Hitler Mercedes 770K to be sold


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Matching the number plate of rumored Hitler 770 to period photograhs of 770s with Hitler aboard seem to confirm the Hitler connection.

Matching the number plate of rumored Hitler 770 to period photographs of 770s with Hitler aboard seem to confirm the Hitler connection.

Nazi Parade Cars headed to Russia
Hitler’s armored 770K to be sold

 

Germany’s Der Spiegel online has revealed plans for six of the Nazi Party’s parade Mercedes 770s to be sold as a package to a Russian investor. Included in the deal is an armor-plated 1935 Mercedes 770A Kompressor Cabriolet believed to have been used to shuttle Adolf  Hitler through throngs of adoring Germans leading up to and during WW2.

This deal, brokered by German classic car dealer Michael Frohlich, is said to we worth well north of $15m, with the Hitler limousine expected to bring over $6m alone. Connecting the car to Hitler required careful study of historical photographs and revealed the 770 carrying number plate: 1A 148461 was clearly shown in photographs with Hitler aboard. Further evidence of the Fuhrer’s connection was provided by a log book noting the car being delivered to the “Fuhrer and Reich Chancellor.”

Establishing the Hitler connection to any 770 has been murky business over the years. In 1973, a 770K was erroneously represented to have been the parade limousine of Adolf Hitler and was sold at action for $153k, a record auction price for an automobile at the time.

Referring to the occasional inhabitant of 770K with plate #1A 148461 as “that shit Hitler,” Frohlich remarked that brokering this infamous 770 disgusts him and was certainly one of his more unusual transactions. Historically, cars with Nazi connections are traded quietly and are rarely shown in public due to the understandably strong emotions they elicit. Some of Frohlich’s other sales have included John Lennon’s Mercedes 600 and Charlie Chaplin’s Bentley S3.

Presumed Hitler 770 is from the 1st series constructed from 1930-1938 and carried 7.65 liter straight eight fitted with a Roots type supercharger. With 18 mm armor protection and bullet-proof glass, this 770 was a heavyweight.

Presumed Hitler 770 is from the 1st series constructed from 1930-1938 and carried 7.65 liter straight eight fitted with a Roots type supercharger. With 18 mm armor protection and bullet-proof glass, this 770 was a heavyweight.

Setting the Nazi connection aside for a moment, we must recognize the Mercedes 770 as the pinnacle of prewar automobile technology (particularly the series 2 cars constructed from 1938-1943) and extravagance. Constructed in two series from 1930-1943, the cars were favored by heads of state, some more notorious than others.

That the most well known examples of such a grand series of Mercedes automobiles are connected with this dark era of history has undoubtedly pained Mercedes-Benz for decades. For some, however, they are eminently collectible and sell for significant price multiples of similar 770s lacking the grim historical connection.

When first contacted by Der Spiegel to comment on this deal, I wondered whether this wealthy Russian had the courage to crush the Hitler car to further extinguish the memories of this bleak, forgettable era. After a moment’s consideration I realized that would be an unnecessary loss of an example of one of Mercedes’ finest series of motorcars. Such is the conundrum of any collectible connected to the Nazi era. We will celebrate the glorious 770 series soon with a proper article and no mention of any of the car’s ignominious owners.

Visit our pre-war Mercedes-Benz Video section.

Visit our pre-war Mercedes-Benz Community.

Roy Spencer, editor MercedesHeritage.com
Photography from Der Spiegel and AFP Photo Files

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Please comment on this article below.

15 Responses to “Hitler Mercedes 770K to be sold”

  1. There shouldn’t be any shame to a car due to its past owners. The truth is, that 770K Grosser is a beautiful car. And I think that the history of the car along with who owned it makes a car more exciting to own. Mercedes is without a doubt, the most advanced car maker ever. No manufacturer has ever produced more sophisticated and well thought out cars than Mercedes. Its a pity they’re not made like they used to be, like the 770K Grosser.

  2. by EDGAR KLUGE on November 25th, 2009 9:59 am

    THIS IS JUST AN EMINENTLY GREAT CAR (!) – WITH HITLER OR WITHOUT HIM. THE EMPHASIS SHOULD BE ON THE AUTOMOBILE, NOT ON HITLER; TOO OFTEN CAR PEDDLERS USE NAZI VILLAINS AS COME-ON TO FETCH A BIGGER BUCK WHICH IS DEPLORABLE!

