Classic Porsches can command high prices on the open market, some selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars. It's unusual to see them fetch over a million, let along multiple millions, but that's just what this one did – nearly doubling its estimated value in the process.
It's a 1985 Porsche 959 – one of just a few hundred examples of the supercar made. But this one is even rarer. It's one of just seven that Porsche prepared to tackle the Paris-Dakar Rally, four of which were retained by the factory, leaving just three to circulate among private collectors.
RM Sotheby's estimated it would sell for upwards of $3 million as part of its sale at the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta on the occasion of the marque's 70th anniversary. But when the gavel dropped, it sold for nearly twice that: $5,945,000.
That, by our count, makes this the third most valuable Porsche ever sold at auction – behind only the 917K that Gooding Sold at Pebble Beach last year for $14 million, and the 956 it moved two years prior for over $10 million. (Fourth if you account for inflation on the 917 that Mecum sold in 2012 for $5.8m, or $6.2m in today's money.)
While the rally machine was the top lot of the sale, it wasn't the only one to sell for seven figures. Another 959 factory prototype sold for a million even, a 1973 Carrera RS 2.7 went for just over a million, a 918 Spyder for $1.4m, and the Project Gold 993 Turbo (as we reported the other day) raised over $3.4 million for the Ferry Porsche Foundation. However a 956 Group C racer that was valued at $5.25-6.75 million apparently didn't reach its reserve price and is still for sale.