Vintage Micros Auctions Rare Apple Lisa 1

The Super Rare Lisa 1 Computer

On the 20th of June 2002, Vintage of South Carolina listed one of the rarest computers available today. The Lisa 1 was only produced for a few months and then replaced with the Lisa 2, which was eventually renamed to the Macintosh XL due to the problems with the Lisa 1.

The Lisa 1 listed by Vintage micros came directly from the Texas manufacturing plant via a third party who won the auction which Apple held originally. All of these materials listed are a rarity considering that Apple Computer actually buried the majority of the machines in a landfill due to a dispute with Stockholders.

Front view of the Lisa 1. This machine is running off an Apple ProFile hard disk drive.
A view of the entire machine with the keyboard and the ProFile on the right side.

The following shows the text of the auction as described by Vintage Micro’s owner, John Woodall:

A Working Lisa 1 System! First Time on EBay
A Lisa 1 that actually works!

I successfully loaded Lisa Office System Version 1.0 onto the Profile from Twiggy Floppy Disks. These Twiggy Disks are included. This Lisa 1 is in BEAUTIFUL Cosmetic Condition as you can see. Both Twiggy Drives are present and function most of the time

The Profile boots flawlessly to the Lisa 1 desktop. Included are the Lisa Keyboard and Lisa Mouse. This may be your ONLY last chance to get an actual WORKING Lisa 1.

Note: Due to the age and fragility of the Twiggy Floppy Drives I cannot guarantee anything. Sometimes they work GREAT and sometimes they just stop and I need to reboot. But they eventually get the job done!

The machine which Vintage Micros has listed is not only one of the nicest available, but the last museum quality Lisa one which anyone will ever see on the market unless someone suddenly pulls one from their personal collection. While the Lisa 2 / Mac XL is quite abundant, the Lisa 1 on the other hand never was produced in great enough quantities to be available to anyone other than top flight collectors and museums in this day and age.

While the bidding was tough for this machine and many collectors wanted it for their museums, the machine was eventually bought by an anonymous buyer for $10,000. While several of these have gone for a similar price range, this one was considered to be an absolute bargain due to the fact that the machine not only works, is in great condition but also came with software not found anywhere these days.

Vintage micros provided the following gallery of the machine to A.P.P.L.E. While the machine is gone, at least we will have the memory of the machine.

The Lisa logo from the Lisa 1. Notice the clarity of the logo. This is not found much on the machines available these days.
The Lisa display showing the boot devices. This machine was one of the few machines ever which allowed booting from either floppy drive.
The Internal view of the Lisa 1’s “Twiggy” floppy disk drives. The drives are problematic at best.
The Apple ProFile hard disk drive, System Floppies, and Lisa Mouse.
A view of the Lisa 1 in operation. This will probably be the only time one is ever seen in operation. Most collectors don’t want to take this type of risk.
This photo shows the Lisa Office System 1.0 starting up. Most owners of the Lisa 1 do not have this package and even if they do, most of the time, the floppies are unusable at this point.
Another view of the Lisa 1 desktop during operation.
A view of the ProFile hard disk drive contents. The Profile is the best option for using this machine on a regular basis.
This view shows the Twiggy drives in operation with the Lisa Office System floppies 1 and 2 in the drives. It is rare for the drives to work at all much less both of the drives.
A view of the Lisa 1 preferences setting panel. This machine’s control panel could control almost any aspect of the machine including the display brightness and the screen shutoff.
Another view of the Lisa 1 desktop during operation.
This view shows the Twiggy drives in operation with the Lisa Office System floppies 1 and 2 in the drives. It is rare for the drives to work at all much less both of the drives.
This photo shows the opening logo to Lisa Office version 1.2.
This photo shows the opening logo to Lisa Office version 1.2.

While this is not the only Lisa 1 Vintage Micros has had over the years, it is the last one that they will be selling as this

is the only machine left in their inventory. The following press release was released on the 21st of June by

A.P.P.L.E. to its members at the behest of Vintage Micro’s.

Seattle – 21 June 2002 0545 – Vintage Micros of Marietta, South Carolina is offering a rare Apple Lisa 1 “Twiggy” personal computer online. The machine, which is among the uncommon machines of the Apple Computer, Inc., is expected to draw in the range of $15,000 based on past online auctions for similar items.

The Lisa 1 sold originally for nearly $10,000 when it was released in 1982, however, due to the number of problems with the machine, very few were actually ever sold by Apple Computer, Inc.. This particular machine was one that came directly from the Texas Apple Lisa manufacturing plant and is in absolutely perfect condition.

The machine is being sold through the online Auction site at EBay and the item can be reached at While the auction has another 9 days to go, this may be the only chance for the Apple computer collector to ever find one of these machines again.

Most of the machines sold online in the past have been non-functional However the one offered by Vintage Micros is not only functional but has been fully tested and comes complete with a fully functional Apple Profile hard disk drive. The machine comes complete with Lisa mouse and keyboard as well as the software that is loaded onto the hard drive.

According to Vintage Micros president, John Woodall, “The machine is the only one I have ever seen which was not only in perfect condition but also was completely functional.

The Apple Lisa 1 is known as the “Twiggy” due to its floppy drives which were high capacity during it’s heyday. However, the drives were problematic and known to become non-functional without explanation or reason. According to Mac Buyer’s’s Bob Loblaw, “Lisa: “Twiggy” drive – notoriously unreliable, these drives were considered by many the Lisa’s second worst feature”.

While most owners had a love-hate relation ship with the machines, they are so rare that they are even rarer than the vaunted Apple-1.

A.P.P.L.E. Director, Bill Martens said, “I have only seen one of these actually working until now. This is a masterpiece for sure and will make a great addition to a top line computer museum.” For more information concerning the auction, contact Vintage Micros at (864) 836-4802 or send email to Press Inquiries can be sent to

Press release done by Call-A.P.P.L.E. on 21 June 2002

Vintage Micros does have other Lisa related hardware and software in their inventory. They also will be auctioning off several Lisa 2’s in the coming months. While the Lisa 2 is still a rare machine, they usually command only about 1/10th of the selling price of the Lisa 1.

For more information about the Lisa computers, you can check the July issue of Call-A.P.P.L.E. magazine, which ran a very good article by David Craig about the Lisa computer. (Call-A.P.P.L.E., Vol. 14. No. 3, July 2002 PP 15-30)

The article covers the history of the Lisa and has a good number of references for the computer.

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