Famous Automobiles: Adolf Hitler's Mercedes-Benz Cars Part 2

About famous automobiles specifically the history and information about Adolf Hiter's Mercedes-Benz cars.

ADOLF HITLER'S BIG CAR

The other Hitler car that migrated to the U.S. did so under the umbrella of the 101st Airborne Division, which had invaded Hitler's Alpine Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden in 1945. Information about the car's later whereabouts is sketchy. Allegedly it was, for a time, in South Africa.

In 1966, Tom Barrett, an Arizona real estate developer, bought both cars for his private collection. But by 1973, Barrett had concluded that either he had too many old cars in his Arizona collection, or not enough garage space. He decided to unload 50 cars, including both 770-Ks, at an auction.

Until the Hitler cars went on sale, no antique car had ever brought more than $90,000. That sum was captured by Greta Garbo's Duesenberg in the fall of 1972. Within the 1st minute on the auction block, however, the initial Hitler 770-K cracked the record. It was the Mannerheim auto, and this one peaked at $153,000, falling into the hands of Earl Clark, a businessman from Lancaster, Pa. Clark wanted the car for the Lancaster, Pa. Clark park called Dutch Wonderland. The 2nd Hitler car also broke the 1972 record that day when the bidding soared to $93,000. Billy C. Tanner, an Alabama developer and George Wallace's 1964 campaign manager, bought it but he could not secure financing to complete the transaction. Consequently, he sold his option to Don Tidwell, a mobile-home manufacturer.

Next the Kruse auction people, sellers of antique and "classic" cars, put the Mannerheim 770-K back on the block, this time at its new home in the famous Dutch Wonderland Amusement Park. Earl Clark threw in some photographs, arm bands, leather-cased tool kits, and mementos valued at $15,000, and the Kruse brothers asked for an opening bid of $250,000. The bidding began at $50,000, then was raised until it reached $176,000, when the 770-K was hammered down at a new world's record price to Robert Pass of St. Louis, Mo. In February, 1975, Pass sold the 770-K for $141,000 to A. J. Frascona, a car dealer from Wauwatosa, Wis.

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