Auction of rare Porsche descends into farce
Ferdinand's Type 64 fails to meet R308m target after sale descends into confusion
FARCE AT PORSCHE 64 AUCTION
An embarrassing blunder at a California auction on Saturday resulted in a rare Porsche Type 64 failing to find a new owner.
The car, which was built in 1939, was expected to sell for more than $20m (R308m) at a much-anticipated auction held by RM Sotheby’s during Monterey Car Week, which would have made it the most expensive Porsche ever sold on auction.
However, a mistake by the auction house which saw bidding go up to “$70m” led to farcical scenes that left some bidders upset and others laughing.
The auctioneer declared that the car was the only surviving example personally driven by Ferdinand Porsche, before announcing that bidding would open at "$30m", a figure that appeared on the media screen. Bidding rapidly went up to "$70m," with the crowd on its feet, upon which the auctioneer announced that he had actually said "$17m" and the media screen was changed to reflect the lower sum.
Some of the crowd laughed, others booed, and some walked out, calling the auction a “joke” and a “scam”.
RM Sotheby’s apologised for the confusion and displaying incorrect increments on the screen, saying it was an "unfortunate misunderstanding amplified by excitement in the room".
The auction for the Type 64 was halted after no bids above $17m were received, and the car is still listed for sale on the RM Sotheby's online auction catalogue.
The Type 64 was built in 1939, when Ferdinand Porsche was a designer for Volkswagen. Although it’s not technically a Porsche and was built before the sports car manufacturer even existed, the Type 64 was considered the first Porsche and is the car that started the legend.
Its engine and most of its parts were supplied by VW, but it has all the signature Porsche cues found in the 911, including a boxer engine in the rear, vertically mounted round headlights, and a streamlined shape.
Ferry Porsche first used his family's name on the nose of the car when he started production of the 356, officially Porsche's first model, in 1948.
TESLA ROADSTER COMPLETES LAP OF SUN
Elon Musk's famed Tesla Roadster that was launched into space by SpaceX and driven by a mannequin dressed in a spacesuit has completed its first trip around the sun.
Sunday marked 557 days after the launch into space of the car and its driver – a mannequin named Starman. The car is being tracked by a site called Where Is Roadster.
The SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket carrying a Tesla Roadster lifted off from Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on February 6 2018.
According to the website, at the time of orbit completion, Starman and his Roadster had travelled more than 1,226,320,128km — at a speed of about 120,700km/h.
If the music was still playing, Starman would have listened to the David Bowie songs Space Oddity more than 150,000 times and Is There Life on Mars? over 200,000 times.
Unfortunately, Earthlings won't be seeing the vehicle and its passenger any time soon, as its next close approach to Earth isn't expected until November 6 2020, with the following approach not taking place until March 30 2021.
TEAM SA WINS SPIRIT OF AMAROK
Team SA has won this year‘s International Spirit of Amarok competition, edging out eight other countries
Driver and navigator duo, Christiaan and Pikke Otto walked away with the Wolf Trophy, finishing ahead of 17 other teams at the fifth instalment of the International Spirit of Amarok off-road precision driving competition.
The Wolf Trophy is the mythological animal after which the Amarok is named.
This year‘s competition saw teams from SA, Botswana, Namibia, Germany, Czech Republic, Denmark, Australia, Russia and Taiwan, and China battling it out in Brandfort, Free State from August 14–17 for the world’s best amateur 4x4 driver bragging rights.
Denmark’s Jesper Markussen and Søren Markussen were the runners up and South Africans Ferdie Pretorius and Johan du Toit were placed third.
With two teams in the top three, South Africa claimed the gold medal as the best country. Denmark claimed silver with Germany taking the bronze medal.
This year’s competition, designed by rally and track racing legend, Sarel van der Merwe, included technical, speed and off-road challenges as well as a tyre-changing challenge which put teams through their paces.
For the first time ever, the competition was contested using the 3.0 V6 Amaroks.
FERRARI TO EXPAND RANGE
Ferrari will unveil a new type of grand touring car in November, its chairman, John Elkann, confirmed at Pebble Beach yesterday.
Elkann, the scion of the industrialist Agnelli family and also chairman of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, insisted Ferrari’s line-up of more comfortable tourers would expand.
While insisting it would not be chasing Porsche’s 250,000-a-year volumes, Elkann insisted Ferrari had to grow, leading to the much-rumoured Purosangue SUV/crossover expected before the end of the year.
Only 32% of Ferrari’s global sales come from GT cars today, but Elkann insists that would rise to about 40% within three years. All of that growth would be add-on to the Ferrari sales, rather than swapping across from one model to another.
It pumped through €3.4bn in revenue in 2017 and Elkann has gone on record before as saying that was planned to rise to €5bn by the end of the 2022 financial year.
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