The Last M3 Ever Made….

…is currently for sale on Ebay for $395,000. Payable by Paypal.

“The last Leica M3 and “Newest” Leica M3 made. Production serial No. 1164865. UNIQUE, RARE, OUTSTANDING and SPECTACULAR in every respect!From the last and smallest batch of 20 cameras made in 1966, this being the FINAL and LAST camera of the production line and the final termination of THE GREATEST RANGEFINDER camera EVER MADE if not THE GREATEST CAMERA ever made.A true historical find and in NEW condition, NEVER USED, IN NEW condition as it left the factory more than 60 YEARS ago!
With the original matching serial No. service card and (red + white ) rope that came with the camera, box, foam fittings, caps and allNEW! condition with the original untouhed “L” seal.Along with letters of authenticity from Leica, special order request, original matching order # from the original owner in 1968, receipt and additional letter from Leica to reiterate the authenticity of this camera. “

Seriously. Would you pay $400k for a Leica M3? And if you would, would you think of buying it on Ebay?

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12 thoughts on “The Last M3 Ever Made….

  1. Rob Campbell

    Well, folks are delighted to pay lots more than that for paint on canvas…

    Frankly, had I the money, no, I wouldn’t buy either. As one gets old one realises that objects become not fun to own, but problems of which to dispose. Think silver: you can’t give it away to your kids; who wants to sit and polish that stuff, always designed to be physically painful on the fingers as you try to get into the grooves, knurls etc. that most such stuff has in abundance? One or two plain, smooth silver boxes are okay because they don’t attack you as you labour.

    All this stuff was designed for an era of house staff available to take care of it all. I wonder if they gave it a thought as they toiled, or whether sitting in front of these things made them grateful there was no going home for more such sweat, bruised digits and suppressed tears? On the other hand, I can see a release in such mindless work: the brain can wander into meadows, along brooks and out to sea and the mermaids.


    1. Leicaphila Post author

      “As one gets old one realises that objects become not fun to own, but problems of which to dispose.”

      Yes. that’s pretty much how I feel these days. It’s just more stuff to clutter up your life and will have to go to the dump in 15 years. Even if it’s valuable – I’m thinking of photo books I own – it’ll probably all get tossed as useless to the next generation.

      1. Stephen J

        But what if you break one of the legs on your bed?

        Surely you will need something to prop it up?

  2. JamesP

    Hmmm… If I had that kind of money just laying around, who knows what I would do? I suppose it would be fun to own, but I could have a lot more fun than that for 400 Large.

    Nevertheless, I ponder the possibilities. I could name the camera after myself, as is done with Stradivari’s violins e.g. the The Emiliani Stradivarius of 1703. The JamesP Leica… no, that would not be fun enough.

    I’d visit the shop and buy it for cash, giving my name as Fester Bestertester, thenceforth the camera being known as “The Bestertester M3 of 1966.”

    Of course, there’s the matter of passing The Bestertester Leica of 1966 on after my inevitable demise. That’s problematic: Unless I donate it somewhere, my heirs would probably just have a yard sale. Third Man Cameras could pick it up for 50 bucks. Thankfully, I don’t live in Florida.

    On further thought, maybe when I buy it I should give my name as Busby Cattenach from Wauwatosa.

    1. Leicaphila Post author

      You are a dedicated reader, James. Major props for the Third Man Camera and Busy Catanach references. Well done.

      “Busby Catanach” sounds like a character in The Great Gatsby.

      As for Erica Obert, one of the hapless Third Man scammers, apparently she’s currently waitressing in a Waffle House in Florida. True.

      1. JamesP

        Well, your series of posts on black paint Leicas (particularly the fake ones) is so good, I just had to give it a proper tip of the hat! You probably saved me a good bit of agony with those posts as well – I’m very happy having a black chrome camera now.

  3. Ross

    For that kind of money?.. Buy a mint M3… buy your girlfriend a mint M3… now get yourself a mint ’60’s Lancia Flavia convertible to go with your M3… and then you can go cruising up and down the Amalfi coast with some spare change in your pocket… and laugh out loud.

    1. Rob Campbell

      Keep away from the Amalfi coast: it’s too dangerous. You have to be Italian to cope.
      In ’57 we were there, going up to Agerola, higher up the mountains; at one stage, the bus had to three-point-turn to get around some of the bends. When you look out the window and there’s nothing below you, it isn’t good for your metabolism. It gives a brand-new resonance to the concept of the back of the bus.


        1. Rob Campbell

          Can’t dispute either point!

          I used to think about going back, but never did. I sometimes regret that, but it’s how life goes. I supppse the reason was the lack of great beaches, which really did determine much of our travel decisions. The reason we ended up coming to live on the Balearics was exactly that: saved a potential fortune on travel costs for our shoots and was a short flight from UK clients.

          In an ideal world I’d have gone to live in Rome. Had family connections there, but like so much in life, work, opportunity and desire seldom fit neatly together..


    1. Rob Campbell

      Too late! That one’s probably already accomplished – perhaps more than once, depending on audience.

      I heard that it had been shot in China and also in Russia; later, the whisper was that the truth of the matter remained that one Rob Campbell was keeping the very last cassettes in his freezer. I think I can confirm this on his behalf. No, the F3 will get to do the honours, not any Leica.

      As I had run out of trannies to scan in order to make the pro side of my website a bit thicker, it dawned on me the other day that I had some printer’s proof sheets still in my possession, and so this afternoon I decided to upset the cupboards and dig the things out from behind lighting cases etc. Which I did, sweating uncomfortably in today’s heat and humidity. Worse, I thought that as I didn’t want to have to face all this upheaval a second time, I’d better use my heaviest tripod to make sure there was no camera shake. I had forgotten just how hellish is the mechanism on the Gitzo pan’n’tilt head that is ever on the monster. It was enough of a fight to make me almost surrender, and just go and sit down with a nice cup of hot water and forget all about it. Either I have lost a lot more physical strength than I knew, or the thing has become more stiff with lack of use, which kinda runs contrary to the natural way of things – I think.

      Anyway, if I was lucky, I should have both some closeups of the images as well of the complete calendar pages in which they fit. That should be nice; none of my stuff has ever been aired on the Internet as it should have been seen in the first place. Though perhaps my memory has just gone the way of my muscles.


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