Normally I would have skipped right over a Lexus ES300 with two-tone paint. This time, I clicked on it, largely because the prospect of one with enough armor to stop a 7.62 round isn’t something you regularly encounter.
It turns out that the Lexus is, in fact located in Bogota, Colombia, which adds an element of shadiness to the whole encounter. In the context of Latin America though, the armored Lexus isn’t such an anomaly. On our shores, someone might opt for an armored S-Class or Escalade if they are a high profile individual in need of a secure vehicle.
In Latin America, such a vehicle would obviously stand out to the point where the owner would be even more of a target, so fitting armor to more discreet vehicles is the norm. Bulletproof VW Jettas are said to be popular with upper-class customers in Mexico. I’ve personally seen vehicles like the Skoda Octavia, Jeep Cherokee and Toyota Land Cruiser Prado with doors as heavy as bank vaults and remote start systems (just in case anyone tries to assassinate you via car bomb).
In this part of the world, those who are really rich and concerned with their safety tend to take helicopters. Maybe that’s what the owner is moving on to after he sells the Lexus. Any deal I made would have to include the original Colombian plates. And a thorough cleaning to make sure nothing comes across the border when I’m trying to import it.