Dutch classic car collector Frans van Haren paid $3.8 million for a 77 year old Mercedes 500K Spezial Roadster. The regrets came when he tried to sell the rare car of which only 58 were built. When the car was offered for sale at last year’s Techno Classica car show in Essen, Germany, the car was impounded. Van Haren can kiss the car good-bye. A German court ruled that the car goes back to the estate of its erstwhile German owner.
According to Bloomberg, the car was stolen by U.S. soldiers at the end of World War II. Hans Prym, the owner of a manufacturer of clothing fasteners that earned him the title of “Zipper King” kept the car in Stolberg, close to the Belgian border. U.S. troops quartered at Prym’s Waldfriede estate absconded with the car. A court in Hamburg ruled that the soldiers had no title to the car, and that Prym’s grandchildren have a valid claim to the Mercedes.
Lawyers of the heirs will now file suit for the car’s return.