Zenop Tuncer, owner of Euro Tech Motors in Edgewater, N.J., specializes in sourcing and repairing classic cars for his customers. But when one client asked him to try to find a rare Mercedes, he got a bizarre piece of history, too.
Tuncer claims to have unknowingly purchased a Mercedes-Benz convertible made specifically for Adolf Hitler’s top generals. According to CBSNews.com, Tuncer went on an Internet search for a Mercedes-Benz 540K for customer Fred Daibes. He couldn’t find that particular make, but did land a 1942 Mercedes 320 Cabriolet D.
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When he started searching for needed parts, he contacted Mercedes with the serial number. A company representative asked if there was also an eagle with a swastika next to it. There was — although Tuncer told CBS that it was so small he didn’t see it at first.
Mercedes made eight of the convertibles specifically for Hitler’s staff. The one Tuncer found was painted in a flat black with patches covering where sirens and flag posts would have been, furthering the theory that this was a top general’s vehicle.
But while Tuncer says it was the automaker itself who first informed him of the car’s Nazi past, Mercedes won’t confirm the serial number and says the car is likely not what it seems to be. “This happens at least once a year,” Mercedes spokesperson Adam Paige told CBSNews.com. “Someone claims something that they think they have, to make something more of the vehicle.” Mercedes also cautions that it is unlikely the car was Hitler’s; the 320 Cabriolet D was considered a middle-class car and not one of the manufacturer’s luxury marques.
Either way, Daibes isn’t unhappy with the discovery. “It’s Hitler’s car, he’s a devil, but you know, he’s still part of history,” Daibes told WCBS. And even if Hitler never drove it, “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.”
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