A Rare, Historic Porsche Racer Leads RM Sotheby’s New German Sale
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A Rare, Historic Porsche Racer Leads RM Sotheby’s New German Sale

By JIM MOTAVALLI
Thu, Jul 11, 2024 7:00amGrey Clock 3 min

The 24-year-old actor James Dean died in a car accident, colliding with a college student at a California intersection on the evening of Sept. 30, 1955. The car he was driving was a Porsche, but not an ordinary 356. It was a very streamlined 550 Spyder, nicknamed “Little Bastard” by the race-crazy Dean.

The 550 Spyder was an out-and-out racer, but the kind that owners could register and drive to and from the track in those days. The open-topped Porsche was made for only three years, from 1953 to 1956, and although they were very successful in competition, only 90 were produced. The mid-mounted “Carrera” engine in the 550 had four overhead camshafts and dual ignition. With twin Solex carburetors, it produced 110 horsepower. That wasn’t a lot, but the 550 Spyder was a very light car, just 590 kilograms (1,300 pounds).

An example of the 550 Spyder, from 1955 with colourful racing history, is one of the cars that will be sold by RM Sotheby’s in an auction by Lake Tegernsee, about 40 minutes south of Munich, on July 27. Also on the block is a pair of modern Bugattis, a rare Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Stirling Moss, and a 2006 Porsche Carrera GT. The auction is taking place in partnership with the new Concours of Elegance Germany in Bavaria, held July 22-27.

The only one: This 2010 Bugatti Veyron 16-4 Grand Sport “Soleil de Nuit” to be auctioned by RM Sotheby’s was built for the royal family of Kuwait.
RM Sotheby’s

This Porsche 550 Spyder, with coachwork by Wendler (which also had its hand in the 718 sport racing cars), was delivered to Portugal and competed in European racing circuits. Originally white with burgundy accents, the car was first owned by Fernando Mascarenhas, who achieved class podium positions in races at Barajas and Monsanto in 1955. The 550 then went to Germany that summer for the Nürburgring 500 Kilometres, but the race was cut short because of an accident.

The second owner was Cypriano Flores in 1958. Flores’ son eventually returned the car to Porsche, which did the mechanical work while Wendler restored the body.

Despite the racing, which often results in swapped engines and other components, the 550 still boasts its original chassis, four-cam Carrera motor, and gearbox. The car was restored by Porsche and its original coachbuilder, Wendler, in the early 1990s—and not driven since then. During the restoration, the car’s color was changed to silver, and the interior from beige vinyl to black leather. The pre-auction estimate is €3.5 million to €4.2 million (US$3.78 million to US$4.54 million).

Also to be auctioned at Tegernsee is the aforementioned 2010 Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss, a virtually unused example with just 45 kilometres on the odometer. First shown in 2009, it was a tribute to the late racing driver’s win in a 300 SLR Mercedes at the 1955 Mille Miglia.

The auction SLR features a lightweight carbon-fibre structure and a supercharged, 5.4-litre V8 with 641 horsepower. A mere 75 Stirling Moss cars were built, and only offered to customers who already owned an SLR McLaren. Without a roof or windshield, the Moss edition was 200 kilograms lighter than the standard car. It could reach 62 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds. The pre-sale estimate is €3.2 million to €3.8 million.

The modern Bugattis include a 2019 Chiron Sport “110 Ans Bugatti” edition, one of 20. The odometer reads only 1,461 kilometres. It’s estimated at €3.3 million to €3.8 million. The other one is the 2010 Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport “Soleil de Nuit,” a one-off Veyron in two-tone black/blue metallic sold new to the royal family of Kuwait. The estimate is €1.5 million to €2 million.

The 2006 Porsche Carrera GT, one of just 1,270 of these race-derived high-performance cars, is also a low-mileage example in silver metallic with 35,698 kilometres showing. It’s powered by a 5.7-litre V10 engine and could reach 62 miles per hour in 3.57 seconds and had a top speed of 205 mph. This one was supplied to Porsche in Leipzig, and a succession of owners barely used it. In 2001, the Porsche benefitted from a major €27,000 service that included a clutch replacement. It’s estimated at €975,000 to €1.275 million.

Porsche collectors might also want to visit the Bonhams|Cars Quail auction during Monterey Car Week starting Aug. 16. The lots include a one-of-62 1971 Porsche 911 S/T (estimated between US$900,000 and US$1.2 million); and a 1993 959 “Komfort” model, one of six, estimated at US$1.5 million to US$2 million.



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Sparkling wine flows as Australian winemaker takes out top international award

The Tasmanian-based winemaker was among a number of Australian producers to be honoured at the event in London this week

By Robyn Willis
Thu, Jul 11, 2024 2 min

An Australian winemaker has taken out the top prize for sparkling wine at the International Wine Challenge, the first time a local winemaker has done so. It marks just the second time in the competition’s 40-year history that the award has gone to a winemaker outside France’s Champagne region.

Tasmanian-based House of Arras’ chief winemaker, Ed Carr, was presented with the award for Sparkling Winemaker of the Year at a special ceremony in London earlier this week.

“I’m incredibly honoured to be named this year’s Sparkling Winemaker of the Year. It’s a challenge to describe the feeling, but I’m proud to be recognised amongst my peers for such a significant international award,” Mr Carr said.

The IWC is considered one of the world’s most rigorous and impartial wine competitions. This year, France topped the medal tally with 72 gold, 394 silver and 455 bronze medals – extending their haul by 84 more wins than last year.  

The 40-year-old competition is considered one of the most influential events in the winemaking calendar.

Australian winemakers took out second place, with 54 gold, 250 silver and 154 bronze medals. Australia also won 19 trophies, 10 of which went to South Australia.

House of Arras also received the Australian Sparkling Trophy for its 2014 House of Arras Blanc de Blancs, as well as two gold and six silver medals.

Tasmania’s cool climate and soil make it ideal for producing world-class sparkling wine says Ed Carr (pictured).

Mr Carr said Tasmania’s cool climate and terroir were equal to the world’s best sparkling wine regions. The wins follow a strong showing this year at Australia’s National Wine Show and the Decanter World Wine Awards, where House of Arras also collected awards.

“2024 has been an outstanding year on the awards front, and I’m honoured to add this recent recognition from the International Wine Challenge to the mantle,” he said. 

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This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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