A 1941 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet B that once belonged to Hermann Goering has been discovered in North Carolina, following its capture at the end of the second world war.
The car was captured along with the Luftwaffe chief on May 4, 1945, as US and British troops entered the Nazi stronghold of Berchtesgaden, the site of Hitler's Berghof.
The car is loaded with special features, including a custom body for a raised back seat and parade platform. According to Mercedes, it was the last of its type ever made, with regular production ceasing in 1939.
The car was taken into the possession of the US military's Colonel Heintges following Berchtesgaden, who had it painted OD green with the army star on the hood. It remained in US-controlled Germany until the end of the occupation, when it was sold as surplus to a US army staff sergeant, who took it home with him.
It was then sold to Richard Taylor of North Carolina, with whom it has remained until now. In the late 1970s the car was sent for restoration but the work was never completed and the Mercedes is now in parts.
The car is now in the hands of High Velocity Classics Inc, a Florida-based organisation which is putting together a group of experts and investors to help restore the vehicle to concours quality.
It will then be shown at various national concours events, before eventually being passed to "a reputable museum or serious collector who understands and appreciates its great historical significance."
In 2009, Moscow Museum bought Hitler's Mercedes-Benz 770K, describing the purchase as "like sticking one finger up to Hitler."
Goering committed suicide in 1946, just hours before he was due to be executed for war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
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