A bidding war for the rare Texas Instruments TI-99/8 has turned heads among fans of these early PCs. The winning bid of $3,240 was also unusually high.

The machine is an engineering prototype designed to bolster TI's precarious position in the brutal home computer wars of the early 1980s.

It was to be released at CES 1983 before TI ultimately withdrew from the market. Only about 150 prototypes were made, according to 99er.net.

The machine had Extended BASIC II onboard, and came with 64KB of RAM, extendable to 15MB. Talk about power.

But due to their rarity, like the Commodore 65, TI-99/8s have appreciated in value over the past three decades. They could apparently be had for some $500 in 1998, but the latest sale seems to be the second over $3,000 in six months.