Who will Own the Car Signed by Authors?

Automotive marketplace AutoTrader.com has posted for sale the ultimate gift for you: a 2010 Mini Cooper SD with a dashboard signed by 18 Penguin authors.

They include Garrison Keillor of Lake Wobegon fame, Pulitzer Prize winning authors William Kennedy and Geraldine Brooks as well as New York Times bestselling authors Michael Pollan, Sue Monk Kidd, Jan Karon, Rosanne Cash and others.

Penguin Books purchased the Mini Cooper as part of the company’s 75th anniversary celebration, which occurred throughout 2010.

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The vehicle traveled to literary and book events across the U.S. and Penguin-published authors signed the car’s interior at each stop.

The vehicle is now for sale on AutoTrader.com with a Private Seller advertisement at www.autotrader.com/penguinmini for $30,000. 

The price reflects the unique nature of the vehicle, its excellent condition and an additional bonus: the car comes with the top 75 titles published by Penguin Books over the past 75 years, a collection of books worth about $1,200. 

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Proceeds from the sale of the car will be donated to the New York Public Library.

“With the ability to show detailed photos of the car and write a description that really highlighted the special and unique features, AutoTrader.com’s Private Seller ad was clearly the way to go,” said Kathryn Court, president & publisher of Penguin Books.

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At the site, interested buyers will find multiple photos of the car’s interior and exterior and a description that highlights the car’s features. The vehicle comes with AM/FM/CD, MP3 player jack, air conditioning, automatic transmission, black cloth seats, orange and black exterior paint (freshly painted) and, of course, those 18 autographs in silver pen along the dashboard, doors and steering wheel. 

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The car has about 15,750 miles on it and is currently located in New York City. Penguin Books, like any private seller, will select the buyer with the most attractive offer. It was announced Tuesday, Dec. 14.

Used 2010 Mini Coopers listed for sale on AutoTrader.com range in price from about $24,000 to $30,000, depending on vehicle options and condition.

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Rakesh Raman