• They’re calling it the massacre of Monterey. One of the highlights of #Car-Week in California, auction houses present their sales in front of some of the world’s wealthiest people, who flock to the coastal city to indulge in a festival of luxurious and collectible sports cars. This year though, it’s fair to say auction house sales had lost their sparkle.

    In many ways the writing was on the wall. Most luxury marques and models, including the Porsche 911 in its various iterations, are down in value compared to a year or two ago. The #Porsche-911R / #Porsche and 997 GT2 RS are good cases in point: both these collectibles were valued at 20 per cent more just 12 months previously. Developments – or lack of – at #Monterey sought to confirm this downwards trend. Many lots didn’t sell, including desirables including a 993 GT2 and 2.7 RS Touring, while others were way down on reserve by the time the hammer fell.

    The entire Monterey sale will be remembered by the farcical events around lot 362, the sole remaining Type 64. Not technically a Porsche, this is a 1939 car built and driven by Dr Ferdinand Porsche and was intended to compete in a Berlin to Rome race in honour of a Pact of Steel between Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy at the time.

    Lot 362 was expected to fetch $20 million, but a mistake started the bidding at $30 million instead of $13 million, with ‘offers’ climbing to $70 million (rather than $17) before the error was realised. Among derision in the room, the sale collapsed. Regardless, Sotheby’s sale was down 25 per cent overall on 2018, a very definitive marker as to the state of the market presently. There’s much conjecture as to why this is the case, from generic talk of a recession, to changes in buying habits of younger generations.

    Without doubt there’s very little confidence in the market right now, but this downward trend in values is no bad thing. It is a widely held view in the industry that prices have been too high for many models for some time now, so an adjustment – no, a reality check – was dearly needed. It looks like that’s exactly what we got from Car Week.