Yes, our recent acquisition of complete 2009 fleet sales data came a little late in the game, but we’re still finding all kinds of fun facts buried in it. For fans of limited government, perhaps the most interesting revelation is that the government fleet sales data shows that American governments (it’s unclear whether these are state, local or federal agencies) bought some sweet cars last year. Some sweet, expensive cars. Let’s take a look at some of the most surprising government fleet purchases of 2009, accompanied by our guesses for how each purchase was used.
Audi R8 (2): Two of these $100k+ mid-engined exotics were purchased by governments last year, likely to be used as bribes. The big question: did the government(s) in question go for the speed of bureaucracy (4.2 V8) or did they upgrade to the “private-sector-fast” version (5.2 V10)?
Audi TT (2): TTs ain’t cheap either, starting at $38,300 and going from there up into the $50k+ range. Were the two of these purchased by government last year bough for use as patrol vehicles or as transport for unscrupulous pols?
Mercedes G-Wagen (2): Malibu beach patrol?
Porsche Boxster (2): Boxsters start around the $47k mark, and increase in price like crazy with each option box checked. We like to think that one county government blew its annual fleet budget on a brace of TTs and the next county over bought a pair of Boxsters to keep up. We like the idea of two county governments somewhere bringing services to a grinding halt while they hold endless TT vs Boxster sportscar races.
Potiac Solstice (3): Yet another county joins the local government sportscar series, fielding a team of Solstices. The third car is for parts.
Mazda MX-5 (3): These actually make fantastic rural postal delivery vehicles. Best. Job. Ever.
Audi A5 (3): All-black, these were purchased by the IRS to make particularly sinister audit visitations. Scary-looking Germans were hired to announce to terrified taxpayers that “Vee are are zee Ow-dee Ow-dit team. Vee hope you kept your receipts.”
Porsche Cayman (1): Only a government official could think it makes sense to spend more for a Boxster with a hardtop. We’re guessing this bad boy belongs to a small-town mayor who can get out of speeding tickets and is as likely to be brought down in a sex scandal as a “buying a Porsche with public money” scandal.
Mercedes SL (1): As above, only about 20 years older.
Maserati GranTourismo (1): As above, but way ballsier. Congratulations are due to anyone with the sheer audacity to charge $120k worth of Italian coupe to a government’s dime.
Ferrari California (1): Two words: Rod Blagojevich. Look into it.
BMW 128 (1): Yes, it’s the cheapest BMW. No, it does not make sense as a overnment vehicle.
VW GTI (3), New Beetle (6) and Eos (2): Really? Really? A vanilla Golf wouldn’t have done the trick?
BMW 335i (4): Because government needs twin turbos to go with its impeccable handling… and ruinous maintenance bills.
Rolls-Royce Phantom (1): We have no idea. Obama pushes a Caddy… who spent over $300k on one of these?
Lexus LS600h Hybrid: Who knows? Even though these things cost about $100k, you’ll never be able to point one out in traffic. The clever corrupt bureaucrat’s choice.
HUMMER H3 (42): Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Honor Guard.
Range Rover (including RR Sport) (8): Nancy Pelosi’s Honor Guard.
Cadillac Escalade ESV (8): Kwame Kilpatrick’s Honor Guard.
In all seriousness, anyone who knows what governments purchased any of these vehicles last year is encouraged to contact TTAC at our contact form.