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Eva Braun's Mercedes


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I do not know that Dillinger ever "owned" a car?  He possessed more than a few, assuredly, but they were purloined, were they not?

 

Good point.

And even if he did buy a car, wouldn't it be with stolen money?

I doubt that he had an honest day job.

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I believe it was neither of the Porsche's.  Hans Ledwinka, designer of the Tatra 87 was captured by the German forces and put to work at efficiently designing 'The People's car' 

 

Craig

The peoples car ( The VW Beetle) was already designed before the war and his capture, but we are not talking about that car. We are talking about the type 62 that morphed into the Type 82.

Edited by helfen (see edit history)
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This was the first car in Antarctica

One hundred years ago yesterday — December 14th, 1911 — Roald Admundsen and his team of Norwegian explorers became the first humans to reach the South Pole, pulled by sled dogs. But it wasn't until 1963 that the first production car landed on Antarctic shores, a mostly-stock VW Beetle known as "the Red Terror." This is its story.

The first unsuccesful attempts at bringing automobiles to Antarctica were a 1907 Arrol-Johnston and a 1927 Austin 7. Both cars lacked roofs and were remarkably unsuccessful on the frozen continent even after extensive modification (the former was so bad it frequently injured the men trying to repair it).

For the next few decades dogs and motorized sleds were the dominant modes of transport for Antarctica's explorers and later scientists.

By the 1960s, however, it was clear that dogs were on the way out in Antarctica, but the only motorized alternatives were expensive tracked vehicles. Roy McMahon, appointed in December 1962 to lead a year-long expedition for the Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition (ANARE) saw an opportunity when it came time for him to choose what vehicles to take to Australia's Mawson Station.

McMahon went to Volkswagen of Australia and asked for a free car. McMahon knew that an Antarctic Volkswagen would be a great PR opportunity for VW's new Australian-built Beetles, and they decided to let McMahon pick a Ruby Red sedan off the production line. In less than three months and with only a few hundred miles on the odometer, the car disembarked off of the icebreaker Nella Dan onto Antarctica, where it was immediately dubbed "the Red Terror."

Since the Bug was air-cooled, it had no coolant to freeze, though it needed kerosene-thin oil to stay lubricated in the -62F temperatures in which the car drove. The only modifications to prepare the car were the standard changes VW gave their cars for Northern Europe and a set of "Antarctica 1" plates.

The car faced a bleak landscape: no roads, regular -40F temperatures, and week-long blizzards. Winds, even, put the car to the test.

[Winds]up to 100 mph which more than once turned the doors inside out, overriding the door check-rods and folding the doors against the front hub caps.

Aside from having to straighten out the doors every so often, the only trouble the car had in its 12 months and almost 1,500 miles on Antarctica was that the frame head where the front torsion bars are attached to the floor pan regularly cracked over the wind-rutted ice, snow and exposed rock that defined its driving environment.

In one of his monthly reports back to VW of Australia, McMahon praised the car's ability to handle the terrain.

ON THIS TRIP ICE SLOPES, SNOW FIELDS AND CREVASSED HILLS WERE ENCOUNTERED BUT NO WORRY TO THE ‘RED TERROR'. THE FINAL APPORACH TO FISCHER IS A VERY STEEP SNOW SLOPE WHICH WAS TOUGH GOING DUE TO SINKING INTO THE SNOW, BUT VW MADE IT TO THE TOP.

Some of his cables just speak to how bizarrely wonderful it must have been to drive a car, a bright red car, over the frost-bound landscape for the first time.

HAVE PLEASURE STATING DROVE VOLKSWAGEN TO RUMDOODLE. PERFORMANCE EXCELLENT. INDEED HAPPY MOTORING. McMAHON

That's Rumdoodle airstrip, which the Red Terror visited many times. The bug regularly ferried people and equipment back and forth over the twelve miles between the airstrip and Mawson station. The record time between the base and Rumdoodle was 50 minutes, which gives you a sense of how rough Antarctic terrain is, and why the frame head kept breaking. The car also let the scientists take excursions from base camp out for research, and when the harbor would freeze over and the weather was good, the car pulled skiers and took people out on Sunday drives over the sea ice.

When the car finally made it back to Australia in 1964, VW took the car back, but rather than let it sit in some museum, as one might expect of an eminently historic, scientific vehicle, they took it on the 1964 BP Rally around Australia. The Red Terror won outright! Needless to say, VW promoted the hell out of their little PR masterpiece, and they even put together this short movie from the 1,000 feet of film VW had given McMahon back in December 1962.

Historic as the car may appear, its current whereabouts are unknown. After admittedly "drinking too much schnapps" a group of Australian VW enthusiasts set out an extensive search to find the car in 2002. That search turned up nothing.

If you happen to find a red VW Bug with some curious stickers on its doors please drop us an email.

Edited by helfen (see edit history)
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How about this one;

On December 20, 1922 the New York Times reported4 that automobile manufacturer Henry Ford was financing Adolph Hitler's nationalist and anti-Semitic movements in Munich. Simultaneously, the Berlin newspaper Berliner Tageblatt appealed to the American Ambassador in Berlin to investigate and halt Henry Ford's intervention into German domestic affairs. It was reported that Hitler's foreign backers had furnished a "spacious headquarters" with a "host of highly paid lieutenants and officials." Henry Ford's portrait was prominently displayed on the walls of Hitler's personal office:

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That Henry Ford was fiercely antisemitic, anti-union, anti-Edsel, anti-everything that was not his idea is no secret.

