A typical 2005 Chrysler 300C, fully loaded and in pristine condition, is expected to fetch up to $19,142 on the market, according to Kelley Blue Book, the authority on used-car prices. But what if the vehicle had been leased by none other than the President of the United States of America? An eBay seller is hoping that detail will justify a $980,000 price hike.
Lisa Czibor, a seasoned eBay car seller based near Chicago, is pulling out all the stops to prove that Barack Obama once piloted the grey 300C she has listed for sale on behalf of its owner Tim O’Boyle. She even posted a photograph of the car’s title written in Obama’s name. But the most shocking detail associated with the sale: the price. Owning then-senator Obama’s ride will cost a cool $1 million.
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The buyer also has to pay in full within 10 days of purchase. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that the auction, which closes February 1, has been live for 11 days with nary a bid.
But Czibor is confident the car is worth the budget-busting sum. And that’s not just because of the car’s low mileage (only 20,800 miles over the course of seven years) or its maxed-out options, including leather seats, a sunroof and a navigation system. Obama put more than 19,000 miles on the car driving around Chicago. And the listing cites a host of other cars with famous owners that have fetched record sums on the auction block, including Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s 1977 Peugeot, which sold for $2.35 million (£1.5 million) in March 2011. That money was donated to charity, though, while Obama’s ride was put on the market by a private seller.
Obama got rid of the 300C in July 2007 as he launched his presidential campaign. He traded in the Chrysler – which has a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine – for a 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid after taking flak for driving the guzzler while pressuring Detroit to build more fuel-efficient cars.
The 300C was put up for auction on eBay in late 2008 to coincide with Obama’s inauguration. Back then, the minimum bid was $100,000, which seems like a bargain compared to the current price. But O’Boyle, the owner, had to take down the auction because it was overrun by fake bidders who rocketed the price to $100 million, MSNBC reports. Four years later, O’Boyle recruited the help of Czibor, and with a few security measures to ensure that only serious buyers can bid, the car has been listed again. But is the famous former owner enough to justify a 5,000% markup? It doesn’t even get good gas mileage, after all.