By on October 1, 2015

Hitler_s

How do you feel about Hitler’s cars? No, I’m not talking about the KdF Wagen, aka VW Beetle, or its wartime variants like the Kübelwagen and Schwimmwagen. I’m talking about the cars more personally associated with the dictator and mass murderer, like his parade and armored cars that find their way into collections and museums.

I’ll get to der Fuhrer’s automobiles in a paragraph or two, but on the way there, I’m first going to discuss someone very stupid.

Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) tried to make a fuss about presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) having a fundraiser in the Dallas area home of Harlan Crow. Wasserman Schultz publicized the fact that Crow owns some Nazi and Hitler artifacts, implying that Crow and Rubio were somehow sympathetic to the Third Reich. The fact that the event took place on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, the focus of the Jewish “days of awe” (the High Holidays), according to the Florida congresswoman, was further demonstration of Mr. Rubio’s supposed insensitivity to Jewish concerns. What Wasserman Schultz didn’t say was that the Nazi artifacts are part of Crow’s extensive historical collection that also includes authentic memorabilia of Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower, among other world leaders and historic figures.

This post isn’t really about politics so I’ll dispense with Wasserman Schultz’s attempt to pander to Jewish voters with just my impression that she seems far more concerned with a long dead Jew-hater than she is with the living ones in Iran with whom she supports entreating. Since she was appealing to Jews, I will say that as a strongly identifying and practicing (albeit less than perfectly) Jew, I find Ms. Wasserman Schultz’s stupidity to be deeply embarrassing. It’s not because of her political stances as I can cite plenty of Republicans with only double digit IQs. It simply distresses me that such a profoundly stupid individual of any political ideology, ethnicity or religious faith could rise to a position of power in the U.S. government. I personally know many and by reputation know of many more exceptionally smart Jewish women, including quite a few brilliant ones. Plenty of them are politically left wing. They’d embarrass Debbie in a debate. The average IQ among Ashkenazi Jews is about 110, one standard deviation shifted to the right side of the bell curve. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s intellect undoubtedly resides somewhere on the left side of that curve. Very ambitious and full of guile, but not very smart. Just smart enough to repeat talking points off of a teleprompter, almost.

One example of that stupidity is that she doesn’t see the difference between archiving artifacts of history and endorsing the views that some of those artifacts represent. Giving her the benefit of the doubt, though, perhaps she’s not quite that stupid and is just deliberately confusing someone’s interest in history and its artifacts with endorsing retrograde beliefs so she can smear her political opponents with a Godwin violation. Since I generally prefer to presume stupidity before malice, I’m not sure that’s an improvement over idiocy, though.

Actually, I am kind of glad Rep. Wasserman Schultz exposed us to her idiocy because it’s a fine excuse for me to discus a topic prompted by a recent visit to a private museum. I was in Illinois for a book project and when I found out that I wasn’t going to be far from the Historic Auto Attractions, I arranged with collector Wayne Lensing for a visit. Most of what I knew about Lensing was that he once owned the Tucker parts that have been assembled into Tucker #52, and that he currently owns inventor Bruce Mohs’ Ostentatienne Opera Sedan and one of Mohs’ SafariKars. Marty Densch’s articles on Mohs and his cars are among the most popular on my Cars In Depth website. Bruce Mohs was a great character and his completely outrageous cars make a great story. I knew that I had to see them in person.

What I didn’t know was that Lensing, who has done well selling short track racing chassis and other racing parts with his companies, Lefthander Chassis & Performance Parts Supply, has a great love of (mostly) American history and culture, and he has gathered together a large and diverse collection of items that reflect his interests. If you’re in the general Chicago area, it’s worth the drive of an hour or two. In addition to the obligatory gangster and movie cars (including at least one Batmobile that’s real enough that the movie studio contractually has right of first refusal and can tell Lensing how he can promote it), he has a lot of cool, authentic stuff like Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh’s actual wardrobes from Gone With The Wind. Not all of the items are real, however, though most are. When I asked him if his Family Truckster was a real movie car, he smiled and said, “Well, George Barris autographed it.” The vast majority of the artifacts in the museum are, in fact, authentic and well documented.

King-of-Siam_s

One of Lensing’s interests is the topic of U.S. presidents and world leaders. He owns a Daimler limousine used by Britain’s royal family, the former king of Siam’s 1928 Delage limousine with its Garuda hood ornament, and Evita Peron’s Rolls-Royce.

Evita-Peron_s

The museum has a section devoted just to White House furnishings. Lensing also has a number of presidential limousines, both official and privately used, like Ronald Reagan’s official armored Cadillac and LBJ’s stretched Continental used to ride around his ranch. There are also a number of cars related to John F. Kennedy. I don’t think Lensing would mind being called a presidential assassination buff because sections of the museum are devoted to both Kennedy’s killing and artifacts from Abraham Lincoln’s presidency and murder. The Kennedy room includes a replica of the Lincoln Continental death car, one of the official state Cadillac limousines that was in the Dallas parade, along with the Checker taxicab Lee Harvey Oswald used as a getaway car, and the ambulance that carried Kennedy’s killer to the hospital after he was himself shot by Jack Ruby. Lensing even has the veil Jackie Kennedy wore to her husband’s funeral mass.

Reagan-limo_s

When you’re a collector on Lensing’s level, you don’t just troll through eBay, hoping to bid on an item here or there. You try to buy complete lots. A number of his items were acquired when existing large collections were divested. That’s how he bought many of the wax characters in some of his displays. Years ago, the Imperial Palace Casino in Las Vegas put together a great car collection that included, if I’m not mistaken, the largest single collection of Duesenbergs ever amassed. When that collection was sold, Lensing acquired three cars associated with the 20th century’s most notorious dictators: Joseph Stalin’s 1937 V12 Packard, Benito Mussolini’s 1939 Lancia Astura parade car, and Adolph Hitler’s six-wheeled 1939 Mercedes G4 staff car.

