Among all the (occasionally disturbing) spoils being taken from Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi's compound, victorious insurgents claimed an additional prize: an all-electric Fiat 500.
According to Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper, Castagna, a specialized auto shop based in Milan, received a commission in June 2009 from a 'mysterious' client. The car was to have no doors, leather, and 17-inch alloy wheels, among other amenities.
Specifications also included "a back-lit image of the Lion of the Desert… a circle with the symbolic representation of Libyan society… [and] on the nose, instead of the Fiat logo, a symbol with the black silhouette of Africa, with Libya highlighted in green."
Outfitted with a 34kW electric motor, the car weighs 1.5 tons and can travel 162 miles on a single charge. According to the newspaper, the car was intended as a gift to the Libyan leader from a family member.
The unnamed client paid the 100,000 Euro (US$144,000 at the current exchange rate) bill "without blinking an eye," according to the Italian newspaper. A request from Castagna to get a photo of Qaddafi behind the wheel of the car was ignored, though the auto shop reportedly did receive word that the Colonel was pleased with the car.
Now, two years later, the EV appears to have found new owners. Gioacchino Acampora, the head of Castagna, told the Corriere that it would only be fair to tell them how to make the car work.
Check out the Corriere's slideshow of the car and its customized features.
Photo: Castagna, a model similar to the one in question