  3. by Tony F Perrone on November 25th, 2009 11:51 am

    The 770 is not only an elegant piece of Mercedes-Benz automotive history, it is also a piece of world history, albeit, an unpleasant part of the era in which it was utilized. Destroying such an exquisite and yet unwitting associate of terror, would be tantamount to equaling the Nazi atrocities of destruction of life and property including book burnings and the like.

    The car should be appreciated for what it is and was intended to be, not by who used it.

    Many thanks for the article; very interesting indeed.

  4. by Robert Geco on November 25th, 2009 12:42 pm

    It is sad to say that such a beautiful creation in automotive history was used by such a terrible man . with that said I say a 770 grosser parade car in the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas many year ago part of a collection of famous cars owned by movie stars. There is also in formation on one of these cars in a book I highly recommended by Jan Merlin ( Mercedes-Benz -The super charged 8 cylinder cars of the 1930s volume #1 I highly recommend this book because of the content of period pictures and detailed information.

    I was fascinated by the car the enormity of it size and weight . Very beautiful. It is a car connected with a bad period in history . I try to look at the car not what it is associated with.

    I hope this automobile will be put on display some day.

    Bob G

  5. If you are going to crush the car just because it was connected to Hitler then it only makes sense to destroy everything else with which he had any connection. I think that the Allies took care of that well enough during WWII.
    Paul Arenson

  6. by John Weishahn on November 25th, 2009 2:11 pm

    To crush the car would not serve in any way to erase the memory of Adolf Hitler, nor the atrocities committed at his behest. Certainly those of us who were unaware of the car’s existence prior to this artice faulted none in our knowledge due to that absence alone. It is enough to acknowledge the provenance of the car, to express regret for its past, and to preserve it as the automotive marvel that it represents.

  7. by Ron Bunting on November 25th, 2009 3:24 pm

    I’m affraid you’ve been had by the usual bullshit surrounding any 770. The cars in question were never anything to do with the 3rd reich and were in fact exhibits from the palace collection in Las Vegas which was dissolved some years ago. Michael Frohlich, the dealer is refered to in Germany as ” the Notorious Car dealer Michael Frohlich” and is in fact merely trying to scam a Russian out of some money after being asked to source any Hitler cars ( there never were any,the bastard never owned a car in his life) and two months later…Lo and Behold,a ‘secret hoard of previously unknown cars surfacers’. As if by magic it would appear as finding any unrestored prewar Mercedes is impossible feat these days. So don’t believe everything you read in the press about this ,it’s all fluff and smoke’n mirrors.
    From the MVC-online site.Wieder ein “falscher” Hitler-Wagen
    Von Jörg Enger am 25. November 2009

    Fröhlich behauptet, dies sei Hitlers Mercedes gewesen

    Schon in den 1970er Jahren wurden mit Vorliebe Mercedes-Benz Fahrzeuge mit dem deutschen (Österreicher) Diktator des Deutschen Reiches zwischen 1933 und 1945, Adolf Hitler in Verbindung gebracht, um deren Preis zu steigern. Nach vielen als “falsch” dokumentierten Fahrzeugen trumpfte Anfang dieser Woche wieder der berüchtigte Düsseldorfer Autohändler Michael Fröhlich sogar mit einer dpa-Meldung auf. Er habe im Auftrag eines reichen Russen zwei Monate lang nach dem Wagen gefahndet und sei schließlich fündig geworden. Der Wagen solle nun mit fünf weiteren Limousinen von Nazi- und Wehrmachts-Größen für einen zweistelligen Millionenbetrag den Besitzer wechseln. Zuvor sei die Karosse des Führers mal in Las Vegas und mal in München gewesen.
    Das schockierte sogar den Händler, von dem Fröhlich dieses Auto erhalten hatte.
    Neben den Ungereimtheiten, nach nur zwei Monaten Recherche ein solches Fahrzeug “ausfindig” gemacht zu haben (jeder, der einmal ein spezielles Fahrzeug gesucht hat, weiß, dass eine solche Suche Jahre dauern kann), gibt Fröhlich auch völlig unsinnige Leistungswerte an. So soll die gepanzerte Limousine des Typs 770K W150 – aber es handelt sich bei dem gezeigten Wagen um einen Tourer – mit knapp fünf Tonnen Gewicht, 400 PS und einer Spitzengeschwindigkeit von 180 km/h ausgestattet sein.
    “Hitlers Auto gab es so nicht“, sagte Dr. Josef Ernst von der Traditions-PR bei Daimler dann auch am Dienstag. Zwar seien einige Fahrzeuge des Typs 770 K durch die Reichskanzlei für den Fuhrpark geordert worden, wer sie aber letztlich benutzt hat, sei nicht mehr nach zu vollziehen. Möglicherweise sei tatsächlich auch einmal Hitler darin chauffiert worden.
    In der Tat stammt das besagte Fahrzeug aus der Sammlung des Imperial Palace Hotels, Las Vegas, die vor einigen Jahren in diesem Bereich aufgelöst wurde. Nicht weniger als acht Fahrzeuge des Typs 770 K zählten zu dieser Sammlung, und immernoch nennt das Hotel eine stattliche Anzahl Vorkriegs-Mercedes-Benz Fahrzeuge sein Eigen.

