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    A 1939 Porsche Type 64, the oldest car to wear a Porsche badge and the personal car of German car designer and manufacturer Ferdinand and Ferry Porsche on display during a press preview at Sotheby's auction house in London, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. This is the only surviving example of the Type 64 Porsche which is a direct ancestor of the iconic Porsche 365. The car will go on sale at an auction in Monterey Ca. in August and is expected to sell at around 15.75 million pounds sterling, (US$ 20 million, euro 18 million). (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

    Oldest 'Porsche' Fails to Sell after Auction's $70 Million Mixup at RM Sotheby’s

    © AP Photo / Alastair Grant
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    The sleek Type 64 was built by Ferdinand Porsche and his son, Ferry, between 1939 and 1940, years before their namesake company was registered in 1946, but it failed to sell at the RM Sotheby’s auction in Monterey, Calif., on Saturday after the bidding got bungled.

    The car was intended for a race that was planned between Berlin and Rome, yet was cancelled by the outbreak of World War II. It was damaged and rebuilt by Porsche. In 1949 it was bought by a racecar driver, and was sold only in 1997 to an Austrian Porsche collector who was the one offering it in Monterey.

    Experts expected the car to sell for around $20 million, but YouTube videos shot at the event appear to show the Dutch-accented auctioneer opening the bidding at $30 million, exciting the crowd.

    The starting number of $30 million was displayed on the screen, then followed by bids of $40 million, $50 million, $60 million and $70 million announced by the auctioneer. However, after the number raised was to seventy, the auctioneer said that he had actually meant seventeen. “It might be my pronunciation,” he added, changing the number on the screen to seventeen to the crowd’s dissatisfaction.

    An authentic $70 million bid would've made the car the most expensive ever sold at auction, potentially tying the record price reportedly paid for a Ferrari 250 GTO in a private transaction last year. RM Sotheby’s issued a statement acknowledging the error, adding that it was unintentional and not a prank.

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