A 1979 Chevrolet Chevette — that totally unsexy, boxy stalwart of the used car lot — typically fetches about $1,500. But one particular vintage four-door sedan is expected to go for many times that amount — and it’s not because it’s got a particularly putrid lime-green coat of paint, but rather because it was owned by libertarian darling and former representative Ron Paul.
Paul is offering the car to whoever makes the largest donation to the foundation that funds the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, the Texas Republican announced this week. Just two days into the challenge, the biggest pledge has been around $5,500, Daniel McAdams, the institute’s executive director, tells us. And the deadline for giving isn’t until Oct. 15.
He’s aware that the car itself isn’t the prize (we’re shocked), though “it does start and run,” he adds. Instead, it’s the cache of owning a little piece of the Paul legend. In his pitch to would-be donors, Paul described parking the diminutive car next to House Speaker Tip O’Neill’s chauffeured Lincoln during the 1979 gas-rationing for a “cheeky” picture.
“Tip even levied the ultimate punishment: He blocked pork-barrel funds for me, which I was not seeking anyway,” he wrote.
No matter how much the car goes for, Paul’s wheels could be considered something of a bargain — after all, a dumpy used Chrysler once owned by President Obama was offered for sale on eBay last year for a cool million (though it ultimately didn’t go for that much).
Paul’s even throwing in the original congressional license plate.