    Bedenklich dabei ist weniger der Handel mit Devotionalien des 3. Reiches, als vielmehr die Geschichts-Verbiegung zur Umsatzsteigerung.

  8. by Garry Bradford on November 25th, 2009 4:05 pm

    Does the fact that an automobile can be connected with or was previously owned by someone famous (or in this case infamous) radically alter its desirability? Surely a classic is just that – a classic, and and unless one plans to hang a sign on it advertising its history of ownership, any connection to fame or notoriety is wasted. If I could afford a car of this nature, the last thing I would give a hoot about would be who had previously owned it or ridden in it. I would enjoy it for what it is, a piece of automotive history and a timeless classic.

  9. by benzportland on November 25th, 2009 8:37 pm

    Frolich is disgusted, he must proclaim. And exactly what will his commission be for this transaction? Perhaps he should put his money where his mouth is and donate those proceeds to a worthy charity?

  10. by Chuck Taylor on November 26th, 2009 10:06 am

    I am all for Mercedes history and preservation of the cars. But I think it is reprehensible to profit from use by monsters like Hitler, Goering, or Pol Pot for that matter. It’s hard to understand how a Russian, whose country suffered terribly at Hitler’s hands, could do this.

    CT

  11. Please lets not let the beautiful craftsmanship of these incerdible cars be lost.There are so few of them to save.The germans were artisans way ahead of there time. I’ll never forget the first time I drove a 1968 6.3 sedan.What brut power it had.Mercedes has always been innovative in system design of brakes,valve train,injection,etc.
    I belong to the CAF (The Commemerative Air Force) . We have Messershmitt BF109 in Texas. I had a first hand experiance to see and sit in this aircraft.The workmanship was outstanding in many ways.They had mechanical fuel injection on this engine which alowed it to fly upside down and climb straight up without starving the engine of fuel.Our planes still were using carburators ,which were prone to stalling in climb.The ME262 the first true jet is another fine example of Daimler-Benz . We need to save these fine examples of mechanical engineering for the next generations to see and apperciate.
    This why I love Mercedes

  12. Gosh, I’d dip this thing in bleach before taking delivery… and then use it as a toy for my Volvo 460 excavator..

  13. Are there any certified examples of this car? What is (were) their most recent auction prices/locations?

    Do any certified examples exist?

    Thanks.

  14. There is a Mercedes-Benz 770 in the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. The museum’s site says that it was one of seven staff cars reserved for Hitler’s use. It may not have been registered in his name, but that is a bit of a quibble.

  15. by S. Berliner, III on May 11th, 2014 10:10 pm

    Just ran across this thread 11 May 2014! Ron Bunting doesn’t know what he’s talking about when he writes: “Hitler cars ( there never were any,the bastard never owned a car in his life)”. I have had sales documents for a Model 15/70/100 6-cylinder 4/5-passenger Mercedes-Benz for Munich from Daimler-Benz to Adolf Hitler in 1929 posted since 2005 at:

    http://sbiii.com/merceds4.html#hitlermb

    Sorry ’bout that, Ron!

    SB,III

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