If you’re something of a computer nerd like I am, chances are you’ve heard of the Commodore 64. It’d be hard not to, given it’s one of the most important computers in history, as well as the bestselling PC of all time. But you’d be forgiven for not knowing about its ultra-rare sibling, the Commodore 65. Now, a working prototype of this computing curio has just gone on sale on eBay.
Before you get ready to snap up a long-forgotten bargain, the price has already reached 25,615 euros (about $27,832) at the time of this writing. If you want to own a sought-after piece of PC history, it might be time to dip into the rainy-day fund (and then some).
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The eBay listing describes this particular Commodore 65 as being in “near mint” condition and bearing only minor scratches. Even better, it is still somehow in working order, despite being over 30 years old. In computing terms, it may as well be a million years old, so don’t expect it to run Windows 11 any time soon.
Just as tantalizing to any collector or computer museum, this listing describes the computer as being “much rarer” than most Commodore 65 models since “the plastic molds are not roughened. so the case still has a high-glossy look and the Power and Drive text is missing. The plastic molded cases of these ALPHA Units are totally rare, only a handful are known to exist.”
Amazingly, it even comes with a six-month warranty. Not bad for a 30-year-old computer!
The Commodore 65 was initially developed in 1989 to be the heir to the wildly successful Commodore 64, but rumored company infighting delayed its launch, and the project was eventually terminated by Commodore chairman Irving Gould in 1991. It’s estimated there could be anywhere from 50 to 2,000 Commodore 65 machines in existence, making this latest eBay listing a rare find indeed.
Speaking of this computer showing up on resale websites, a number of Commodore 65s have sold for princely sums over the years. One of the most recent was a model that went for 20,550 euros (about $22,435) in 2019, while the costliest was probably a prototype with a RAM expansion board that sold for 81,450 euros ($197,526) in 2017. Considering there are still three days left on the most recent Commodore 65 eBay listing, its price could potentially surpass $30,000.