From bidorbuy into history


vw330x180The last VW Citi fetched 2.644 times its nominal retail price

The auction for Volkswagen Citi Mk1 (Limited Edition) promised to be extraordinary the moment it opened on the morning of 3 November with the starting bid of R1. However, no one could have predicted that the car with the stated retail price of R113,500 would end up being sold for R300,100 when the auction closed on the evening of 23 November.

The Citi in question is not an ordinary car. It is one of the last 1,000 limited edition Citis that Volkswagen made as part of saying goodbye to the 25 years old Citi Golf.  Numbered 003, the car on the bidorbuy auction was the third-last Citi to roll off the production line. Since the numbers 001 and 002 are museum pieces (one is destined for Autostadt museum in Wolfsburg, Germany, and the other for AutoPavilion museum in Uitenhage, South Africa), 003 is the very last of the legendary VW Citis available to the members of the public.

In other words, it was clear from the outset that whoever won it would own a highly collectible piece of history.

During the twenty days it spent on bidorbuy, the number 003 Citi attracted 15,200 visits, an absolute record on the site. All in all, 28 bidders placed 97 bids. The buyer who goes under the username autotrust from Port Elizabeth joined the bidding war on 13 November and went on to win by placing the highest bid of R300,100 – one hundred Rands more that the nearest rival – twenty minutes before the close of the auction.

The winner found out about the bidorbuy auction from a friend over a cup of coffee. “Being the competitive person that I am, I asked my wife to browse bidorbuy and place a bid”, he said.

A combination of two considerations prompted autotrust to place such a high bid: “Firstly”, says he, “there is the good cause. All the proceeds from this auction are going to Ubuntu Education Fund, and we desperately need to improve the education level in this part of the Eastern Cape. Secondly, there is the item itself and the wish to own the last of this iconic vehicle.”

As to whether the car is really worth the R300,100 price tag, he says: “The cause was worthwhile, so I guess whatever price the vehicle went for it would be worth it.”

The new owner will place the Citi 003 on display in the AutoTrust reception area. “It is unlikely that I will ever dispose of it”, he says. “Selling is not an option.”