Libyan Dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s Custom Maybach 57S Coupe Pops Up For Sale
A strange, sinister car for a strange, sinister man.
Muammar Gaddafi was obviously a terrible, horrible sadist whose four-plus decades as the socialist leader-turned-dictator of Libya were riddled with horrendous acts of violence. Like many other despots, though, he had plenty of money, and expensive taste when it came to cars. Case in point: just before his regime was toppled and he was killed by rebel forces during the 2011 Libyan Civil War, Gaddafi ordered this custom Maybach 57S coupe that's now being offered up by a Dutch dealer for a cool $1.15 million.
At a glance, it's just another rich person's Maybach; really, though, it's a sort of haunting representation of his character. Though Gaddafi's total control of Libya's oil wealth and national finances made him one of the richest people on the planet before his demise, this creation isn't a total one-off like some of the other custom petrostate rides we've highlighted. Instead, the car is a coachbuilt version of the 2010 Maybach 57S sedan, converted with the company's blessing to a bonafide coupe by a shop called Xenatec. A hundred were planned, eight were built, and we're looking at chassis no. four here.
Gaddafi, for those who don't know, took power in a coup d'état in Libya in 1969 and pretty much ran the place as a dictator until his aforementioned death in 2011, eventually dominating the country's population under the guise of an Islamic interpretation of socialism and making his regime an international pariah through state-sponsored terrorism around the globe. During that time a strong cult of personality developed around Gaddafi, whose belief in his own god-like status collided with his expensive tastes and increasing paranoia in strange ways.
He was known to be protected by an all-female cast of bodyguards known as "The Revolutionary Nuns"—some of whom came forward after his death to accuse the late dictator and other high-ranking officials of rape and coercion—and carried a gold-plated handgun at times. Afraid of elevators, he would travel abroad with a giant, luxurious, bulletproof Bedouin tent for him and his entourage to sleep in so he could avoid hotels.
His collection of cars was vast and included an armored BMW 7 Series, a stretched-out S-Class Mercedes and a truly strange Fiat 500. He even "designed" a car once in 2009, stating that his creation, the "Libyan Rocket," was made to reduce the number of people killed in automobile accidents. "The leader spent so many hours of his valuable time thinking of an effective solution. It is the safest car produced anywhere," a regime spokesperson said at the time. Nothing ever really came of it.
The Maybach in question is almost as strange on the outside as the Libyan Rocket, but it's all relatively normal ultra-luxury everywhere else. Powered by a 6.0-liter AMG V12 producing 604 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque, power is sent to the rear wheels only via a five-speed automatic transmission. Along with more than enough horsepower and torque, there's also plenty of fine appointments beneath this 57S coupe's two-tone exterior.
This car originally sold for €765,000, and the options list reflects that. From quad-zone climate control to massage seats for everyone on board, this super-luxury coupe has it all. There's also an integrated refrigerator in between the two rear seats, ugly two-tone upholstery to match the ugly two-tone paint, and a suede headliner in a color Maybach calls "Porcelain."
Auto Leiner says this 57S coupe has just 1,429 miles on the odometer, none of which were added by Gaddafi himself; the Libyan Civil War broke out in early 2011 before he could actually take delivery of the car. He was killed by rebel forces while trying to escape the loyalist town of Sirte in October of that year.
It's disgusting that Gaddafi built such immense wealth the way he did, through the brutal and violent repression of dissent. This car, in turn, is a direct product of that same greed and maliciousness that contributed to his estimated $200 billion net worth at the time of his death. Although it was built just over a decade ago, it's an eerie reflection of what seems like another world.
The car is being kept at Auto Leiner's facility in The Netherlands along with many other rare and interesting cars, like an equally dictator-ish 1975 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman Maybach W100,
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