Justice Clarence Thomas’s $267,230 RV and the Friend Who Financed It

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The title historical past paperwork reviewed by The Instances present that when the motor coach was bought for $267,230 to the Thomases in 1999, it had solely 93,618 miles on it, comparatively few for a automobile that specialists say can simply log one million miles in its lifetime. It got here geared up with plush leather-based seating, a kitchen, a toilet and a bed room within the again. Along with its orange flame motif, it had a big Pegasus painted on the again, in accordance with Jason Mang, the step-grandson of the earlier proprietor, Bonnie Owenby.

“It was superluxury, actually bougie,” he recalled.

On Nov. 19, 1999, after recognizing the motor coach on the lot of Desert West Coach in Phoenix and placing a maintain on it, Justice Thomas attended a dinner on the conservative Goldwater Institute. In a speech that evening, he stated he had by no means yearned to be a federal choose. “Pure and easy, I wished to be wealthy,” he stated.

Wayne Mullis, the proprietor of the now-defunct Desert West, stated in an interview that Justice Thomas by no means mentioned acquiring conventional financing with him, and that “so far as I do know, he paid for it.”

Certainly, Justice Thomas would have been hard-pressed to get a mortgage from a standard lender. Banks, and even finance corporations specializing in R.V. loans, are significantly reluctant to lend cash on used Prevost Marathons as a result of the personalized options are exhausting to worth, in accordance with three main trade executives interviewed by The Instances.

“As a rule, nearly all of patrons are money patrons — they don’t finance the Prevost, typically,” stated Chad Stevens, proprietor of an Arizona-based dealership specializing in high-end motor coaches, whose shoppers embrace celebrities and politicians. “In 1999, you would wish a really robust down fee and a robust monetary portfolio to finance one. It’s a luxurious merchandise.”

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