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Classic sports car with the billionaire past fetches small change at auction


A classic Porsche once owned by Bill Gates has sold at auction in Europe for just over $104,000

The 1979 turbocharged sportscar was the computer whiz’s first reward to himself just four years after establishing Microsoft, on his way to becoming the world’s wealthiest man.

Gates is no longer the richest person on the planet having given about one-third of his wealth to charity in 2010. But Gates is estimated to still have about $78 billion, making the sale price of the car equivalent to 0.00013 per cent of his net worth.

The light blue 930 Turbo came with letters to and from Microsoft and Porsche and the original Washington State registration papers, the Austrian Times reported.

The auction house in Vienna had expected the Gates Porsche to fetch between 39,000 and 50,000 Euros, but it passed initial estimates and went to a telephone bidder for 64,000 Euros ($104,605.00 NZD).

Gates sold the car in the 1990s and it was eventually bought by a Porsche enthusiast in Europe, where it has been ever since.

Gates loves Porsches. In 1987 he imported a limited edition 959 to the United States – but the car was quarantined for 13 years by Customs because it had not been approved for road use by Federal regulators. In the end, Gates’ 959 was released but came with special driving restrictions.

The Gates Porsche sold at auction in Vienna this week at least fetched more than the 1990 Volkswagen Golf once owned by German Chancellor Angela Merkel -- 10,165 Euros.

But ex-government and ex-plutocrat cars are no comparison, it seems, to cars with religious roots.

In 2005, a US bidder paid nearly $323,000 for a 1990 Volkswagen Golf that once belonged to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict.

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