In an auction tent that had seen a few cars pulled for not reaching their reserves, the BMW i8 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance edition set a world record at the Gooding & Company Auction, selling for $825,000, more than four times its pre-auction estimate.
After a brief introduction of the i8 by noted car enthusiast and former Tonight Show host, Jay Leno and BMW North America President and CEO, Ludwig Willisch, the bidding opened at $100,000 and quickly surpassed $500,000 as the crowd cheered. Eventually the action grew more tense as bidders dropped out, leaving it to a battle between an anonymous phone bidder and another gentleman in the room. The price rose in $50,000 increments until being won by the phone bidder for a hammer price of $750,000, which rose to the final selling price of $825,000 after all consignment and transaction fees were added.
Mr. Willisch said after the auction that he and Mr. Leno had set a goal of $500,000 for the car and both were absolutely ecstatic at the final selling price. He was especially pleased since the car was donated by BMW for the auction and all proceeds are going to Pebble Beach Charities which includes the Boys and Girls club among other needy organizations.