Sometimes, in the History of the Automobile, are injustices that come from far behind, as happened to the founder of Renault. This time we have to go back to the burgeoning Nazi Germany before the outbreak of World War II. At that time much said “Deutschland über alles“, which means above all Germany.
One of the icons of German industry was the Mercedes-Benz 500K Roadster. It was a technological marvel, independent suspension at all four wheels, engine 5.0 L8 (online) with 160 hp, speed and comfort, convertible, luxury, etc. In short, a big car for rich people, the most expensive of the time.
At the time, Hans Friedrich Prym was an industrialist who had made money in Aachen (near Belgium). Manufactured buttons and zippers, and the profits of their work bought a 500K, but not just any, but a Spezial Roadster, of which there were only 29 units, with chassis number 105380. One day, stolen, in the closing stages of World War II.
To summarize some historical context, Germany was invaded from the north by the Soviets, and from France and the Netherlands by the Allies at first instance. The troops of General Maurice Rose went into Germany from Belgium, in March 1945. The Third Reich endured a little longer.
Hans Prym went to prison by order of the invaders, as so many Germans who had nothing to do with the conflict in the ground war. Their property was used by the U.S. military as a temporary base. When released from prison the car was gone.
The industry went into a rage when he learned, never imagined that they would be as spoils of war, but it did. His daughter is 84, lives in the U.S., and seeks to recover what justice is for your family. It’s closer to get it.
A real gem
Were produced 342 units 500K, of which only 29 such as Hans Prym. It is unknown what became of the car to the 70, and until recently was owned by a Dutch collector who paid him almost $ 3.8 million in Monterey (California) in 2011. For their small numbers and condition, this car is very popular in market history.
These cars go up in price each time they change hands. When the collector wanted to display at the Techno Classica in Essen (Germany) in March, had a complaint laid by Prym family, and the car was seized by court order. The collector was whiter than the side of the wheels.
First, a regional court in Hamburg said there was no evidence that the Allied soldiers had looted the property of Prym, but the car had been sold legally. Fortunately, sometimes the justice to correct, and considered legitimate claim of the family. Have not yet recovered, but are closer than ever to have him back.
As for the Danish collector, you will have to make do with garlic and water, you have to buy stolen property, though I doubt he imagined when he bought it. The value of the car can be around 4 million dollars today, if you never get rid of it, will grow in value. Hans Prym you can rest in peace.
The 500K could reach 160 km / h, and when he did, “only” consumed 30 l/100 km. The engine was supercharged with Roots compressor. That’s not all, also had laminated glass, hydraulic brakes, 12 volt electrical system with wiper, central locking, etc.
It was produced in Sindelfingen, where Mercedes factory remains today. The car was quite heavy, almost 2.7 tons, and was in two battles, the short (2.98 m) and long (3.29 m). To battle the Prym family has for 67 years. That is throwing patience.
Chronology of 500K with chassis number 105380
- February 6, 1935: the car leaves the production line in Sindelfingen
- 14 to 24 February 1935: Hall set out in Berlin
- March 22, 1935: the car dealer is sent to Aachen
- April 25, 1935: Hans Prym becomes the first owner of the car
- March 1945: the car disappears from the family farm
- 1976: the car is now Don Dickson, who has bought Russell Strauch
- 1988: Richie Clyne purchase the car at Dickson
- 1991: the car was completely restored in Saugus (California)
- August 2011: the family car goes to Frans van Haren Lyon
- March 2012: German police requisitioned the car during the Classica Roof
- May 2012: German court considered legitimate claim of the heirs of Prym