05 January 2011

The $1million car: 34-year-old Peugeot

4th January 2011

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has received a $1million bid for his 34-year-old car, only a day after it was put up for sale.

The Iranian president, who is auctioning his 1977 white Peugeot sedan to raise money for a low-income housing project, has been made the offer by a foreign source.

The project is aimed at disabled and young people in a move by the 54-year-old, who took charge of Iran in 2005, to appeal to fulfill a campaign promise to put a roof over the head of every poor Iranian.

An Iranian Sunday newspaper said various bids from abroad have been received by the multilingual website set up yesterday for the auction, including $1 million (£645,000), but it did not elaborate on the identity of the bidders.

The top bidders will be invited to the auction, which will be held in mid-February in the south-western city of Abadan.

Old: The 34-year-old car is wanted by a number of foreign suitors, according to an Iranian newspaper

And online offers can be made until the end of January. Foreign bidders paid £43 to register, while locals pay around £30.

The president had made a point of being seen in the humble white Peugeot 504 saloon when he was Tehran mayor before becoming president in 2005.

He has rarely used the car in the past years, however, probably because of security measures.

Auction: Official photographs of the car show that Mr Ahmadinejad took good care of his car, made in 1977

The car would probably be worth around $2,000 on the local market. Lack of housing has always been a major concern in Iran, where a quarter of the 75-million population live in rented apartments and nearly a third of a family's income goes to pay the rent.

Official statistics say the government has built more than 140,000 housing units in the first half of 2011. It has promised to build nearly 1 million units by March 2011. - www.dailymail.co.uk

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