3 Details From the Saddest Government Auction Ever
In today's economy, you can't blame anyone for needing a bit of extra cash. That being said, there's a certain aura of shady failure that hangs over every online auction, sort of like an awning made of bounced checks.
But money is money, and it turns out that not even the United States Air Force is above pawning its old bullshit on the interwebs. More specifically, the 89th Airlift Wing, aka the people in charge of Air Force One. The plane, not the movie.
If someone is pawning Harrison Ford, please let us know.
Pictured in that uncontrollably exciting ad is a DC 9-32 -- one of the actual airplanes used in the presidential fleet. It was in operation from 1975 to 2005, and it has seated six different presidents of the United States, as well as their vice presidents and wives, and also countless government mini-bosses like generals and foreign dignitaries. And now it is up for an online auction starting at 50,000 bucks, which is about the same price as a Chevrolet Express.*
*Plastic tarps and soundproofing not included.
To put that in perspective for anyone not currently tracking the used-airplane market, several planes of the exact same model are going for $1.5 million, and we're pretty sure Ronald Reagan never pooped in any of those. Heck, it probably costs more than 50 grand to put gas in the damn thing.
But here's what's so perplexing about this piece of presidential history -- for a vessel that's taken part in 30 years of politics, it's pretty much being sold the same way you'd get rid of your old couch on Craigslist, all the way down to requiring the buyer to come pick it up.
We assume you'd be able to just fly the thing out of there, because nobody outside of a shipping tycoon is going to be able to "pack and remove" an airplane. And considering the fact that nobody bothered to paint over the official UNITED STATES OF AMERICA logo on the plane's exterior, you probably won't have any trouble landing it wherever you damn well please. Boy, that sure isn't going to cause any serious confusion and/or an international incident.
Anyway, it's cheap, it's being sold as-is, and you have to come get it yourself. Let's see, are there any other parallels to a terrible online want ad?
Oh good, a block of Kanye West scream-text. Guys, that plane was used to ferry a Rockefeller around, can we maybe take the caps lock off? Was this ad transcribed in a telegraph office? Did someone's teenage son do the write-up? If this were an auction for a used bicycle, that product description would guarantee that you'd receive zero bids. It even says that the plane may have acted as Air Force One from time to time -- you don't even know if you're really getting the presidential sky palace. That's like buying a $50,000 pack of baseball cards.
Can we at least see what it looks like on the inside?
Wow. They've managed to make it look like a Rent.com ad for a one-room apartment in downtown Orlando. Those pictures look like someone set their camera filter to "sex dungeon" and then hurled the photos through Paint XP at the speed of apathy.
This is the actual low-res virtual tour offered by the people selling an airplane that Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and two George Bushes (probably) traveled in. Several leaders of the free world had a sandwich or two in that thing, or -- more likely for some -- ate a pizza and got some quick strange.
Come to think of it, maybe it's more like a used couch than we realized.