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Commodore 65 prototype sells for $7,625

Commodore fans show their love for these rare unreleased computers, the C64 successors that never made it to market.


Did you adore your 64? Well, wanna buy a 65? That'll cost you.

Earlier this month we saw how fans of vintage home computers can get a little crazy on eBay, bidding up the price of a 1983 10MHz Texas Instruments TI-99/8 to $3,240.

Well that's nothing compared with the enthusiasm that Commodore commands. A prototype Commodore 65 more than doubled the winning TI bid when it sold on eBay recently for a whopping $7,625.

Described as by the seller as "the proposed successor to the most popular computer of all time," the C65 is a prototype engineering unit that's missing some chips. It doesn't even work, but it came with a prototype Mitsumi keyboard.

Regardless, bidders sure wanted to get their hands on it.

Developed around 1991, the 3.54MHz Commodore 65 was designed to build on the C64's success and, like the Commodore 128, be generally compatible with its software.

The 8-bit C65 had improved graphics, a built-in 3.5-inch floppy drive, up to 8MB of RAM, and 128K ROM. It ran Commodore BASIC 10.0.

Unfortunately the C65 project was cancelled before it got to market, and Commodore declared bankruptcy in 1994.

However, some C65s were made as engineering prototypes and survived the company's liquidation. The number of extant units is unknown; estimates range from dozens to hundreds.

The machine's MRSP was only $300-$350, according to this C65 page.

"A working 65 is the Holy Grail of the Commodore 8-bit world these days," the site says.

Until the Grail turns up, I'll just keep watching C64 ads.