Bidders at an exclusive car auction walked out when organisers accidentally inflated the price of a rare Porsche by $US53 million.
The auction of the 1939 Porsche Type 64, the first car to wear the Porsche name, dissolved into chaos as auctioneers mistakenly led attendees to believe the bidding had reached $US70 million ($103m) — matching that of the most expensive car ever sold at auction, a 1963 Ferrari GTO that traded hands in 2018.
A 1939 Porsche Type 64 was passed in at auction forSource:Supplied
The RM Sotheby’s auctioneer told the crowd the bidding had opened at $US30 million, eliciting gasps and cheers from the hundreds in the auction room at Monterey on the Californian coast.
A video screen on the wall behind the car confirmed the massive price tag, which then jumped in $US10 million increments to $US70 million.
Eventually the hapless auctioneer twigged to what was happening, catching a glance of the big screen.
The Type 64 was the first car to wear the Porsche badge.Source:Getty Images
“It says 70 guys, it’s 17. It’s a bit exciting to write seven-zero, might be my pronunciation. The bid is at $17 million.”
And it was there the bidding stopped, the hammer coming down along with an announcement the Type 64 would be passed in, millions of dollars below its guide price of between $US19m and $US22m.
The Type 64 is the only surviving example of three produced by Ferdinand Porsche before the Porsche company was created.
Its originality and history made it one of the highlights at the heavily-promoted auction but other cars captured buyers’ attention instead.
A McLaren F1 LM sold for $29m.Source:Supplied
A rare McLaren sports car owned by a New Zealand enthusiast set a record at an auction in California, selling for $US19.8 million ($29m).
The three-seater McLaren F1 LM with a gold-coated engine bay and high downforce aerodynamics package was owned by New Zealand businessman and former race driver Andrew Bagnall and its sale price was the highest ever for the rare supercar often referred to as the best car ever made.
A 1958 Ferrari 250 California Spider sold for $US9.9 million and a prototype of the 1965 Ford GT (made famous by its victory at the Le Mans 24 Hour race) commanded $US7.65 million.
The James Bond-spec DB5 comes complete with working gadgets.Source:AP
One of four Aston Martin DB5s created for the 1964 James Bond blockbuster Goldfinger — complete with pop-out guns, smoke screen, ejector seat button and smoke screen — sold for $US6.385 million,