A Porsche 911S made famous by its appearance in Scandinavian TV drama series The Bridge exceeded all estimates when it was auctioned at Bonhams’ sale at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July.
Driven by Swedish homicide detective Saga Noren (played by Sofia Helin) in the popular show, the car soon gained a cult-like following akin to the Starksy and Hutch Gran Torino and Dukes of Hazzard Charger. But, with The Bridge being a downbeat ‘Scandi-noir’ series, the car didn’t scream for attention. In fact, beyond being a Porsche, it was positively benign, with a Jager Grun exterior, blacked-out Fuchs wheels and plain interior. But the car fitted the quirky Noren perfectly and became as much a part of the show as the actors in the Danish/Swedish co-production.
Prior to its appearance in The Bridge, the car’s history is largely unknown. Built for the US market, the 1977-model 911S presumably spent all of its first 32 years there before it was imported to Sweden in 2009 and passed through at least two owners. In October, 2012, it was purchased by Filmlance International, producers of The Bridge, specifically for use in the series.
Fitted with the standard, naturally-aspirated 2.7-litre flat six engine and a 4-speed manual transmission, the 911S was described as having had a restoration at some point in its past, but given the tired appearance of the interior and some of the exterior features, it must have been the distant past: ‘preserved’ rather than ‘restored’ would be a better description!
Fitted with a modern Blaupunkt stereo/CD player, as well as German-language VDO gauges, including a speedo with kph stickers added over the mph readout, the 911S featured in all four seasons of the Scandi-noir drama, which was screened around the world and spawned a number of copycat series’ in other countries.
Earlier this year, Filmlance International announced plans to auction the Porsche, with all the proceeds to go to WaterAid, a charity that provides improved access to clean water and good hygiene in the world’s poorest communities. Helin, who’s a WaterAid ambassador, said: "Saga's Porsche is not only a big part of my own acting life but has also become part of Swedish TV history.
I'm so pleased the sale of this car will go to such a good cause. Through my work with WaterAid, I've seen first-hand the difference clean water can make to people's health, education and livelihoods.”
Consigned with no reserve for the Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale on 13 July, the Porsche came to the auction with a little over 118,000 miles on the odometer and carried a £30,000 (around AU$50,000) high estimate. Once bidding got underway, the car soon eclipsed that mark, with the final sale price of £141,500 (AU$250,237) more than four times its estimation and likely the highest price ever paid for a non-turbo ’77 911S.
Top seller at the Bonhams Goodwood auction was an Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato that went for £10.08 million (AU$17.82 million), while another Aston Martin - a 1965 model DB5 used in the James Bond film GoldenEye - sold for £1.96 million (AU$3.46 million) and a 1957 BMW 507 roadster originally owned by Formula 1 and World Motorcycle champion John Surtees sold for £3.80 million (AU$6.73 million). Total sales were £32.04 million (AU$56.68 million). Full listings and further details can be found at: bonhams.com.