A Porsche, which was expected to be sold for over $ 20 million, fell on the auction block on Saturday night, after the sale had fallen into disarray due to a technical error.
The car was a Porsche "Type 64" from 1939, which already existed There was controversy in the collector's world, and on Saturday night, the auction block at RM Sotheby's in Monterey was part of the Concours D & S sales. # 39; Elegance auto-extravaganza opened.
RM Sotheby & # 39; s Auctioneer launched the bid with $ 13 million. The huge screen in the auction room, however, showed the first bid of 30 million US dollars. The next bid was $ 14 million, but the screen showed $ 40 million ̵
The crowd burst into cheers and screams as the price on the screen showed that the Porsche was being sold for a record price. At $ 17 million, the auctioneer stopped bids, announcing that the $ 70 million screen was wrong and that the main bid was $ 17 million.
"I say 17, not 70," said auctioneer Maarten ten Holder. "That's 17 million."
The crowd in the auction room – often an exuberant crowd after a day of parties and events in the area – immediately began to whistle and scream the mistake.
There were no more bids after $ 17 million. Since $ 17 million was below the minimum price demanded by the seller, RM Sotheby & # 39; s pulled the ticket.
"The car has not reached the reserve," said RM Sotheby & # 39; s in a brief explanation. "We will make every effort to sell the car after the sale."
Some attendees in the audience said that his "17 million" sounded like "70 million" because ten holders were Dutch, so both the screen operator and the audience were confused. Whatever the reason, the sales debacle was an embarrassing and costly mistake for RM Sotheby's, which was supposed to auction cars worth nearly $ 200 million over the weekend.
"We are proud to run our world-class auctions with integrity and take our responsibility to our customers very seriously," the company said. "This was in no way intended for anyone at RM Sotheby's, but an unfortunate misunderstanding that was compounded by the excitement in the room."
It was also a fitting highlight for a week of sales that were far below expectations and could signal further problems for the vintage car market. Total sales for six auctions during the week were estimated at over $ 380 million, according to Hagerty, the collector car insurance and valuation company. The provisional total on Sunday morning, after completing virtually all auctions, amounted to only $ 245 million, representing a 34% drop over the previous year, overtaxing wealthy collectors.
"Whether recession risk, major economic fluctuations or too many cars that were full in too few hours, the results of this year's Monterey Auction Week were undeniable," Hagerty said in a statement in 1994 McLaren F1 for 19.8 million US Dollar, just below its estimate of 21 to 23 million dollars. And it sold one of the James Bond Aston Martin DB5 for $ 6.4 million on Thursday night. Gooding & Co. sold in 1958 a Ferrari 250 California LWB Spider for 9.9 million US dollars.
But next to the Porsche, which Porsche AG said was not a true Porsche, RM Sotheby's could not auction a 1953 Aston Martin DB3S factory race car
Other auction houses also had expensive failures, including Mecums Ferrari 250 Monza from 1959, which was not sold at 20 million US dollars.
The only segment of The Market that was strong in Monterey this week was the bottom end for cars under $ 75,000. A 1970s Triumph TR6 cost Bonhams $ 28,000, more than twice his current Hagerty market value. And a 1961 Chevy Impala convertible was sold for $ 66,000, well above its book value.
"With all these statistics indicating a market downturn, the question will be whether this is felt in the broader market or limited to this week's sales," Hagerty said.