Nazi car made by Ferdinand Porsche goes unsold at auction

A clerical mistake ruined the auctioning of the car, which was manufactured for a race from Berlin to Rome that never happened.

August 20, 2019 12:59
1 minute read.
Ferdinand Porsche

Ferdinand Porsche. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A car personally manufactured by Ferdinand Porsche in 1939 to celebrate the newly-signed Axis Pact between Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy went unsold at a Sotheby’s auction because of a clerical eThe New York Timesrror,  reported on Sunday.

Before the beginning of the Second World War, Ferdinand Porsche was working with the early state-run Volkswagen, according to Sotheby’s website.

The first car officially produced by the Porsche company, the 356, would make its appearance only a decade later.

In 1938, Porsche proposed a sports car version of the iconic Beetle, but the idea was initially shelved.

A few months later, however, a 940-mile road race from Berlin to Rome honoring the alliance between the two countries was announced.

The National Socialist Motor Corps selected Porsche’s project and the Type 64 was built – even though the beginning of the war prevented the race from take place.

The silver coupe ended up being regularly driven by its creator and his son Ferry.

According to the NYT, the auction, which took place in Monterey, California, was marred by confusion: the opening bidding was expected to be at $13 million but was instead set at $30 million.

The bidding went up rapidly to $70 million, in a room filled with palpable excitement. 

However, at that point, the auctioneer stated that he meant “17” and not “70.” The audience started protesting and shouting, and it was not possible to continue the process.

“As bidding opened on the Type 64, increments were incorrectly displayed on the screen, causing unfortunate confusion in the room,” Porsche said in a statement. “This was the result of a totally inadvertent and unintentional mistake.”

The car is listed as “still for sale” on Sotheby’s website.

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