Do you own a hidden gem? Six of the rarest Macs

“If you’re a longtime fan of the Macintosh platform, chances are you are a bit of a collector and a historian,” Benj Edwards reports for Macworld. “Aside from their being endearing machines that earned user loyalty, Macs retained their usefulness far longer than most PCs, encouraging people to hang on to them. Who among you doesn’t have an old Mac in your closet?”

“It may be time to pay your closet a visit, because that machine gathering dust beside your old ski boots may represent one of the last surviving examples of a rare breed of Macintosh,” Edwards reports. “Many Macs are uncommon or hard to find today, but for the sake of brevity (and for fear of the dreaded TL;DR), I’ve decided to examine six of the rarest among them.”

Edwards reports, “Edwards reportsFor whatever reason—usually low production numbers or unpopularity—few of the following Macs have live on to the present day. If you own one of them, take it out of the closet and hang it like a taxidermied moose above your ski lodge mantle.”

Six of the rarest Macs:
• JLPGA PowerBook 170 (1992)
• Color Classic II (1993)
• Macintosh TV (1993)
• PowerBook 550c (1995)
• Twentieth Anniversary Mac (1997)
• Power Macintosh G3 All-in-One (1998) [aka “The Tooth.” – MDN Ed.]

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Well, didn’t have a MacTV, but I did have a Performa 636CD with the TV card. And that little bugger was fantastic, including a feature whereby a transcript of the ClosedCaptioning could be made.

  2. I have an Apple II (low serial number), an Apple II+, A Fat Mac (512K Macintosh), and a NextStation. OK, not originally a Mac, but considering NeXT in Apple now, and Apple today has more of NeXT than of Apple, it’s worth the mention.

    I have an IBM PC too. It looks so clunky compared to the good old Apple II…..

      1. An ex-Apple engineer offered it to me way back circa 1999 on some Apple related BB when I said I was interested in old Macs. I merely paid for the shipping from California to NY. I had no idea it was a prototype until I opened the box upon arrival. I have no idea what it’s worth, but I did see a color classic prototype go for quite a bit years ago on eBay.

        And no “nah nah nahna…” for anybody, just thought you guys would be curious.

          1. I hope you enjoyed the pictures. It really is a great little machine. Funny thing is, it barely has enough processing power to decode and play an MP3 on the fly!

            I will probably never sell it. Leave it to my sons in my will perhaps.

  3. All six from the “Jobs in exile” time, when Apple steadily worked themselves toward near-bankruptcy. These Macs are “rare” because they were generally not that successful.

    There was such a proliferation of Mac models (with Apple trying to copy Dell and HP) in the early to mid 90’s that many of them could be considered “rare.” The six selected here happen to be rare and a bit “unusual.”

    1. I have literally sent pallets full of all but the ATV and the 20th aniv. To the recycler. Those all-in-one’s are frigging heavy little tanks, loved the slide out logic design, they were learning the translucent plastic then too. It and the slide out tray lived on the bondi and lifesaver line of IMacs.

  4. I’ve got one if the tooth macs with a g4 processor card. I haven’t fired it up in a while but it is theoretically useful to keep around given that it has a full complement of classic Mac connectors and a working USB card.

  5. What about the original iPod (brick)? haha

    I have mine still and it works perfectly. Granted, I still have to keep that old 6-pin firewire (which I loved by the way) and 120v connector lying around but, it’s in perfect condition and in a very nice leather case. No scratches or dings.
    To me it’s art and just knew when I got it and held it in my hand it would change the world.

  6. I had one of the g3 aio’s. called it “the big tooth.” I really liked that machine…. You know how (especially in the old days) different computers had different personalities? This one had a good temperament.

  7. Still got my first Mac… a Mac+ with fan installed. Still got the original system discs… stored away somewhere.

    It booted up just fine the last time I tried it… about a decade ago.

    Maybe I’ll have it bronzed.

  8. My first Mac was a 1992 PowerBook 170 which I took to London to work on a movie there. I remember it costing like $3700 which was a lot in those days. Only a 40 Mb drive in it but I LOVED it and so did everyone who saw it. Macs and PC’s were only then loving into film production around that time. Gave it to a friend in Seattle but haven’t seen it in a long time.

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