Auction Cock-Up Produces $70 Million Bid For Porsche

Mon 19th Aug 2019

A rare 1939 Porsche Type 64 was almost sold for a record-breaking multi-million dollar bid at this week’s Monterey Car festival, unfortunately the auction house responsible revealed that it was just an old-fashioned mix-up.

One of Dr. Ferdinand Porsche’s early experimental vehicles, the one-off prototype was expected fetch bids in the region of $20 million when put under the hammer by RM Sotheby’s. And things looked to be progressing in record fashion as the auction got underway with bids of $30m, $40m, $50m and all the way up to $70m flashed on the electronic information screens. Unfortunately, despite the wild excitement that the Porsche had generated, it was revealed that those running the information bidding screens had had difficulty understand the Dutch auctioneer’s accent and were mistaking fifty-five for fifteen, five.

The auction ended at $17 million in the auctioneer’s mind, but unfortunately those watching on believed it to be $70 million. Even at $17 million the auction had to be closed amidst confusion with the unknown reserve not being met.

"We take pride in conducting our world-class auctions with integrity and we take our responsibility to our clients very seriously,” said a statement from RM Sothebys. “This was in no way intentional on behalf of anyone at RM Sotheby's, rather an unfortunate misunderstanding amplified by the excitement in the room."

If the car had been sold at $17,000,000 it would have been the most expensive Porsche sold at auction.