Original Apple-1 PC Expected to Fetch a Huge Price at Auction
(Photo: John Moran Auctioneers)If you thought Apple’s new M1 Pro and Max MacBook Pro laptops were expensive, they can’t hold a candle to the latest Apple computer that is up for sale. John Moran Auctioneers in Southern California is taking bids on a functioning Apple-1 computer, designed by Steve Wozniak and built by Steve Jobs himself. The ultra-rare PC is expected to sell for between $400k to $600k, if not more, as the current pre-bidding is already at $225k. The auction begins in earnest today, November 9th.
According to the auction listing, included in the package is an Apple-1 “NTI” motherboard with original blue Sprague 39D capacitors, original power regulators, rare original “Circle D” ceramic .01 capacitors, and an Apple Cassette Adapter (ACI) in an original ByteShop Apple-1 koa wood case with Datanetics Keyboard Rev D. The auction house states that there are only six known Koa Wood cases in existence, so everything about this PC is as rare as you can get.
More from the listing: Additional amenities include an Apple -1 connecting cable, and power supply, partnered with a 1986 Panasonic video monitor accompanied by a period Xerox copy of the Apple-1 Basic Manual, the Apple-1 Operations Guide, an original MOS 6502 programming manual, two Apple-1 software cassette tapes with period hand-written index card with memory locations for the Apple-1 loading software; further accompanied by three original video, power, and cassette interface cables.
The PC itself is known as the Chaffey College model, as Jobs originally sold 50 units to a computer store named ByteShop in Mountain View. The shop owner who bought the units was upset to find they weren’t an all-in-one PC with an attached monitor, keyboard, and I/O ports, but instead all individual components that required assembly. Jobs changed the shop owner’s mind by informing him it was an easy upsell to just add a monitor, power supply, and keyboard to each purchase.
The shop ended up selling one of them to a professor at Chaffey College, who then sold it to a student in 1977, who has held onto it for 40 years. The “student” is the one putting it up for auction, though he or she is remaining anonymous.
Only 200 Apple-1 PCs were made, hand-built by Jobs himself in his garage along with his sister Patty and Daniel Kottke, under the guidance of Wozniak. Only 175 were ever sold, at a unique price of $666.66 due to Wozniak’s adoration for repeating numbers, according to the listing. The auction reports that the Chaffey College unit “has recently undergone an extensive authentication, restoration, and evaluation process by one of the foremost experts in the field.” There is no indication the expert attempted any overclocking on the Apple-1 model, unfortunately.