The Devil's Mercedes

The Bizarre and Disturbing Adventures of Hitler's Limousine in America

Author: Robert Klara

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 1466878584

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 9237

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In 1938, Mercedes-Benz began production of the largest, most luxurious limousine in the world. A machine of frightening power and sinister beauty, the Grosser 770K Model 150 Offener Tourenwagen was 20 feet long, seven feet wide, and tipped the scales at 5 tons. Its supercharged, 230-horsepower engine propelled the beast to speeds over 100 m.p.h. while its occupants reclined on glove-leather seats stuffed with goose down. Armor plated and equipped with hidden compartments for Luger pistols, the 770K was a sumptuous monster with a monstrous patron: Adolph Hitler and the Nazi party. Deployed mainly for propaganda purposes before the war, the hand-built limousines—in which Hitler rode standing in the front seat—motored through elaborate rallies and appeared in countless newsreels, swiftly becoming the Nazi party’s most durable symbol of wealth and power. Had Hitler not so thoroughly dominated the scene with his own megalomania, his opulent limousine could easily have eclipsed him. Most of the 770Ks didn’t make it out of the rubble of World War II. But several of them did. And two of them found their way, secretly and separately, to the United States. In The Devil’s Mercedes, author Robert Klara uncovers the forgotten story of how Americans responded to these rolling relics of fascism on their soil. The limousines made headlines, drew crowds, made fortunes and ruined lives. What never became public was how both of the cars would ultimately become tangled in a web of confusion, mania, and opportunism, fully entwined in a story of mistaken identity. Nobody knew that the limousine touted as Hitler’s had in fact never belonged to him, while the Mercedes shrugged off as an ordinary staff car—one later abandoned in a warehouse and sold off as government surplus—turned out to be none other than Hitler’s personal automobile. It would take 40 years, a cast of carnies and millionaires, the United States Army, and the sleuthing efforts of an obscure Canadian librarian to bring the entire truth to light. As he recounts this remarkable drama, Klara probes the meaning of these haunting hulks and their power to attract, excite and disgust. The limousines’ appearance collided with an American populous celebrating a victory even as it sought to stay a step ahead of the war’s ghosts. Ultimately, The Devil’s Mercedes isn’t only the story of a rare and notorious car, but what that car taught postwar America about itself.
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The Mercedes-Benz book

Author: Victor Boesen,Wendy Grad

Publisher: Book Sales

ISBN: N.A

Category: Science

Page: 202

View: 2249

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Traces the history and development of the Mercedes, offers profiles of Benz and Daimler, it's two creators, and looks at the German automobile's racing triumphs
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The Guinness book of the car

Author: Anthony Harding

Publisher: Guinness Media

ISBN: N.A

Category: Sports & Recreation

Page: 256

View: 8564

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Describes important developments in the history of automobiles, identifies top manufacturerers and race car drivers, and lists racing records
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Illustrated Encyclopedia of World Railway Locomotives

Author: P. Ransome-Wallis

Publisher: Courier Corporation

ISBN: 0486412474

Category: Transportation

Page: 512

View: 3516

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In this volume, noted Columbia University Professor of Architecture Cyril M. Harris offers a unique tour through the entire history of architecture: an extraordinary compendium of clear, concise definitions for over 5,000 important terms. This thoroughly accurate and comprehensive gathering of architectural knowledge is complemented by an unprecedented collection of over 2,000 line drawings that richly illustrate significant aspects of architectural styles. Unusual cutaway views, close-ups of intricate details, and precisely rendered plans show many of the greatest architectural achievements of all time. From ancient ruins to twentieth-century Modernism, the Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture covers the full spectrum of architecture's rise and development. Subject areas include the following periods: Ancient, Islamic, Greek and Hellenistic, Mesoamerican, Roman, Romanesque, Early Christian, Gothic, Renaissance, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, and Modern. This volume is an important research tool that places particular emphasis on clarity and accuracy. For the architect, artist, historian, student, teacher, or architecture enthusiast, this valuable guide offers indispensable information and lucid illustrations covering the whole of architecture.
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