This old computer fetched nearly $23,000 on eBay

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A Commodore International working computer prototype sold on Ebay for $22,862.01. Photo: Thomas Conte/Flicr
A Commodore International working computer prototype sold on eBay for $22,862.01. Photo: Thomas Conté/Flickr CC

Computer users of a certain age remember the Commodore 64. Millions brought the future into their homes with this, their first personal computer.

And if you still have a Commodore 64, dust it off and make sure it’s not a Commodore 65. A model with the higher digit sold on eBay Sunday for close to $23,000.

The 64 still holds sales records. It outsold IBM and Apple during the early 1980s, in part because it sold in retail stores and not just electronics or computer stores.

But the 65? It never made into the stores.

It was a prototype, developed in 1990, to be backward-compatible with its older sibling while having features of the advanced Amiga series. The 65 (also known as a 64 DX) was discontinued and a few years later, Commodore International went bankrupt and liquidated its assets.

The Commodore 65 prototype had a built-in disk drive. Photo: Thomas Conte/Flickr
The Commodore 65 prototype had a built-in disk drive. Photo: Thomas Conté/Flickr CC

Only then did computer users learn of the existence of the 65, when a number of the prototypes came up for sale on the open market. How many? Online historians seem to disagree, placing the number built between 200 and 1,000 units.

The one that sold for $22,862.01 after 63 bids is a complete working model. One that sold for just more than $20,000 previously on eBay had missing parts, according to Hackaday’s Brian Benchoff. He had been watching the auction and broke the news Sunday when it sold.

Benchoff called the Apple 1 the Holy Grail of vintage computers but described the Commodore 65 as the second-most-valuable old computer.