Sick kids, White House stargazing, work, family, I know that I've been letting a lot get past me the last couple of weeks, and for the most part, I don't mind. But finding out that I have less than 24 hours to haul myself and a stack of bank checks in various denominations to East Brunswick so that I can buy Bernard Madoff's Manhattan Black Mercedes 2001 E3210 station wagon with just 44K miles on the clock? That hurts. It really hurts.
And not just because we lived across the street from the Madoffs for several years, and this very wagon was probably double parked in front of our house on many a Summer Sunday evening after the trip back from Montauk, and it'd almost be like bringing the wagon home. [Minus the shame, ignominy, decades of financial deception and betrayal, and 150-year prison sentences, of course.]
And it's not just because it's hard enough to find an 8-yo Mercedes with just 44,000 miles on it, much less one where you know that no expense was spared on its maintenance and upkeep [ruined Madoff investors, you have my sympathies].
It's because of auctioneer Tim Minoughan's explanation of why the US Marshals don't expect the car to bring a premium over the car's $13-19k Blue Book [which, frankly, seems high to me]: "If it were a Bentley or a Rolls Royce or something really high valued, then that would be splash flash. It's hard to do that with an E320 wagon." Even a black-on-black one??
update: it sold for $14,250.
Bernard Madoff's Mercedes-Benz to Be Auctioned by U.S. Marshals [bloomberg, oct. 12]
Oct 23, Bi-monthly US Marshals seized and forfeited vehicles auction, Lot 5 2001 MERCEDES BENZ E320 - BLACK, 44,146 mi. [cwsmarketing.com via dt reader dt]