$1 Million ‘Obamamobile’ Stalls at Auction

Feb 2, 2012 2:12pm

A battered old Peugeot once driven by Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fetched $2.5 million at auction. A 1975 Ford Escort owned by the late Pope John Paul II sold for nearly $700,000.

Would you fork over $1 million for a 7-year-old gray Chrysler once driven by President Obama? Going, going …well, maybe not so fast.

An eBay auction for the Chrysler 300C Obama leased before he got to the White House closed late Wednesday without any bids meeting the minimum. The listing agent received bids from as far away as Australia, but none reached the $1 million opening bid required by the car’s owner.

Lisa Czibor, the eBay seller conducting the auction on behalf of Illinois restaurant manager Tim O’Boyle, said he wants to wait until the election season heats up, possibly during the summer’s political conventions. “The money just wasn’t there at this time,” she said. 

The Chrysler had been driven only two miles when Obama, then an Illinois state senator, first leased it in 2004. He put 19,000 miles on the car in nearly three years before trading it in for a 2007 Ford Escape.

Perhaps Obama realized the Chrysler’s 5.7-liter, gas-slurping Hemi V-8 engine, averaging only 18 miles per gallon, was not a politically smart choice for a candidate promoting green energy. By contrast, his four-cylinder Escape was relatively fuel-efficient for a 2007 car, averaging 30 miles per gallon.

Czibor, who calls herself a conservative, believes the president’s popularity – he has a 48 percent approval rating in the latest ABC News poll – might be behind the car’s failure to fetch at least $1 million.

“People aren’t sure right now he’s going to be a two-term president,” she said. “Maybe they want to see what happens when the election rolls around.”

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