Bloomberg/David Paul Morris
The Type 64 was the most white-hot of the lot, with noted collectors and Porsche bigwigs discussing its veracity in hushed tones for weeks before the sale.
Monday 19, August 2019
After the biggest blunder in recent auction history, the car that Ferdinand Porsche made did not sell, reported Bloomberg.
During Saturday night’s highly charged standing-room-only auction in downtown Monterey, California, auctioneers at RM Sotheby’s premier sale dimmed the lights and showed a promotional video they had made ahead of the much-anticipated sale of the 1939 Type 64.
The controversial silver coupe had been expected to sell for some $20 million before a massive mistake by the auction house upset the crowded room, leaving some collectors to believe it was an attempt at a joke.
“This is the only surviving example personally driven by Ferdinand Porsche,” the evening’s emcee said, then announced that bidding would open at ‘$30 million’, a figure that was written on the front media screen of the auction theatre.
After rapid bidding up to ‘$70 million’, with the crowd on its feet, iPhones raised and cheering, the auctioneer announced that he said ‘$17 million’, rather than $70 million and the media screen was quickly changed to reflect the $17 million sum.
RM Sotheby stated that as bidding opened on the Type 64, increments were incorrectly displayed on the screen, causing unfortunate confusion in the room, this was the result of a totally inadvertent and unintentional mistake.
Comments from collectors in the crowd right after the episode included ‘What a scam’, ‘They just slit their own throat’, and ‘It worked for Banksy, it did not work for RM’, in reference to the 2018 Sotheby’s sale which saw a piece of artwork by Banksy shredded in a surprise stunt just after it sold.
Ferdinand Porsche was building cars for just about everyone in Germany at the time, anyway, including Daimler and Auto Union. Porsche wasn’t even founded until 1948—10 years after this car was built—so it surely isn’t accurate to call it a true Porsche, the line of thinking goes.