There's a MASSIVE difference between $13 million and $30 million.
This will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the biggest blunders ever at an exclusive car auction. Trust us, this won't be soon forgotten. What happened, exactly? Last May, it was announced that the oldest surviving Porsche in history will hit the auction block at Pebble Beach. The 1939 Porsche Type 64, a precursor of sorts to the 356, was not only the first Porsche but also a personal car to both Ferdinand and Ferry Porsche. Described as the "most significant surviving piece of Porsche engineering and design history," it was expected to fetch a price tag of around $20 million at RM Sotheby's Monterey, California premiere event held last weekend. That auction quickly became a massive debacle.
As first reported by Bloomberg, the "Nazi car that Ferdinand Porsche made didn't sell" because of a big mistake made by the auction house. The evening's emcee announced bidding would open at $30 million, an amount further posted on the front media screen for all to see.
Reportedly, half of the attending crowd laughed while the other half cheered. The bidding proceeded rapidly and got as high as $70 million. In what was sounding like a new all-time record high price tag for rare vehicle was really anything but. And then it happened: the auctioneer stated he said the figure was $17 million, not $70 million.
The media screen almost immediately changed as well to the corrected amount. The crowd responded with boos, angry shouts, and some walkouts. The auction soon came to an end after no bids above $17 million were placed. The one-of-a-kind Porsche is technically still for sale because it failed to meet its reserve.
So, what exactly happened? The auctioneer's voice was misheard from the beginning. Instead of an opening bid of $30 million, it was really $13 million. Check out the included video and determine whether this was a pronunciation mistake or an outright mistake. Whatever it was, the auction house's reputation has taken a serious hit. It also lost out on a commission and the seller must be furious.