A rare functional Apple-1 Personal Computer has popped up on eBay this week after its owner decided to downsize his Apple collection. The Apple-1 computer, called the Copson Apple-1 by its current owner, is one of less than 50 known machines in existence. Apple-1 computers are popular with collectors as they were the first computers produced by Apple and were sold by Steve Jobs out of his parents’ garage in 1976.
Originally retailing for $666.66, the Apple-1 in the auction was purchased by Joey Copson and held in the same family for more than 36 years. Bob Luther, who was writing a book on a separate Apple-1 computer, came across the Copson Apple-1 during his research and purchased it from Copson’s family.
According to the auction, the Apple-1 was recently serviced and turned on by computer historian Corey Cohen, and it includes an Apple-1 Cassette board accessory. It comes with a date-stamped keyboard and a clam shell case supplied by the original owner. The Copson Apple-1 was originally placed up for auction in 2012 in a non-working condition where it didn’t meet the minimum bid, but was later refurbished and repaired.
“The Copson board is an 8 out of 10…” and, “Late in 2014, I was asked to bring the Copson Apple-1 setup back to working state. In the process of my evaluation, the Copson Apple-1 board was chemically stabilized and cleaned. I took extreme care to keep all the discrete components on the board original by performing some minor repairs instead of replacing components unnecessarily, maintaining its originality. The Copson Apple-1 has no cuts, repairs or modifications to the PCB board.
The Datanetics keyboard was completely refurbished, the original Apple Cassette Interface was refurbished and the original power supply made safe and operational.
The Copson Apple-1 is unique due to the futuristic custom plastic case that Joe Copson placed it in. The case appears oddly similar in design to what would be used later by the early Apple II. The distinctive jumper wiring also performed by Joe Copson when he later purchased the Apple Cassette Interface, can also be used to uniquely identify and confirm this is the Copson Apple-1 board from other early Byte Shop Apple-1s that also predate the Apple Cassette Interface’s availability.”
The Copson Apple-1 is labeled as 01-0022, suggesting that it’s potentially an earlier build than other Apple-1 machines that have sold for more money, including a working Apple-1 that sold for $905,000 to the Henry Ford Museum back in October. That machine was numbered “01-0070.”
There’s no reserve price on the Apple-1 auction, but bidders must be pre-approved. The current bid is at $20,600 and the auction ends in eight days.
Luther is also auctioning off a few other rare Apple items, including an early production Apple II computer. 10 percent of the proceeds from the auctions will go to the ALS Association.