Adolf Hitler's Mercedes car makes comeback?

Adolf Hitler's Mercedes has been bought by a Russian oligarch for an estimated five million pounds? But report from Reuters is not saying so.

Classic cars specialist Michael Froehlich said he found the bullet-proof touring car after charting its postwar travels from Austria to Las Vegas and back to Munich, where Hitler burst onto the political scene with a failed putsch in 1923.

"It was the best car in the world at the time. Better than the Bugatti, Bentley, Rolls Royce or whatever," Froehlich told Reuters from his office in Duesseldorf. "It was his favorite car: the one he used most often, which he used for parades."

After being commissioned by a Cypriot buyer to find the vehicle, Froehlich discovered it had been bought by a farmer near Braunschweig, where in 1932 local Nazi officials got Hitler a civil servant's job so he could claim citizenship.

"I thought it was an interesting job, but on the other hand I wasn't too thrilled, because my parents and grandparents suffered greatly under his regime," Froehlich said of the commission. The dark blue car, which Froehlich said had spent decades in the basement of the Imperial Palace Casino in Las Vegas, was recently sold by the heirs of a Munich brewing tycoon before he traced it "in under two months" to northern Germany.

Froehlich said reports the buyer was Russian were mistaken, and rejected the notion that past owners of the vehicle with the number plate "1A 148 461" were admirers of the dictator.

Froehlich declined to name the car's price tag, or give details about the buyer, but said the 1935 edition custom-made vehicle could fetch "more than 10 million euros ($14.91 million)." Though he had not yet had outside confirmation of the car's authenticity, the owner's paperwork left no doubt, he added.

"The Mercedes sales register shows this 770 K model was ordered for the Fuehrer and Chancellor of the Reich in 1935," he said.

Only 88 of the series were ever made and the Braunschweig car showed all the special modifications made for Hitler, who had to be driven because he had no "Fuehrerschein" - a German word made up from "driver" and "license" - Froehlich said.

The car was once part of a fleet used by the Nazi leader in his travels across Europe during the Second World War.

The midnight blue 770 K model car was locked away in a collector's garage in Bielefeld along with seven other vehicles used by Nazi leaders.

Michael Froehlich, a Duesseldorf car dealer, said he brokered the deal for the unnamed billionaire, who also bought the other vehicles in the collection.

Included among the collection was an identical Mercedes once owned by Joachim von Ribbentrop, the Nazi foreign minister who was hanged at Nuremberg for war crimes.

After the Second World War the car travelled the world, first going to Austria, then to a car museum in Las Vegas, then back across the ocean to a brewery tycoon in Munich and finally to the anonymous collector in the British army garrison town of Bielefeld.

Mr Froelich turned up the car's original papers and repair logs and matched the licence plate number - 1A 148461 - to photos of Hitler in the car.

Via - Reuters



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