Vintage ’76 Apple-1 Woz Built Sells For $905,000 At Computer Auction

If you have a ton of money to throw at a computer, you can go in one of two directions -- either all out and load it up with the latest and greatest cutting edge components, or old school (as in, really old school) and pick up a vintage system that's so dated and rare that it's now become a high-priced collectible. The Henry Ford museum complex took the latter route by winning an auction for one of the first Apple-1 computers.

The winning bid was $905,000, shipping not included. That bid qualifies the auctioned off Apple-1 as the most expensive Apple computer ever sold, trumping the $671,400 price a similar system fetched at an auction in Germany last year.

Apple-1 Board

There's some significant history behind the relatively few remaining Apple-1 systems. Steve Wozniak designed what's considered to be the first pre-assembled machined, and along with Steve Jobs, the two secured an order from Byte Shop owner Paul Terrel for 50 boards to be delivered in 30 days. About 200 were eventually built, though the one The Henry Ford museum won is believed to be from the first batch of 50.

Today it's believed that only 63 Apple-1 systems exist, and of those, just 15 are documented as having been successfully operated since 2000, Bonhams says. This is one of them, having been operational as of September 2014. Hence why it fetched such a high price.

Apple-1 System

Included the auction is a vintage keyboard, Sanyo monitor, custom power supply in a wooden box, two vintage tape decks, a facsimile owner's manual, and a few other odds and ends.