A Texas car dealer has bought 84 of the Rolls-Royces that had been part of a fleet used by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, who recently left the United States for India after pleading guilty to immigration charges. The cars were loaded Saturday onto a convoy of 12 trucks for a three- to four-day drive to Dallas. Robert Roethlisberger, the buyer, says he plans to sell the cars at a two-day auction in early February. He said the auction will be open ``to anybody that can afford to buy a Rolls-Royce.'' Mr. Roethlisberger wouldn't divulge the purchase price, but earlier reports indicated he had paid $5 million.
The cars are owned by the Rajneesh Modern Car Collection Trust and were used by the guru for his daily drives on the 64,000-acre Rancho Rajneesh. The cars are being sold as part of the general liquidation of assets at the commune where Rajneesh lived with some 2,500 of his followers. The commune is being disbanded after the guru left the United States in an agreement with authorities that included his guilty pleas to two immigration charges.