Category: Scottsdale Auction

The Ex-Adolf Hitler 1939 Mercedes-Benz 770K Grosser Offener Tourenwagen – An Editorial on Historically Significant and Culturally Sensitive Motorcars

Mercedes-Benz 770K Offener Tourenwagen #189744. To be offered at the Scottsdale Auction presented by Worldwide Auctioneers on Wednesday, January 17, 2018.

For much of recorded history, wheeled vehicles have played an indispensable and inseparable role in the world’s most important events. Indeed, by their very use, whether in the service of good or evil, many vehicles correctly stand today as cultural and technological icons. Often, due to the deep emotions and stirring memories they invoke, many historic vehicles are recognized as truly significant historical artifacts, worthy of continued preservation in the impartial hands of conservators and of exhibition and interpretation by selective curators, for the education and enrichment of present and future generations.

Concrete examples are virtually countless in support of this hypothesis. Many surviving historic vehicles are inextricably linked to the world’s richest and most demanding owners, usually featuring advanced, world-beating engineering and prodigious capabilities that continue to amaze. Of course, they are also the dominion of political leaders ranging from the benevolent to the most fearsome and dangerous tyrants to ever walk the earth. Above all, a psychological, as well as a vehicular, purpose, is served by many great automobiles as grand projections of authority, and yes, even scientifically formulated mass control.

Nowhere in the automotive world is this type of political influence and social effect truer than in the case of this majestic, yet infamous 1939 Mercedes-Benz 770K Offener Tourenwagen (Open Touring Car), first used by Adolf Hitler, German Chancellor and Führer (leader) of the Third Reich from 1933 to 1945. That Hitler and his associates created their awful ideology and then organized and orchestrated The Holocaust is an indisputable matter of historical fact. That an estimated six million Jewish people were systematically identified, collected, transported, abused, and then horribly murdered in Nazi death camps is undeniable.

Why is this motorcar important and why are we offering it? Because it stands, and most importantly, continues to serve, as a singular piece of irreplaceable and priceless living history.

It did not choose its user or its use. People – with the fallibility and prejudices that are all too often part of human nature – were responsible for that. If the original Hitlerian provenance of this Mercedes-Benz 770K can be set aside, if only momentarily, the Mercedes-Benz 770 “Grosser,” or “Super Mercedes,” remains quite likely the world’s greatest achievement in terms of automotive design, engineering, and construction. These intrinsic virtues must, by necessity, be considered in any discussion of the vehicle, as well as the negatives.

Above all, the very survival and continued existence of this motorcar simply and eloquently serves to remind humankind today of the final and inevitable Allied victory and humankind’s triumph over the innumerable evils that Hitler and his Nazi party represented in their most virulent and destructive forms. In keeping with that vital message and mission, this singular Mercedes-Benz 770K remains in silent service, helping to ensure that the best qualities of human endeavor will forever overshadow the darkness of Hitler and the Nazis.

Already recognized for its immense and unmatched technical and historical significance, this Mercedes-Benz 770K continues to captivate and incite emotion in all who see and read about it. It can be reasonably stated that no other automobile is as widely recognized around the world. It has been viewed in the media, both in still photos and video, and in historical reference books virtually everywhere. Its life has been chronicled through its service during the war, and some 70 years beyond, where it has been in several displays and museums across the United States and more recently part of some very significant and very private collections. It is only proper that this incredibly important historical artifact should now be offered so that it may be used in a setting such as a public museum or collection, where it can be shown and used to continually educate present and future generations.

While much has been written of Hitler’s Mercedes-Benz limousines over many years, perhaps no other historian has followed this rare breed more closely than the late Mr. Ludwig Kosche, a German resident of Canada and a noted historian and librarian who spent much of his career at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, where an ex-Hermann Göring Mercedes-Benz 770K has resided since 1971. In correspondence with the vehicle on offer, Mr. Kosche’s description of these parade cars concludes with quite likely the most accurate summation of their place in history. “The purpose of this display is absolutely not to glorify Hitler and his destructive policies, no. It is to show you one of the outstanding cars of the century, built by gifted people, and representing the highest in craftsmanship. But it is also as a memorial to the fighting prowess of American soldiers that we take pride in displaying this showpiece of a fallen dictator. And above all, as a reminder that the evil which this car symbolizes, must never again be allowed to happen.”

*It should be noted that 10% of the sale price of this vehicle will be donated and used to educate how and why the Holocaust happened and how to effectively prevent such atrocities in the future.

Onsite and in-person viewings of this 1939 Mercedes-Benz 770K Grosser Offener Tourenwagen will be for accredited media representatives and registered bidders only, by appointment

All media inquiries should be directed to pr@worldwideauctioneers.com

All confidential buyer inquiries should be directed to Rod@worldwideauctioneers.com and John@worldwideauctioneers.com

Get Your Kicks on Route 66!

Martin Milner and George Maharis in a Route 66 publicity photo. Image by CBS (or Screen Gems) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Known variously as The Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America, or the Mother Road, Route 66 was once part of American’s early Interstate system linking Chicago to California. Today, it remains an indelible part of American culture and a universal symbol of freedom and adventure on the open road. Capturing the spirit of restless youth on the move, the Route 66 TV show debuted in 1960 and ran on CBS for several seasons, originally starring Martin Milner and George Maharis as pals Tod Stiles and Buz Murdock. For many viewers, however, the real star of the show was their ride, a 1960 Corvette roadster.

The Route 66 Corvette against a fitting backdrop. Public Domain image courtesy of http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Oltimer-Route-66-Supermarket-Sports-Car-Corvette-1639469

The old Route 66 was commissioned in 1926 and eventually bypassed by newer highways, finally being decommissioned as a federal highway by 1985. However, much like the first-generation Corvette used by Tod and Buzz, and the TV show it was named after, Route 66 never faded from the public consciousness.

