The owner of a mysterious 1942 Mercedes 320 Cabriolet D believes the car may have been Hitler’s convertible. Others dispute the claim, but it may well have belonged to one of the German dictator’s generals.
Zenop Tuncer is the owner of Euro Tech Motors in Edgewater, N.J. He specializing in acquiring and repairing exotic and vintage cars for clients. CBS says that Tuncer was searching the Internet for a Mercedes-Benz 540K for Fred Daibes, one of his clients, when he came across the similar 320 Cabriolet D.
He took delivery of the car for $180,000. It ran well, but needed some work, so Tuncer contacted Mercedes-Benz in the hopes of scoring some vintage parts. When he read off the vehicle identification number, Tuncer could hear the excitement on the other end of the line. He was asked to check for a tiny swastika near the serial number, which he found.
Tuncer was then told that the car used to be the property of one Adolph Hitler of Germany.
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Later, Mercedes-Benz debunked the claim, however. Spokesman Adam Paige told CBS:
“This happens at least once a year. Someone claims something that they think they have, to make something more of the vehicle.”
Property of Hitler’s general
Eight of the Mercedes convertibles were made specially for Hitler’s staff. However, Hitler himself rode in a top-of-the-line Mercedes 770. The car most likely belonged to one of his generals, says the automaker. It is only certain, however, that it did not belong to Gestapo chief Reinhard Heydrich, whose car was bombed in an assassination attempt.
So how did the creepy convertible make its way to New Jersey? According to Daibes, it was smuggled to America in a ship’s cargo hold by an Navy veteran after the war. Supposedly he kept in in a basement until recently, when his son sold the vehicle to Diabes.
Banking on notoriety
But the new owner is sticking with the story. Diabes told CBS:
“It’s Hitler’s car, he’s a devil, but you know, he’s still part of history. From a financial point of view the car is worth more money than when I paid for it, so that’s the only way I look at it.”
And Diabes is also holding out for the big bucks. Reportedly, he has already turned down an offer of $1.5 million for the Mercedes.