But the California auction ended with a bid of up to $ 17 million, and the car remained unsold. Auction sellers often have an undisclosed price below which the car is not sold. This number, referred to as the minimum price, was not reached.
The trouble started at the auction of RM Sotheby's Monterey as soon as bidding on the Type 64 started.
Many in the audience gasped and others laughed. It was not clear from the auctioneer's voice that he actually said "-teen" and not "-ty". The problem persisted to $ 14 million, which was shown on the screen as $ 40 million and then as $ 50 million. The board read $ 70 million before the auctioneer noticed the difficulties right behind him and asked to correct them.
Some in the audience booed when the price was corrected. After that, the offers no longer came and the sale was hammered to 17 million dollars.
It was a sincere mistake, RM Sotheby's said in a statement, and it was not staged. "We are proud to conduct our world-class auctions with integrity, and take our responsibility to our customers very seriously, which was in no way a joke or stunt to anyone at RM Sotheby's, but an unfortunate misunderstanding by the excitement in the US was reinforced room. "
The Type 64 is somewhat reminiscent of a Kinderton model of a modern Porsche. It was Ferdinand Porsche's early attempt to construct a sports car with the engine in the rear. This was the same basic idea that the Porsche car company would use for its first car, the 356, and later the 911.
"If you put somebody with a good knowledge of automobiles in front of this car and ask him what it is" You would probably say "Porsche" because it's really pretty obvious, "said Leslie Kendall, curator at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, in the weeks leading up to the auction.
Porsche recognized the potential for a racing car based on the KdF car's rear engine. When you have the engine at the back, you are loading on the wheels that propel the car and assisting traction on slippery roads and while accelerating. In the hands of an experienced driver, a rear-engined car could also make tight turns without the weight of an engine pulling the nose of the car out at the front. Of course, it tended to pull the stern outward and spin the car, which is one of the inherent dangers of this type of construction.
The first Type 64 was built to compete. A road race from Berlin to Rome is scheduled for September 1939. The chassis and the engine were borrowed from the KdF car, but the engine was slightly changed, which increased the power to 32 hp. That was a respectable number for a car of its size and weight. Aircraft construction technologies were used to manufacture the light metal body.
On 1 September 1939, German forces invaded Poland and set off World War II. The Berlin-Rome race never took place. In the factories where KdF cars were to be built for German families, military vehicles designed by Porsche were produced instead. At this time, only one Type 64 had been built, but a second was completed later.
The one sold in Monterey was technically the third car, but it was built on the frame of the first after was crashed by a Volkswagen executive from the Nazi era. The second type 64 was confiscated by the Allies after the war and soon collapsed. It was later rebuilt and can now be seen in a museum in Hamburg, after spending some time in the Petersen Museum.
The Porsche family was allowed to keep this special type 64 and he was extensively driven by Ferdinand and his son, Ferry, who later created the 356. Ferry added the family name to the front of the car. In 1947, this type 64 was restored by the Italian company for car design and manufacture, now known as Pininfarina.
RM Sotheby & # 39; s announced on Sunday to continue trying to complete a sale for the car.