According to an article posted today (November 16, 2017) on the Hemmings.com daily blog, the National Park Service studied Route 66 for possible National Historic Trail status as early as 1990, but decided against the measure, instead creating and administering the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program which runs until 2019. As mandated by the National Trails System Act of 1968, only an act of the U.S. Congress can bring new Historic National Trail designations into force, using three selection criteria: it must have historical and national significance, and there must be adequate potential for historic interpretation or recreational use by the public.

Congressional hearings were held this week to once again consider a renewal of Route 66, which would necessarily include uniform signage along its 2,400-mile length, plus interpretive panels for travelers to view on their journey. Cooperative agreements with local organizations could also be initiated. To that end, the Route 66 Road Ahead Initiative was established, headed by Bill Thomas, who testified at this week’s Congressional hearing on the matter. House bill H.R. 801 proposes to grant National Historic Trail status to Route 66, and a separate bill, H.R. 66, the Route 66 Centennial Commission Act, was tabled earlier this year and remains in subcommittee.

In the meantime, you can experience the flavor of the Route 66 experience for yourself and anywhere you choose to go with the multiple award-winning 1960 Chevrolet Corvette ‘Dual-Quad’ roadster we are offering at Scottsdale on January 17th! Sporting the matching 283-cid, 270-horsepower engine with dual 4-barrel carbs backed by a 4-speed transmission, it is a truly exceptional ‘C1’ Corvette with the right factory equipment and outstanding presence in every respect.

Learn more about it here and get ready to bid on it at our second annual Scottdale auction by calling us at 1-800-990-6789 or by clicking here. We look forward to seeing you at the first catalogue auction held during January’s famous Scottsdale auction week!

Glamour Time! Starring the 1966 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Drophead Coupe

A true motoring icon as sought-after today as when new, this 1966 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Drophead Coupe strikes a dramatic pose. The choice of movie icons, top celebrities, and the world’s richest buyers, it is one of our early feature consignments to our upcoming January 17, 2018, Scottsdale auction.

Aimed primarily at America’s famous and wealthy, the Silver Cloud III remains a stylistic icon and one of the all-time finest motorcars ever to come from Rolls-Royce. In fact, it’s cutting-edge styling, luxury, and impeccable engineering make it an ideal classic car for touring enjoyment today. In addition to the “standard” (if that term ever applied to a Rolls-Royce) Saloon, a limited number of coach built examples (328 on the normal-length chassis and 47 on the long-wheelbase chassis) also graced the Silver Cloud III chassis. While quite rare, the Drophead Coupe by H.J. Mulliner Park Ward is even more rare, with just 101 built in all. This example is one of just 52 produced with left-hand drive.

Debuted at the 1963 Earls Court Motor Show in London alongside the Silver Cloud III 2-door Saloon, the Drophead Coupe was coach built by H.J. Mulliner Park Ward. This special model retained the general design language used by Vilhelm Koren for the prior Silver Cloud II and Bentley S2, refined and modernized with a new canted four-headlamp arrangement harmonizing nicely with Rolls-Royce’s signature Greek Temple-inspired radiator shell up front. Now, as when new, the Silver Cloud III continues to epitomize style and luxury and marks the end of an era as the last Rolls-Royce model other than the Phantom VI limousine to utilize traditional body-on-frame construction.

Numbered LSC39C, this original U.S.-specification 1966 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Drophead Coupe is one of just 52 left-hand drive examples produced, according to the definitive book, “Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining,” by Davide Bassoli. A late-production, “Series C” car, it benefits from all the running updates applied to the Silver Cloud III chassis during its relatively brief production run. Additionally, the original details for LSC39C are listed by Lawrence Dalton in “Rolls-Royce: The Classic Elegance,” as well as copies of the original Rolls-Royce chassis card provided by the Rolls-Royce Foundation.

Built to order, LSC39C was delivered to H.J. Mulliner Park Ward to receive its special Style 2045 coachwork (Body No. Z.91) on October 11, 1965. On November 24, 1965, the chassis was tested by the Rolls-Royce factory, with UK Registration Number JGF34D. Following completion, LSC39C was shipped to Rolls-Royce Inc. in New York and then delivered via Ascot Imported Cars on April 4, 1966, to its first owner in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The original equipment was comprehensive, supplemented by a desirable FrigiKing air-conditioning system, most likely a dealer-installed option in period for year-round comfort. The glove box contains the original Owners Handbook, plus registration documents and a handwritten note by the original reading, “11-12-76 Installed all new muffler system 17,800 miles.” The next documented owner of LSC39C acquired the car on March 25,1991 at 37,870 miles. The Consignor, a longstanding Rolls-Royce Owner’s Club member, and marque collector acquired LSC39C in June 1993, using it only sparingly ever since.

As offered, LSC39C clearly benefits from proper care, maintenance, and storage. It retains the majority of its factory-original Valentines Smoke Green paint finish, with selective touch-ups as required. The luxurious interior, trimmed in Stone Connolly hides, remains almost entirely original except for a newer Blaupunkt AM/FM cassette head unit and speakers. Mounting plates for the factory-original radio remain with the car. An ideal purchase for the committed Rolls-Royce collector, this 1963 Silver Cloud III will provide its new owner with a great classic touring experience, as well as an ideal entry for the many shows, concours, and Rolls-Royce Owners Club events held worldwide. Get ready for our second annual Scottsdale auction, slated for January 17, 2018 and experience it for yourself! Register to bid by calling us at 1-800-990-6789 or by clicking here.