A New Jersey real estate developer never expected that a simple car purchase would put him in a vehicle that was once used to transport an infamous dictator.
So imagine Fred Daibes' shock upon learning that a vintage Mercedes-Benz that was bought for him by a car repair shop owner once belonged to none other than Adolf Hitler.
- WWII British report: Hitler developed 'Jewish phobia'
- Swastikas sprayed on ancient synagogue near Jericho
- Art experts discuss recovering treasures looted by Nazis
"He was surprised," Zenop Tuncer, owner of Euro Tech Motors, told CBS News. "We were all surprised!"
According to the report, Daibes asked Tuncer to find him a Mercedes-Benz 540K. But Tuncer could only procure a 1942 Mercedes 320 Cabriolet D convertible, which Daibes agreed to buy.
Tuncer noted that the car looked like a military one; he even found patches covering what was once a place for a flag post and a siren. "It's definitely for a general," he told CBS.
When he contacted Mercedes-Benz in search for replacement parts, he was shocked to be told that the car belonged to the Nazi leader.
According to CBS, Mercedes-Benz custom made eight such vehicles for the Nazis.
'Car has a story'
The original owner did not know the car's history, and said that his grandfather brought the vehicle to the United States from Germany after the war.
Daibes said he paid $175,000 for the car a year ago, and has recently turned down an offer of $1.5 million.
"It's Hitler's car, he's a devil, but you know, he's still part of history," Daibes was quoted as saying. "From a financial point of view the car is worth more money than when I paid for it so that's the only way I look at it."
Tuncer seconded the sentiment.
"I would not touch the car," Tuncer stated. "I would keep it the original way. It has a story on it."
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop