The wettest November on record came in 1852. After heavy rain through summer and autumn, records show that things reached disastrous levels in November, when large parts of the country ended up underwater. Even Queen Victoria noted in her diary that half of Windsor was submerged.
The rainfall in November 2019 is so far shaping up to beat the record set 167 years ago, so no wonder that Dario Franchitti’s Porsche 964 Speedster has popped up for sale through Bonhams in their RAF Museum sale in London on November 21st.
Dario picked up this Speedster in 2010 while driving for Ganassi and shipped it back to the UK when he moved home to Scotland in 2014. The four-time IndyCar champ was the third owner of the Guards Red Speedster after its delivery to the original buyer in February 1994.
I’m by no means an expert on the Franchitti collection, but he and I did discuss his Porsche fleet in a chat at Tuthills a few months ago. The main topic of conversation was the surprise restoration of his dad’s original 930, presented as a surprise after the return to Scotland. That was a very cool story.
While Dario has a thing for red cars, and the Speedster is certainly red with a capital R, a Speedster may not instantly strike you as an obvious Franchitti choice, but a manual 964 Speedster is good fun to drive. Dario previously shipped the car from his US base in Tennessee to California, for a 2k-mile road trip up and down PCH1.
“The fact that it was a convertible was good in California,” Dario told Motor Trend. “I did about 2,000 miles in a couple of weeks, so that was quite good fun. I drove it down to L.A. and up to San Francisco a couple of times while based at the Monterey Historics.”
I drove those roads through the redwoods in my Pacific Blue 911 SC and for sure they’d be fun in a Speedster. My 964 Speedster drives have all been ace and the 17″ Cup wheels, factory limited slip differential and the RS buckets fitted to this one just up the attraction. MOT history shows the 964 has only done a few hundred miles a year since coming back to the UK. A quick look online also shows that the car has previously been offered for sale, with no takers.
Chassis number WP0CB2965RS465353 appeared in the catalogue for the September Silverstone Auctions sale at our local polo club. Low estimate was a sensible £125k but the car failed to find a buyer. At least Silverstone’s pictures (seen here) showed more of an effort than Bonhams. It has also apparently been offered at supercar dealer, Joe Macari in London with no joy. So now it is heading off to another auction.
Some friends of mine once lived in a very posh squat around the corner from the RAF Museum. Hendon in a soaking wet November doesn’t strike me as the sort of place one would predict a Speedster to sell well. Personally I would book it for the auction they hold at Monaco Historic GP every May and watch it romp off amongst fellow race drivers and – HELLO – some good old-fashioned SUNSHINE. Easy sales are all about timing.
PS: note the good reg plate on this car: 111 XRF. I would take that off before the auction. It will not add a cent to the price for an overseas buyer (good odds) and is too cool to give away. Sell the car to a Euro buyer in Monaco and keep the plate for something else. Always, always, always take plates off unless they are of historic significance to the chassis.
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