Image if you bought an old Jeep Cherokee in the Chicago Suburbs and looked at the paper work and discovered a famous name on the title.
That name being: Barack Obama.
What would you do?
If you were Liz Murphy, an executive assistant in Naperville, Ill, who until recently owned the 2000 Cherokee with 133,000 miles and a few dings, you'd auction it, and get $26,437.50 for it.
According to the Washington Post the seller of the car gave Murphy the paperwork in September of 2004 when she purchased the car and pointed out a certain now famous name on it.
"I said, ‘Hey, isn’t that guy a politician in Chicago?’” she recalls.
Obama’s name and address are noted on the original title: “Barack
Obama/5450 S. East View Park/Chicago, IL 60615,” as is the date of
original purchase: “8/26/00.” The seller suggested she make a copy
before she had to turn it in to the motor-vehicle agency. “You never
know, he might be president some day,’” she recalls he said."
The Jeep Cherokee was sold on THIS online auction that drew 28 bidders by John Reznikoff, a collector who hales from Westport, Conn.
“I would have been willing to pay over $100,000 for it,” Reznikoff said.
The Washington Post goes on to report that, "He will add the car to his collection of presidential artifacts, which include two of John F. Kennedy’s parade cars, Lyndon Johnson’s sports coat and Ronald Reagan’s rocking chair."
For her part Murphy plans to use the money from the sale of the presidential Jeep Cherokee to buy a new car.
According to the auction's web site the story of the Jeep is pretty straightforward in all details except that it once belonged to Obama:
"The story of exactly how the car has happened
to come into the possession of our consignor to be offered in this
auction follows: In September 2004, our consignor, who lives in a suburb
of Chicago, was in the market for a used car, specifically an SUV. A
friend introduced her to the owner of a used- car dealership who told
her that his company had just purchased a car that would be perfect for
her. He told her to come over and take a look at it. She did, liked what
she saw, and agreed to purchase it. When she returned with a check a
few days later, the gentleman said to her “take a look at whose name is
on the title, this car might be special one day.” When she looked at the
title she saw the name Barack Obama as the former owner. She also noted
that Obama sold the car to Park Plaza Dodge of Forest Park, Illinois
(as a trade in) on July 13, 2004. While Barack Obama’s name was
certainly recognizable to our consignor (he was then an Illinois state
senator and the 2004 Democratic nominee for Illinois United States
Senator), he was largely unknown outside of Illinois. That would soon
change. On July 27, 2004, exactly two weeks after he sold this car,
Obama exploded upon the national political scene when he delivered the
keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston,
Massachusetts. The speech was seen by over nine million people and
instantly made him one of the stars of the Democratic Party. Our
consignor took title of this car on September 2, 2004. At the time, the
gentleman who sold her the car gave her some extremely sage and
prescient advice when he suggested she get a copy of the former title,
which properly documented Obama’s ownership of the vehicle and her
purchase of it for the benefit of any future buyers, before she turned
it in to the Motor Vehicle Department (in order to get a new title of
certificate so that she could register the car in her name). He told
her, “You never know, he could be President some day.” She followed his
advice, also choosing to get it notarized at the time, and a copy of
that original title (recording all of the pertinent and corroborating
information) accompanies the vehicle. It should be noted that the Obama
signature on the photocopy of the original title, which appears on the
line designated “Seller” is not his, but that of a representative of the
car dealership to whom he gave power of attorney (standard practice for
trade in vehicles). His name and address “Barack Obama/5450 S. East
View Park/Chicago, IL 60615” are duly noted on the original title, as is
the date of original purchase “8/26/00.”"