Page last updated at 17:06 GMT, Monday, 23 November 2009

'Hitler's Mercedes' tracked down for Russia billionaire

Adolf Hitler (l) standing in a convertible Mercedes reviewing troops in 1937
Hitler used Mercedes convertibles when he reviewed German troops

A German antique car dealer claims he has tracked down a Mercedes convertible owned by Adolf Hitler.

The Dusseldorf-based dealer, Michael Froelich, says he found the car locked in a collector's garage.

He verified the ownership of the dark blue Mercedes 770K using the vehicle's original documents and old photos.

After the war, the car was sold in Austria, before being shipped to a car museum in Las Vegas, and then returning to Germany.

The German news agency, DPA, said the car weighs five tonnes because of its armour-plating - including bodywork in 18mm-gauge steel, and 4cm thick windows.

I checked with prosecutors... whether the deal was illegal. They raised no objections as long as there were no Nazi symbols visible
Michael Froelich

Antique car dealer

The agency said the car had been ordered in 1935 and was a familiar sight on newsreels showing the Nazi leader reviewing his troops.

The dealer, Michael Froelich, told the Cologne-based Express newspaper: "On Wednesday I got a tip-off whom it had been sold to. It belonged to a private collector and was in a garage in Bielefeld (in western Germany).

"I checked with prosecutors... whether the deal was illegal. They raised no objections as long as there were no Nazi symbols visible."

Mr Froelich claims he is working on behalf of an unnamed Russian billionaire who is also interested in buying several other cars which belonged to Nazi officials.

Press reports claimed Hitler's car itself was worth between four and 10m euros ($6-15m; £3.6-9m).

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