Wed, Dec 14, 2016

Rare open-top Porsche could fetch $1m

A rare open-top Porsche that is more than half a century old could fetch more than a million dollars when it goes under the hammer at an RM Sotheby’s auction in Paris next year.

The one-of-one Porsche 901 Cabriolet Prototype will be on sale alongside two modern-era, limited-edition Aston Martin Zagatos at the auction on February 8, during the during the world-famous Rétromobile week.

Both the Aston Martins – a DB7 Vantage Zagato and a 2012 Aston Martin V12 Zagato – are together expected to fetch more than a million dollars.

Aston Martin’s partnership with leading Italian coachbuilding firm Zagato spans five decades, and has created five limited-edition production vehicles to date.

Launched in 2002, the DB7 Vantage Zagato was the first Zagato-bodied Aston Martin since the V8 Vantage Zagato of 1986. 

The car on offer, chassis no. 700001, is the very first of just 99 produced. The vehicle’s current owner first saw the initial sketches of what would become the DB7 Vantage Zagato in a Basel nightclub. He immediately agreed to purchase the very first car, and signed a contract with the-then Aston Martin Lagonda CEO Dr Ulrich Bez that night on the only slip of paper available – a napkin.

The car was eventually delivered in 2003, finished in Nero Black over Claret Red leather, and complete with optional extras including brushed aluminium trim in place of the standard wood, upgraded sat-nav and stereo, and a heated front windscreen. 

Carefully maintained, it comes to auction – accompanied by a numbered presentation book, numbered suede jacket and umbrella – with an estimate of €350,000-400,000 ($373,100-426,400).

The 2012 Aston Martin V12 Zagato was built to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the legendary DB4GT Zagato, and unveiled at the prestigious Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in 2011. With each vehicle taking 2,000 hours to create, coupled with a suitably extravagant price tag, just 61 road-going cars were constructed. 

RM Sotheby’s has sourced the ‘holy grail’ of the limited group, ‘No. Zero’, a special commission made by Aston Martin, complete with distinctive design cues by Aston Martin’s bespoke ‘Q’ department.  

Supplied new to Paris in late 2012, the then-owner worked closely with Aston Martin to create ‘No. Zero’, complete with one-off Zagato-badged key, unique painted fixed wing and a one-of-one Scarab badge. At the time, Aston Martin didn’t allow bespoke badges to be added to the V12 Zagatos, but made an exception in this case, creating a yet unrepeated one-off Scarab beetle design ‘AML wings’ badge on the nose of the car. 

Offered in Paris by its first owner, ‘No. Zero’ is one of the most exclusive and individual Aston Martins available on the market, and comes with an estimate of €625,000-675,000 ($666,200-719,500).

The Aston Martin duo will be joined by one of the most historically important Porsches ever offered on the open market. 

The Porsche 901, now known as the 911, paved the way for Porsche’s road and race car success. When Porsche was developing the 901, it made 13 pre-production models, of which just one was completed as a Cabriolet. The drop-top 901 was also the actual car from which the subsequent iconic 911 Targa concept originated, developed and evolved. 

RM Sotheby’s is thrilled to have consigned this very car, the 1964 Porsche 901 Cabriolet Prototype, chassis no. 13360, which is the second oldest surviving 901/911 chassis, and one of just two pre-production 901s still in existence. 

The car has an estimate of €850,000-1 million ($906,100-1.07 million), and given its significant history and provenance, it would be a welcome addition to any important Porsche or classic car collection, says RM Sotheby’s. 

“Hot on the heels of stunning successes in London and Milan, and with an astonishing offering including motor cars such as these Aston Martin Zagatos, our Paris sale is set to provide a thrilling start to our 2017 auction season,” says Peter Wallman, Managing Director, RM Sotheby’s Europe. 

Coinciding with the Rétromobile week (February 8 to 12, 2017), RM Sotheby’s Paris auction will be held at Place Vauban immediately after the Festival Automobile International, which runs through February 5. 

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