A rare fully functional Apple-1 computer in a Hawaiian koa wood case has sold for $500,000 (included buyer’s premium) at auction this week, according to John Moran Auctioneers in California.
BBC News reports that the rare Hawaiian koa wood-cased Apple-1, known as the “Chaffey College” Apple-I, has had only two owners, it was purchased by an electronics professor at the school in 1976 and sold to a student for $650. The sale included user manuals and Apple software on two cassette tapes.
It is believed that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak built 200 of the Apple-1 computers and sold 175 of them, making them rare collector’s items.
The computer was originally offered as a bare circuit board to be sold as a kit and completed by electronics hobbyists. The koa wood case of the auctioned model was added by an early computer retailer, ByteShop, in California, which took delivery of around 50 of the Apple-1 machines.
“This is kind of the holy grail for vintage electronics and computer tech collectors,” Apple-1 expert Corey Cohen told the Los Angeles Times ahead of Tuesday’s auction. “That really makes it exciting for a lot of people.”