Obama's Chrysler 300C Comes Back to Haunt Him on eBay


This is NOT Obama's Chrysler 300C
credit: WilVision Photography

First it was a half eaten waffle and now this... what's next, a non-florescent light bulb found in the White House dumpster, or perhaps a previously chewed piece on non-dentist recommended bubble gum showing up on eBay's doorstep.

Barack Obama must have thought he'd seen the last of his old Chrysler 300C. But just like a bad penny, it has turned up again on eBay. But we're getting a little ahead of ourselves. Let's start from the beginning, as the story is so much better that way...A Little History of the Obama Chrysler 300C Affair
If you remember back in May of 2007, the then Senator Obama, made a speech towards the Detroit Economic Club criticizing the U.S. auto makers for their poor availability of efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles.

As beautiful as the speech was, the unexpected backlash from a few folks was to reference towards his own gas guzzling V-8, Hemi powered Chrysler 300C (13/15 mpg city), claiming the speech as a tad hypocritical in light of the fact. In return to such criticisms, the senator purchased a 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid (34 mpg city) within a few weeks of the fiasco, blowing a cool breeze through what had become a tad bit of a lukewarm situation.

The 300C Makes Headlines Again, but this time on Ebay
Now we fast-forward one year and several months later (conveniently just a few days before Obama's historic inauguration) to a man by the name of Tim O'Boyle. Tim purchased Obama's old 300C back in February of 2008, through the original Park Plaza Dodge dealer in Forest Park, Illinois.

Well, old Tim figured that this might be a great opportunity to make a few bucks. Let's say for instance somewhere between $100,000 to $1 million for a vehicle which would normally fetch more like $14,000 according to the Kelly Blue Book.

So up went Obama's 300C on eBay with an opening bid of $100,000. Now consider the media, who in jest or in light of having anything better to report on, made this eBay find a regular Britney Spears underwear slip, and news spread fast about the auction.

How fast? Everyone was reporting on the event, including CBS News, USA Today, Yahoo! News, in fact, there weren't many places it wasn't being talked about. The Obama Chrysler 300C was quickly becoming a celebrity drudge report in its own right.

How $1 Million became $1 Billion
So the next reaction of the public was a series of irrational bids from folks on eBay and by the end of the evening of January 15th, the price for the vehicle shot up to just shy of about $1 billion dollars. That's some $999 million more than the original "Buy it Now" price Tim was originally asking for.

Well, realizing that there are only a microscopic thimble full of folks with that kind of money, Tim re-listed the vehicle once again the very next day, but this time insisting that each bidder become pre-qualified before being allowed to bid. Now there's a thought!

Next you had the folks making use of the headlines and keywords to boost their own eBay items, such as other 2005 Chrysler 300C's which read, "just like Obama's 300C", and even a 2008 Dodge Charger got in the mix using the headline, "not Obama's 300C, but faster!". There are even random hand drawings of this, ahem, somewhat historic event, for sale on eBay which makes reference to the 300C auction in order to draw attention to itself. One of these drawings has already reached $405 with several days left of bidding.

What Do You Think About All This?
While the rest of the media has had its opportunity to express its feelings towards this auction, I would like to turn the microphone on the Treehugger readers and ask how you feel about this. Is it a compliment to Obama, a mockery of the presidency, a sign that this has been a pretty slow week in the media, or just some poor schlep trying to make a buck?

Then we have the Obama Super Limousine , capable of an even more miserable 8 mpg, reportedly on its way to the White House. Or we should rather say three of them, as two will be decoys. How do these fit into the picture? 13 mpg is okay while you're a relatively unknown senator, 34 mpg becomes essential during the height of elections, but if you win, oh boy, then you can really let it all hang out I guess. What kind of message is that giving to the public? I don't know, you tell me?

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Tags: 2008 Elections | Hybrid Cars | Transportation