In Pebble Beach and before, Porsche prices seemed to be on fire everywhere. 356s, long hood (pre-1974) 911s (particularly the S model) and even short wheelbase 912s were in great demand and bringing huge prices.
Even so, when the catalogs came out for the Scottsdale sales, I audibly gasped. A $300,000+ pre-sale estimate for a pushrod Speedster, $100,000+ 356 coupes and $100,000+ estimates for non-S early 911s. The killer for me was a $65,000 to $85,000 estimate for the lowest horsepower version, the 911T in the wrong shade of yellow at RM.
For the most part, the 356s did quite well, with RM setting a new record for a pushrod Speedster at $330,000. Only Bonhams’ 356SC coupe failed to sell and this after being bid to a very strong $80,000.
The 911 market was a different story, and at this point, the confusing alphabet soup of 911 models bears explaining: The 911S was the top horsepower car from 1969-73. The E was the middle-range and the T had the base engine. Not surprisingly, this is also the order of desirability.
With the supply of early S model cars seemingly running out, a number of well-restored T and E model cars have appeared at auction. Two Es were consigned to Gooding, in popular period colors. Neither made its low estimate nor did the aforementioned 911T at RM. In every case but Lot 19 at Gooding, a Signal Orange 1970 911E, the cars missed their low estimates substantially (Lot 19 sold for about $4,000 below the low estimate of $100,000).
For now, the early 911 market seems to be taking a breather with early S cars the only models that can be reliably counted on to break $100,000, when condition warrants. All things considered, though, any pre-1974 911 in good condition — especially in a popular period color like Conda Green, Light Yellow or Signal Orange — is worth holding at this point.