There is one set of wheels that the Middle East’s ultra-rich won’t get their hands on – the humble but beloved Volkswagen Beetle of Uruguayan President José Mujica.
It looks like the very rich people, usually rarely having problems on getting the car of their choice – even if it’s a bespoke Rolls-Royce or a completely made from scratch Ferrari supercar – need to acknowledge the truth. Not everything on Earth is for sale. The proof – Mujica’s recent reveal that an Arab sheikh wants to give him $1 million for his sky blue 1987 Beetle. The particular car, not very fancy by Arab standards, became a social media star after the former leftist guerrilla leader rode it to vote in October’s presidential election. “We could never sell it. We would offend all those friends who pooled together to buy it for us,” Mujica was quoted by a local radio.
The very popular outgoing president, who declined living in the fancy presidential palace and still used his ramshackle farmhouse, while much of his salary went to the country’s social welfare funds and programs, has managed to conceptualize the Beetle as one of the symbols associated with his modest lifestyle. Better known to the Uruguayan people by his nickname, “Pepe,” the president said the sheikh’s idea was presented to him during a June summit in Bolivia and later on even Mexico’s Ambassador Felipe Enriquez Hernandez said the car could be worth 10 four-wheel-drive trucks if auctioned.