In a remarkable twist of fate, a 125 cm3 Piaggio MP3 scooter once ridden by former French President François Hollande has been auctioned for a staggering €25,420.

The event, held on Sunday, May 26, in Montbazon, captivated both enthusiasts and curious onlookers, transforming an otherwise ordinary vehicle into a symbol of political intrigue and pop culture fascination.

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The scooter, with its distinctive three-wheel design and registration number AL-807-SX, holds a unique place in recent French history.

It was famously used by Hollande for clandestine escapades during his presidency, ferrying him between secret rendezvous with actress Julie Gayet, while he was still publicly partnered with journalist Valérie Trierweiler.

This element of scandal and secrecy has undeniably contributed to its newfound iconic status.

Despite being a 2009 model with a considerable mileage of 34,000 kilometers, the scooter’s value skyrocketed at the auction.

According to La Centrale, a used vehicle dealership, its second-hand value was pegged at a mere €1,338.

Yet, the auction defied these expectations, drawing a winning bid almost 20 times higher, reflecting the scooter’s storied past rather than its mechanical worth.

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The auction took place at the opulent Château d’Artigny, a castle and five-star hotel in the Loire Valley. The setting added a layer of grandeur to the event, with the scooter displayed in a manner befitting a rare art piece.

Adorned with a tricolor cockade, it stood prominently against the château’s 18th-century-style façade, flanked by faux bodyguards and the Republic’s flag.

The atmosphere was one of spectacle and celebration, attended by a mix of serious collectors, curious locals, and members of the press, including Le Monde.

Patrick Sionneau, the scooter’s last owner, narrated its journey from the Elysée Palace to the auction block.

Sionneau, a 71-year-old former farm equipment dealer from Villeromain, acquired the scooter in 2021 from a friend who had purchased it from a garage owner in Poitou.

Sionneau had bought it as a whimsical tribute to celebrate his golden wedding anniversary with his wife, Manola. They reenacted their wedding day journey on October 8, 2022, riding the scooter for 10 kilometers in the city of Vendôme.

However, due to a subsequent medical condition, Sionneau could no longer use the scooter and feared it might be stolen. Deciding to part with it, he set the starting price at €10,000, a decision that paid off handsomely at the auction.

The Rouillac firm, auctioneers for over three decades, orchestrated the sale. The scooter’s allure was undeniable, capturing the imagination of those present and cementing its status as a piece of living history.

As the gavel fell, it marked not just the end of the auction but the beginning of the scooter’s retirement in an automobile museum in the Loire Valley, where it will undoubtedly continue to draw admirers.

This scooter, once a tool of presidential secrecy, has now become a celebrated artifact, embodying a unique blend of political history and cultural curiosity.

Its sale is a testament to the unpredictable nature of value, where a story can elevate the mundane to the extraordinary.

 

This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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