A Porsche that was expected to sell for over $20 million flopped on the auction block Saturday night, after the sale was thrown into disarray by a technical error.
The car, a 1939 Porsche “Type 64” that was already facing controversy in the collecting world, hit the auction block Saturday night at RM Sotheby’s in Monterey as part of the sales surrounding the Concours D’Elegance car extravaganza.
RM Sotheby’s auctioneer started the bidding at $13 million. But the giant screen display in the auction room showed the first bid as $30 million. The next bid was $14 million, but the screen showed $40 million — an error that continued all the way up $17 million, when the screen showed $70 million.
The crowd was erupting in cheers and shouts as the price on the screen was showing that the Porsche was selling for a record-shattering price. But at $17 million, the auctioneer stopped the bids and announced that the screen showing $70 million was wrong and that the leading bid was $17 million.