When the gavel fell at $5,945,000 (£4.6m), this jaw-dropping 959 Paris-Dakar became the biggest seller at RM Sotheby’s Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction on Saturday.
Nor was that a big surprise, because this is quite a car. One of only seven Porsche 959 rally cars produced, it’s also one of only two in private ownership and is fitted with a correct type 953/85 Paris-Dakar engine.
It saw action at the 1985 Paris-Dakar with 1984 winners René Metge and Dominique Lemoyne – indeed Metge would eventually win this arduous contest three times.
And while he wasn’t lucky in 1985, this car, chassis number 010015, still won two stages before retiring with a ruptured oil line.
It steamed past its $3-3.4m (£2.3-2.6m) pre-sale estimate at the Porsche Experience Center Atlanta, during what was RM Sotheby’s first Porsche-only auction.
Despite this brilliant headline performance, it was a mixed bag for competition cars.
The 1983 956 that competed in the Le Mans 24 Hours and a 1975 911 Carrera RSR 3.0 that raced at Le Sarthe in ’75 and ’76 both failed to sell.
However, a 1980 Porsche 935 K4, the second of two built by the Kremer Brothers, did find a buyer, the Interscope Racing-liveried car fetching $885,000 (£690,600).
Porsche’s final air-cooled 911 turbo, built this year, two decades after production ended, was another of the event’s top sellers, hitting $3,415,000 (£2.66m), with all funds going to the Ferry Porsche Foundation.
Meanwhile another very different 911 in a similar shade went for $1,325,000 (£1.03m).
So why is this 1973 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Prototype so special? Well, it’s the second 911 Carrera RS, one of a quartet of prototypes, and has a number of unique features. Plus it’s seen in the model’s early marketing literature.
Perhaps appropriately, a 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Lightweight also sailed over the million-dollar mark when the hammer fell, making $1,022,500 (£798k).
This matching-numbers car is one of only 200 lightweight ‘Sport’ versions, it was raced in period and has been meticulously restored.
And reaching a tidy $1m (£780k) was a 1985 Porsche 959 Prototype that is thought could be the oldest running and driving 959.
Known as F7, it’s the seventh of 12 F-Series 959 development cars, of which it’s believed three or four survive, and it undertook hot-weather and electrical-system testing in the US and Europe.
Away from the million-dollar heavyweights, there were some other notable sales, including one that proves you don’t need to be a complete car to command a strong price.
We’re talking about the 1956 Porsche 356A Training Chassis used by Hoffman Motors, no less, to teach mechanics about the model – it sold for $112,000 (£87,493).
And sticking with 356As, a 1600 ‘Super’ Speedster by Reutter in, let’s say, ready-to-restore condition reached $307,500 (£240,217).
It was one of eight Reutter cars in this collection, although not all sold.
A ’63 356B 1600 ‘Sunroof’ Coupé by Reutter made $117,600 (£91,868), the hammer fell at $190,400 (£148,739) on a 1960 356B Super 90 Coupé, a ’58 356A Speedster achieved $280,000 (£218,734) and a 1960 356B Super 90 Cabriolet hit $168,000 (£131,240).
But top of the pile was a 35,302-mile 1956 356A 1600 ‘Super’ Speedster that went for $494,500 (£386,300).
And there are two other lots that really caught our eye. The first was number 204, a metallic green, 72,400-mile 1970 Porsche 914/6 which found a new home for $95,200 (£74,369).
The other’s a rarity: a 1988 911 turbo ‘Flat-Nose’ Coupé. It’s done just 2245 miles in its 30 years and achieved $307,500 (£240,217) at the Georgia sale.