The title historical past paperwork reviewed by The Occasions 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 car that consultants say can simply log one million miles in its lifetime. It got here outfitted with plush leather-based seating, a kitchen, a rest room and a bed room within the again. Along with its orange flame motif, it had a big Pegasus painted on the again, in line 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 night time, he mentioned he had by no means yearned to be a federal decide. “Pure and easy, I needed to be wealthy,” he mentioned.
Wayne Mullis, the proprietor of the now-defunct Desert West, mentioned 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 conventional lender. Banks, and even finance corporations specializing in R.V. loans, are notably reluctant to lend cash on used Prevost Marathons as a result of the personalized options are arduous to worth, in line with three main business executives interviewed by The Occasions.
“As a rule, nearly all of patrons are money patrons — they don’t finance the Prevost, usually,” mentioned 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 sturdy down fee and a robust monetary portfolio to finance one. It’s a luxurious merchandise.”