How the Dodge Brothers managed to implement "suggested" design changes to Ford to which he grudgingly gave the nod is beyond, pretty much, everyone.

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This post has diverged delightfullym, so here is ten cents more. Eva's car was a much more appropriate Horch coupe with beautiful styling, which she probably never drove, and seldom sat in. With Berlin being reduced to rubblem, it was just too decadent for even the Nazi Nana to ber seen in. Precursor to the people.s car was a creature called Hanomag. I do not think it was a Porsche creation.

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This post has diverged delightfully, so here is ten cents more. Eva's car was a much more appropriate Horch coupe with beautiful styling, which she probably never drove, and seldom sat in. With Berlin being reduced to rubble, it was just too decadent for even the Nazi Nana to ber seen in. Precursor to the people.s car was a creature called Hanomag. I do not think it was a Porsche creation.

Audi was going to revive the Horch name and apply it to an ultra-luxury car to compete with the Maybach in the 2000's (when it was a standalone marque).  That plan got indefinitely on hold when DBAG pulled the plug on Maybach as a separate entity.  Here is a 1940 Horch I posted here: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?46454-Orphan-of-the-Day-11-27-1940-Horch

 

Craig

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I believe it was neither of the Porsche's.  Hans Ledwinka, designer of the Tatra 87 was captured by the German forces and put to work at efficiently designing 'The People's car'

 

Porsche was the designer of the first VW, but it has long been argued that he stole the concept from Hans................... and his Tatra

 

 

 

Concerning Eva Brauns car, as a teenager, I remember reading an article where Hitler had the Mercedes gold plated and presented to her for her birthday. So true, that is not the car

 

so where might the gold plated Braun car be?

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I believe it was neither of the Porsche's.  Hans Ledwinka, designer of the Tatra 87 was captured by the German forces and put to work at efficiently designing 'The People's car'

 

Porsche was the designer of the first VW, but it has long been argued that he stole the concept from Hans................... and his Tatra

 

 

 

Concerning Eva Brauns car, as a teenager, I remember reading an article where Hitler had the Mercedes gold plated and presented to her for her birthday. So true, that is not the car

 

so where might the gold plated Braun car be?

As I said before, the Beetle or Peoples cars was efficiently finished in 1938. As you will recall the war started in 1939. You make it sound like Ledwinka was a prisoner of the Germans, that doesn't add up because after the war Ledwinka was imprisoned by the allies for six years for collaboration with the Germans.

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So when this topic started some people commented that they wouldn't cross the street to see the car. This topic has got quite a number of views as well as comments for such a short time being posted. I would like to see the car if possible but I don't need to know the history of ownership of it.

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This is one of those subjects that is fraught with ludicrous conjecture and idiotic old wive's tales. The notion that Hitler would have given his mistress a flamboyant (i.e. attention grabbing) automobile is just plain silly. Actually, his relationship with Eva Braun was kept secret — even from many of his own immediate circle of advisors and no ordinary Germans knew anything about it. Anything that would have drawn attention to it would have been ruthlessly suppressed. To a much greater extent than any of the allied heads of state, Hitler was terrified of popular opinion turning against him and presented a very carefully created public persona (presided over by his evil genius, Joseph Goebbles). A live-in girlfriend was not part of the picture.

 

Also, Hitler certainly didn't know how to drive and I very much doubt Eva did, so they could never travel without a chauffeur. When she was allowed to accompany Hitler, Eva always traveled in a separate car with the secretarial staff, her presence thus disguised from the general public. She was never seen in public with Hitler and usually had to retreat to her private quarters when Hitler was entertaining foreign, or even German guests who were not part of his immediate circle (which did not include most of the high-ranking Nazis).

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Sometimes one must separate the art from the artist.

Henry Ford was very selective WHO was going to buy a Continental Mark II when it first came out in 1956.  Seems he did not want known gangsters to be among the ownership of one.

 

Cadillac faced that problem in the early 2000's when a high proportion of their SUV's were purchased by rappers and often seen in their music videos, and made more than a few moms who pulled up in front of the fitness center in one with their kids inside a little uncomfortable.

 

Craig

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Henry Ford was very selective WHO was going to buy a Continental Mark II when it first came out in 1956.  Seems he did not want known gangsters to be among the ownership of one.

 

 

 

Craig

 

That must have been a neat trick since Henry Ford died in 1947. 

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That must have been a neat trick since Henry Ford died in 1947. 

Yes, the first one did, but the second one died in 1987.  Indeed, it was the second Henry who was selective on who could buy a Mark II.

 

Craig

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  • 3 years later...

Sometime in the mid-seventies, when I was twenty something, the "Eva Braun most valuable car in the world" showed up in an Alabama shopping mall where I was working. I thought the 540K was the most beautiful car I had ever seen, and bought the story without reserve. (The machine gun in the back seat was a nice touch.) The car was kept behind a curtain, and to be allowed to go inside interested parties were required to donate a buck (I think) to some probably bogus charity. I let the guy accepting the so-called donations to use the bathroom in my store in return for unlimited access to the gorgeous old Merc, and within a couple of days we had become chums of sorts. So, when the time came for "Eva's" car and my new friend to move on, he invited me to drive the priceless antique through the mall and outside to its hauler. I jumped at the chance, of course. Sadly, however, the old car wouldn't start, so I wound up just steering while the guy and a couple of volunteers pushed it. Much to my horror, when I tried to get out, the door handle of the "Most Valuable Car in the World" broke off in my hand. I don't remember this causing much trouble, but I sure wish I had kept that broken handle

 

 

  

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