An expansive, strange collection of all-white Porsche products and memorabilia has sold for a total of $30.5 million, setting records for several desirable models built within the last decade. Listed by RM Sotheby’s as “ The White Collection” several months ago, the Texas-based hoard has been framed as mysterious with an owner who likes to stay out of the limelight.
This happens a lot with auctions, as it’s a clever way of building interest. The recent 1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger R/T SE that Mecum auctioned for over a million dollars is another example. While desirable in itself, the vehicle was dubbed “The Black Ghost” (below) and became the subject of legend after claims were made that its previous owner was a mysterious drag racer that would periodically appear on Detroit’s Woodward Avenue, demolish the competition, and then vanish into the night.
Those claims have since been, well, challenged. The Challenger doesn’t appear to boast any modifications that would denote it as a hardcore street racer or drag car and few individuals familiar with the Detroit racing scene at the time claim to have any knowledge of its existence. Tony DeFeo, former editor of Mopar Action, also called the car questionable after examining it personally.
But it made for a good story and that in turn drew the kind of attention that would help pad the price. Besides, who can really say it’s phony now that the legend has been so well established in the public consciousness?
While there could be a little of this going on with The White Collection, things appear a little more straightforward this time around. We have a massive collection of white Porsches and an owner that doesn’t love appearing on camera. The only real mystery here is why have every vehicle in the same color?
My theory is that this is just something that happens to people with a surplus of wealth but no real personality of their own. For example, British television presenter and former Top Gear host Chris Evans once owned an impressive collection of white Ferraris.
The all-white collection of Porsche vehicles would be slightly less interesting than Evans’ handful of classic Ferraris were it not 56 cars deep. Unlike the Italian brand, Porsche doesn’t have a signature hue and the gathered vehicles are extremely diverse in nature. They include ultra-desirable models like a 993 Porsche 911 GT2, Porsche 911 Turbo S X85 Flat Nose, and Porsche 918 Spyder with the Weissach Package. But the grouping also loaded up with more pedestrian examples you’d probably find listed for under $30,000 in excellent condition.
Models that ended up being less-than lucrative investments may have contributed to the sale. The Texas garage they’re being kept in looks like it probably costs a fair bit of money and requires hiring someone to do the necessary maintenance on the collection, which includes another dozen non-Porsche cars.
From the sound of things, the cars never saw much use. While the listing stipulates that the cars were started monthly, it also states that they were never driven. Most vehicles appear to have been added roughly a decade ago, only to be put on platforms and dusted. Caretaker Carl Bauer told the Porsche Club of America that the collection boasts a “distinct museum environment” in 2018 and the related footage certainly supports the assertion.
It can also be seen that a few models from that era were pulled ahead of the Sotheby’s sale — as the legendary Porsche 959 visible in the interview does not appear in the auction listing.
However, it did include two Porsche-Diesel Junior tractors, a few Porsche vehicles sized for children, Porsche-branded luggage, skis, flatware, loads of posters, booklets, and just about anything else you can put a corporate logo on. It’s extremely cool if you’re a Porsche fanatic. But perhaps a little sad if you’re someone who actually likes driving them. Maybe the next owner will take them for a spin.
[Images: RM Sotheby’s; Mecum]
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