Summary: Email forward claims that attached photographs show a $4.8 million diamond covered Mercedes owned by Prince Waleed of Saudi Arabia (Full commentary below).
Status: Genuine photographs - Description is false
Example:(Submitted, June 2008)
Subject:DIAMOND COVERED MERCEDES
THE CAR COSTS $4.8 MILLION
AND IF YOU WANT TO TOUCH IT, YOU HAVE TO PAY $1000.
IT BELONGS TO PRINCE WALEED FROM SAUDI ARABIA.
Diamond Covered Mercedes
of Prince Waleed
Remember this when
gasoline hits $5.00 a gallon.
You paid for this
According to this email forward, attached photographs depict an amazing diamond covered Mercedes motor vehicle that belongs to Saudi Arabia's Prince Waleed. The email claims that the vehicle is worth $4.8 million and that interested visitors have to pay $1000 just to touch it.
The photographs themselves are genuine in the sense that they show a real vehicle and they have not been manipulated to change the car's appearance. However, the claims in the text of the email are highly inaccurate. The shiny objects covering the Mercedes are in fact crystals, not diamonds, and the vehicle does not belong to Prince Waleed. In fact, the Mercedes was an exhibit provided by luxury car accessories company, Garson, for a 2007 Auto Show in the United States. Garson offers a large range of crystal covered vehicle accessories. A blurb on the Garson website notes:
Hot on DUB Magazine's Custom Auto Show & Concert tour is this million dollar car, Garson / D.A.D's crystal-encrusted Mercedes-Benz SL 600. 300,000 Swarovski crystals are attached to the exterior of the body while it sits on 20" rims. You can catch this car at the Los Angeles and San Diego shows. Garson USA will also be on site selling some of their hottest items.
The car can be seen as part of the slide show on the Garson website homepage as well as in a DUB 2007 Tour Picks gallery on flickr. The car can also be seen along with other auto show exhibits in the following YouTube video:
As the video shows, the crystal covered Mercedes was just one exhibit in an extensive collection shown at the auto show. Visitors were not charged $1000 just to touch it.
Moreover, the quoted price for a car supposedly covered in diamonds is very unrealistic. In 2006 a diamond adorned bra made for Victoria's Secret by Hearts On Fire was valued at $6.5 million. Several years earlier, Hearts On Fire created a diamond dress worth $5 million. Thus, if a vehicle was really covered with diamonds rather than Swarovski crystals, it would be worth considerably more than $4.8 million.
Prince Al-Walid is a real, and certainly very wealthy, individual but he does not own the crystal covered Mercedes shown in the photographs.