Natasha Brown knows what drives Barack Obama, or at least what he used to drive.
The 21-year-old Broadview woman owns the 2000 Dodge Neon that once belonged to the president-elect. Illinois secretary of state records show Obama briefly owned the four-door car and sold it to a suburban dealership in January 2005, just a few weeks before being sworn in as a U.S. senator.
Brown, then 18, picked out the Neon while browsing with her father at Park Plaza Dodge in September 2005. Her dad tried to steer her toward another car, but Brown thought the silver sedan was “cute.”
She paid $6,000 for the car, which had about 60,000 miles on it. After Brown signed the papers, the salesman told her that Obama once owned the Neon, but back then Brown and her teenage friends didn’t consider the junior senator famous enough to care about.
The car’s transmission had to be replaced last Thanksgiving, but otherwise it hasn’t given her any problems. Brown thought about trading in the car before the election but now thinks it might be more fun to show people the title with the president’s signature on it. If the car’s value shoots up because it once belonged to Obama, Brown—who cast her vote for the Democrat in her first presidential election—says she would entertain offers.
“I can’t believe the president of the United States would be driving around in a Dodge Neon,” she says. “It’s a little girl car.”