Now's Your Chance to Own Romanian Dictator Ceausescu's SUV If You Want

Have you ever heard of the ARO 304? Now is your time to grab one of just four made.

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Ziarul Financiar

Arab sheikhs had open-top 6x6 Range Rovers for falconry. The Pope had an armored G-Wagen known as , while wealthy inhabitants of Springfield could buy a Canyonero. In a parallel universe in 1977, Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu ordered himself a pimped ARO, otherwise known as the best 4x4 that never made it to America.

Because the ARO 24/32 Series could seat up to nine people with ease, the communist regime had no problem turning one into a suitable parade car. Interestingly, Ceaușescu's 2.5-liter ARO 304s were rear-wheel drive instead of four, and the list of upgrades included a leather interior, power sunroof, air conditioning, and a whole lot more chrome all around. Supposedly, only four units were built.

After ARO did a facelift in 1985, Ceaușescu also moved on to the 306, which had a revised grille with dual headlights. That's the SUV he used during Mikhail Gorbachev's visit to Bucharest in 1987. Ceaușescu was ousted and executed just two year later.

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Yuri Lizunov; Alexander Chumichev/TASSGetty Images

Perhaps not surprisingly, Ceaușescu's original SUV was confiscated by the Romanian state from Ovidiu Tender, a businessman who now for fraud and money laundering. Romania's National Fiscal Administration says the 1977 ARO 304 will be auctioned off on Jan. 31, with 45,000 miles and a starting price of $34,000.

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