On this day in auto history - January 6th

Wed 6th Jan 2021

It was on this day in 1973 that a Mercedes-Benz limousine - purportedly Adolf Hitler’s personal parade vehicle - became the most expensive car ever sold at a public auction.

In a sale which sent shockwaves around the world, the 1940 Mercedes 770K sedan fetched a then mammoth $153,000 from amusement park owner, Earl Clark, when advertised as the prize exhibit at a high-profile auction in Arizona.

The previous world record was the $90,000 spent by a hotel owner on securing a 1933 Duesenberg once driven by actress Greta Garbo.

Sporting a 230 bhp engine, extensive armour-plating and bulletproof glass, the specially-built Mercedes weighed a mighty five tonnes. The vehicle was taken from occupied Germany by the US Army in 1945 and had spent most of the intervening years on display in a Casino.

Even though it has never been proven the car in question was ever personally used by Hitler, it has changed hands in private sales since and has been owned by retired US general William Lyon since 1984.