A bizarre saga unfolded Sunday night at Elton John’s post-Oscar party. One of the highlights of the party is the celebrity auction with proceeds benefiting The Elton John AIDS Foundation. Longtime supporter Sharon Stone has donated cars in previous years to the event, but this year she made a bit of extra news when she decided to give her 1974 T-Top Corvette to the cause.
The Corvette, it was said, was valued at $40,000 and the expectation was that it would be sold for around $120,000. For what it’s worth, the High price for a 1974 T-Top in our Corvette Price Guide is only $19,900, but this is Hollywood we’re talking about. Read the rest of this story after the jump.
So the auction for the Corvette starts and unfortunately for all involved, an unidentified bidder opened the bidding at $1 Million. The audience, obviously stunned by the opening ante, sat on their hands and let the bidder win. But when it came time to settle up, the bidder explained that he didn’t have the money to buy the Corvette. He said his plan was to make a big bid and then drop out as soon as someone bid more.
The Corvette went unsold. The AIDS foundation lost an expected contribution. And Sharon Stone was not amused…
The story reinforces two important lessons about bidding for cars at auctions.
- Never be the guy to open the bidding. Let someone else set the opening mark.
- Never bid unless you intend to buy.
And while I can’t say what was going through the mind of Sharon Stone’s deadbeat bidder when he called out $1 Million, I am betting that there is a third and final lesson to this story:
- Never indulge in alcoholic beverages if you plan to bid (and buy) at an auction.