ever supported.
Its successes didn’t stop at a Le Mans podium finish; it took first place at the 1981 24 Hours of Daytona and first at the 1983 12 Hours of Sebring. Topping off the car’s already considerable desirability is the fact that it was fully restored in 2006 by Paul Wilkinson to its 1979 Le Mans “Hawaiian Tropic” livery.
Estimate: $4,500,000 – $5,500,000
Next on the list of desirable, historically important Porsches Gooding & Company is offering is a 1984 911 SC/RS. Presented in Rothmans livery, the rally-spec 911 SC/RS was put together to compete in the European Rally Championship and Middle East Championship. The car at Pebble Beach (chassis 110 008) is just one of six such Porsches created and was driven by ‘King of the Dunes’ Saeed Al-Hajri. Helmed by Al-Hajri the car won the 1984 FIA Middle East Championship, and subsequently in 1987 took first places at the Qatar and Kuwait Rallies, winning the overall FIA Middle East Championship that year.
According to Gooding & Company, this particular Rothmans 911 SC/RS is one of the most original around and comes complete with a vast amount of background documentation.
Estimate: $1,400,000 – $1,800,000
The final headline Porsche being sold at Pebble Beach Auctions is a 1994 964 Turbo S Flachbau (flat-nose). A last hurrah for the 964, the Turbo S Flachbau was built by Porsche’s Exclusive Department in tiny numbers with just 76 hitting showrooms globally. This particular car has travelled less than 40 miles since it was built, having been bought and owned by a collection since new, making it somewhat of a time capsule. Finished in Grand Prix White with an interior optioned with the Rotwood trim, the car is about as original as they come. It even has the original window sticker still present and correct.
The Flachbau’s modifications were more than just skin deep. It ran a 3.6-litre flat six with the X88 upgrade, consisting of a larger turbo charger, new camshafts and timing, reworked inlet and cylinder heads and exhaust. These upgrades delivered a prodigious 385bhp at 5,750rpm, giving the car a 0-60 time in the mid fours, and a top speed of around 175mph.
Estimate: $1,400,000 – $1,800,000
There are several other interesting Porsches being sold at the Pebble Beach Auctions in August including a 1973 911 Carrera 2.7 RSH, 1988 959 Komfort, 2011 997 GT2 RS and a 1997 993 Turbo S. GT Porsche will report back what these classics sell for as soon as they’ve been sold.