Would You Keep Hitler’s Car or Destroy It?

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1939 Mercedes-Benz 770K Grosser Offener Tourenwagen

The deeds of the past will haunt lingering moments of the future, serving forever as a warning.

A car is a lifeless machine. A simple collection of gears, fluids, castings and cloth. But despite it’s completely inanimate nature, cars grasp at our souls and we lend them our thoughts and humanize them. It’s a car’s ability to transcend its own existence in a way that makes this particular Mercedes the most interesting, wonderful, terrifying, and haunting machine we have ever stumbled upon.

Hitler's Car at Auction

A 1939 Mercedes-Benz 770K Grosser Offener Tourenwagen. A proper relic of history, and a testament to some of the greatest engineering of the 20th century. This car is one of only five surviving Offener Tourenwagens, fitted with a 7.7-liter eight-cylinder, supercharged for maximum performance. It is the legacy of the automobile, encapsulated into a singularity by the company that created the original “horseless carriage.”

The car has no soul except that which we portray upon it, but can we prevent ourselves from portraying the soul of the evil man who once sat upon its leather seats?

But more than that, this machine carries the weight of the world’s greatest evil and atrocities. As the carrier Adolf Hitler, this rolling collection of engineering was part of the systematic cleansing and genocide of millions upon millions of human souls. Is it possible to separate the machine from the deeds of the man? The car has no soul except that which we portray upon it, but can we prevent ourselves from portraying the soul of the evil man who once sat upon its leather seats?

Collected as a spoil of war, used as a teaching tool to keep the painful memories of history alive, this car is being used in noble pursuits, but could you be the new owner of such a car? After staring, reading and thinking about this car and all it has scene, represented and lived through, we don’t know that we could willfully own it.

But if you are the type of person who can manage the conflict of where this car has been, you can take it home. It’s being auctioned off by Worldwide Auctioneers, and 10 percent of the sale price is going to be donated to further Holocaust education and history efforts.

Find out more about this car, its history, check out more information here.

UPDATE: After the auction, the car remains unsold. Bidding for the Mercedes-Benz reached $7 million, and post-auction negotiations continue between high bidder and the owner of the car. We will keep you posted.

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Christian Moe contributes to many of Internet Brands' Auto blogs, including Corvette Forum, Club Lexus and Rennlist.

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