Auctioneer's Accent Throws Bidding for Historic Porsche Into Chaos

“I’m saying 17, not 70,” the auctioneer, Maarten ten Holder, said.

One of the first Porsches ever made was put up for auction over the weekend, but no one bought it due to a massive misunderstanding. 

The Porsche Type 64, which was built in the 1930s during the era of Nazi Germany, was expected to fetch $20 million at auction Saturday.

However, the pricey car went unsold

Bidding appeared to rise at an unprecedented rate, with the auctioneer seemed to say $30 million, then $40 million, then, amazingly, $70 million. But it was all due to a misunderstanding caused by the auctioneer's Dutch accent. 

“I’m saying 17, not 70,” auctioneer Maarten ten Holder said. “That’s $17 million.”

The auction house Sotheby’s released a statement following the incident. 

“We take pride in conducting our world-class auctions with integrity and we take our responsibility to our clients very seriously,” the company said. “This was in no way intentional on behalf of anyone at RM Sotheby’s, rather an unfortunate misunderstanding amplified by excitement in the room.”

The current owners pulled the car from the auction when it failed to meet the undisclosed minimum bid.