Not too long ago, a Chrysler 300 Hemi that was formerly owned by President Barack Obama went up for auction on eBay. Despite having had a famous owner, the car has failed to garner a single bid.
Third time is no charm
Several years ago, according to MSNBC, Tim O’Boyle bought a slightly used 2005 Chrysler 300C, with a Hemi engine. The car’s history revealed it had been leased by a “government agency,” and had about 17,000 miles on the clock. However, the dealer who sold O’Boyle the car kept copies of the previous paperwork, which showed the previous driver was Barack Obama
O’Boyle tried to sell it several years ago, but pranksters on eBay got the auction shut down. He made a second attempt in January, listing the car for $1 million. No bids were made by the time the auction closed. He re-listed it again recently, but as of Feb. 1, according to the Wall Street Journal, the third attempt at auctioning off Barack Obama’s Chrysler for $1 million had failed to garner a single bid.
5,800 percent markup
O’Boyle, like many people who have similarly bought cars once driven by famous people, believed the car could sell for a lot of money to a historian or rabid fan with a boatload of cash. However, a used Chrysler 300C typically, according to the Daily Mail, will fetch about $17,000 in that condition, about enough to buy a new Mazda 3. At $1 million, it’s about 58 times that amount.
Obama leased the car while a U.S. Senator, though he later traded in the car for a Ford Escape Hybrid. However, he hasn’t been driving it for a while, as the POTUS is not allowed to drive. Obama is typically ferried about in a hulking Cadillac limousine, which, according to AutoBlog, is a Cadillac DTS that’s been stretched around a modified GMC TopKick truck chassis.
Vehicle type matters
For a celebrity-owned car to fetch $1 million, it has to be a pretty special car to begin with, and that doesn’t make always make a difference. For instance, according to CNET, an Aston Martin DB5 once owned by George Harrison barely broke $500,000. A Lamborghini 400GT formerly owned by Paul McCartney, according to Gibson Guitars, only managed to fetch $197,000. Rod Stewart, though, was able to get more than $1 million for his 1972 Lamborghini Miura. In 2010, according to Bloomberg, a 1970 Mercedes 600 SL owned by Elvis Presley, sold for 80,000 pounds (about $126,440) at auction.
Some cars belonging to world leaders have gone for quite a lot. According to the Daily Mail, a 1977 Peugeot that used to belong to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sold for $2.5 million and a 1975 Ford Escort that belonged to Pope John Paul II sold for $690,000.