An unknown buyer paid half a million Australian dollars in Bitcoin ($360,000) in an auction for a classic rally car raced by iconic rally drivers Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz, which was assumed to be long-lost.
The 1994 Subaru Prodrive 555 Group A World Rally Championship Car was discovered in a barn, covered in dust, in the Australian state of Victoria, according to Lloyds Auctions.
The car was first estimated to be worth between $15,000 and $20,000 Australian dollars ($10,900–$14,500 USD). However, the International Classic Automobile Authentication and Rating System (ICAARS) concluded after a six-month assessment that “it may well be worth more than $1 million [$725,000].”
The rally car, one of just 63 commissioned by Prodrive, had been sitting in the barn for ten years, according to Lloyds, and the owner had no idea what it was worth. It had only three owners since its racing days, and it was in perfect shape.
An ICAARS inspector described the car as a “golden treasure,” and it was auctioned for half a million Australian dollars on Sept. 26. The winning bidder was believed to have paid in Bitcoin.
In June, Lloyds announced that it would begin accepting cryptocurrency payments, allowing bidders to purchase products auctioned on the platform using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
“As a long-time consumer of Lloyds, I had no problem and couldn’t believe how easy it was for me to pay with cryptocurrency,” a bidder added, noting that the seller receives the payment in cash and “never knows the difference.”
Nonfungible tokens (NFT), in addition to cryptocurrencies, are sweeping the auction world. The new type of digital art is being adopted by art galleries as auctionable products.
Yuga Labs’ 101 Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection was auctioned by Sotheby’s in September, with a winning prize of $24.39 million.