First Porsche 911 Cabriolet to be auctioned off by RM Sotheby’s in Paris next year

Article by Christian A., on December 16, 2016

How much are you willing to spend to get a new Porsche 911? Let’s admit it -- a Porsche 911 is not cheap, even if it is more than 50 years old already. Now one of the first 13 prototypes Porsche 911s is up for auction at the upcoming event by RM Sotheby’s in Paris, France on February 8, 2017.

Yes, this is not just any other Porsche 911. It is more than a classic; it is already an icon. Aside from being one of the original Porsche 911s, the classic car up for sale in February is also the first ever 911 Cabriolet. Built between 1963 and 1964, this 911 Cabriolet – with chassis #13360 -- is one of the two surviving originals. With an age of around 53 years old, the 911 #13360 is also the oldest 911 Cabriolet.

Let us dabble with some Porsche 911 history. Prior to 1963, Porsche determined that it was already time to replace the Porsche 356. So, it commissioned Karmann to produce 13 prototypes of the successor model. These prototypes were eventually named as Porsche 901, and one of them was this 911 Cabriolet in concern. Interestingly, this car and its hardtop siblings weren’t known as the 911 back then, but as 901. In fact, when the 356 successor was unveiled in the at the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show, it was presented as the Porsche 901.

But there was a big problem: French carmaker Peugeot protested the naming sense applied for the model since it had already patented the naming designation for three digits with a zero in the middle. Yes, Peugeot had the exclusive rights to name vehicles with any three-digit number that has a zero in the middle, 901 including. To resolve the issue, Porsche opted to change the name of the 901 to 911. By the time the name was changed, Porsche had already built 82 production versions of the 901. As for the 911 Cabriolet, it was not until 1982 that Porsche built a production version from the 1963 prototype.

Now, the 911 Cabriolet #13360 set to be auctioned off in 2017 remains in good condition even after 53 years. It is still powered by a 2.0-liter flat-six engine that delivers 130 PS (129 bhp) and is mated to a five-speed Type 901 manual transmission. Its red paint finish is almost still original. This Porsche 911 Cabriolet features Fuchs alloy wheels and part-leather, part-houndstooth seats as well as wood-rimmd steering wheel. This car was actually nearing being scrapped until saved by German collector Manfred Freisinger, who took possession of the 911 Cabriolet until he sold it to Myron Vernis of Akron, Ohio. The car changed to the current owner in 2014. Now, the current owner has commissioned RM Sotheby’s to auction off the very first 911 Cabriolet.

The 911 Cabriolet #13360 is expected to be sold at a final bid of between €850,000 and €1 million, according to RM Sotheby’s.

Press Release

The first ever Porsche 911 Cabriolet auction

RM Sotheby’s is thrilled to add two of the most exclusive and sought-after modern-era, limited-edition Aston Martin Zagatos to the docket for its upcoming Paris auction, alongside one of the rarest Porsches ever offered for public sale, the one-of-one Porsche 901 Cabriolet Prototype. Considering their individual rarity, early chassis numbers and bespoke one-off features, the trio is set to turn heads when they go under the hammer in Paris, 8 February during the world-famous Rétromobile week.
Aston Martin’s partnership with leading Italian coachbuilding firm Zagato spans five decades, and has created five limited-edition production vehicles to date, of which RM has secured two exclusive models for its upcoming Paris auction.

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 examples 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. A carefully maintained example, it comes to auction accompanied by a numbered presentation book, numbered suede jacket and umbrella (Est. €350.000–€400.000).

Immediately recognisable as a Zagato-bodied Aston Martin, 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’ remains today one of the most exclusive—and individual—Aston Martins available on the market, and would be the crowning glory of any collection (Est. €625.000–€675.000).

“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. “Together, these Astons represent one of the greatest brand partnerships in the motoring world, that between Aston Martin and Zagato, and we can’t wait to bring them to Paris in February.”
The limited-edition Aston Martin duo will be joined in Paris 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. Sitting right at the heart of the birth of the legendary 911, and given its significant history and provenance, it would be a welcome addition to any important Porsche or classic car collection (Est. €850.000-€1.000.000).

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