Stalin-Packard_s

Lensing’s no fan of those bad guys; he’s a history buff. The display containing those cars also has huge blowups of newspaper headlines about the war and its aftermath. Original surrender documents from both Japan and Germany are part of the collection. He has items from Allied leaders like one of FDR’s secret service cars and artifacts relating to Winston Churchill (yes, I know Stalin was one of the Allies, but his car is in the dictators’ alcove).

Mussolini_s

Lensing didn’t get to own all that stuff from being naive. To protect himself from people who are Wasserman Schultz level stupid, as you enter the alcove with the dictators’ cars, you pass a small sign with a disclaimer indicating that they are there for historical purposes and no endorsement is implied. The museums website states, concerning the Hitler staff car, “This car is on display as part of a collection for historical purposes only. Historic Auto Attractions in no way condones the ideas or actions of the Nazi party.”

FDR-Car_s

I’m a museum buff and I think that the Shoah was one of the pivotal events of the 20th century, but I’m not a big fan of redundant Holocaust museums. A few are elementally important. There’s Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, a life changing experience. There’s also the federal government’s Holocaust museum in Washington D.C. and the Jewish Museum of Prague that maintains a massive collection of Jewish artifacts stolen by the Nazis. However, I’m not convinced that every community needs to have an official Holocaust museum or memorial. The best memorials are Jewish children and grandchildren. Ultimately, Jewish schools are more important than Holocaust museums. There is a need, however, if only to rebut the deniers, to archive the artifacts. If that means multiple and somewhat redundant museums, so be it.

It goes both ways. If it’s important to archive the concentration camp inmates’ striped uniforms, the same goes for leather coats and death’s head lapel pins worn by the SS — and the automobiles they drove, too.

That being said, there is a line to be drawn, at least in my mind. Things can be placed in proper historical context without glorifying them. The first time I ever tried to be published on the topic of cars was a letter that I sent to the editors of Car and Driver back in 1996, not long after perestroika and glasnost and Reagan, Thatcher and John Paul II helped push the USSR to collapse in 1991. The folks on Hogback Road had published a two-part series about a cloak and dagger effort to recover one of “Hitler’s” cars, one of the 20 Mercedes-Benz 540Ks the Fuhrer ordered armor plated in the wake of the 1941 Prague assassination of SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich. It’s one of three that are known to exist today.

Mercedes-540K-Armoured-Car-Bonhams-2

An Estonian farmer had somehow come into possessing it, hoping to use it in a tractor project. However, fearing that the communists would destroy anything associated with the Fascist leader, or just seize it as a war trophy, and later worried that the Russian mafia had gotten wind of something valuable, he dismantled it and dispersed the parts — even apparently burying some of them — in six different barns.

Mercedes-540K-Armoured-Car-Bonhams-3

A wealthy American car enthusiast had gone to the former USSR, looking for interesting collectibles and eventually ended up finding the 540K. At first, the farmer was firmly in “not for sale” mode, but throwing in guaranteed acceptance and paid-for tuition at an international English language school in the United States for his daughter sealed the deal. They ended up using two different airplanes to move all of the components (plus a vintage British postal van and an old Fiat 500) to Finland for transshipment to the U.S., constantly worried about corrupt officials — or worse, the Russian mob.

Mercedes-540K-Armoured-Car-Bonhams-5

At the time of publication, the Car and Driver article, which in retrospect was salted with deliberate misinformation to protect the collector’s identity, said that a full restoration was planned.

That’s what prompted my letter to Car and Driver. I told them that archiving the car was important, but that because it was an artifact of genocide, a tool of the mass murderers, restoring it would be like restoring John Wayne Gacy’s freezer. (The letter was never published.)

As it turned out, the armored Benz was never restored. It stayed in storage in Connecticut for two decades and was auctioned off for $770,603 (inclusive of commissions) by Bonham’s in 2014, still mostly disassembled as found in Estonia. You can read a comprehensive story of the car’s history here.

Wayne Lensing didn’t restore his Hitler car. Like the other dictators’ cars in his collection, it was already restored when he bought it from the Imperial Palace collection. Whatever condition those cars are in, however, they’re undeniably historical artifacts, not endorsements. If owning historical artifacts makes Harlan Crow and Wayne Lensing Nazi sympathizers, what does that make your great uncle, the 91-year-old Airborne veteran, who has a Wehrmacht helmet that he retrieved from a German soldier he had a hand in killing, sitting on his fireplace mantle?

Photos courtesy of Historic Auto Attractions and Bonham’s.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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128 Comments on “Hitler’s Cars – Collectibles or Artifacts of Mass Murder?...”


  • avatar

    When people can’t prosecute criminals, they tend to focus on the method of implementation.

    If I leave a gun lying on the floor, curse at it, call it racist names and spit on it…it can’t load itself and kill me.

    Cars, as far as I know, aren’t inherently capable of evil.

    The problem is that humans glorify the items of famous people…and infamous people.

    “The Spear of Destiny”

    “The gun that killed Trayvon Martin”.

    “The rifle that killed JFK”.

    “The bullet that killed Abraham Lincoln”.

    Hitler’s real legacy is built into Volkswagon. 1 Million years from now, when people mention “VW” they’ll mention “Hitler”.

    Anything even related to Hitler is automatically a priceless piece of history.

    The question really is: why do humans glorify the reprehensible???

    Perhaps the answer is in “inherent value”.

    If I buy up the most infamous killing tools in history, I could start my own museum, where my items would hold my value and my investment would only appreciate. Totally unlike the “stock market” which is really nothing more than government manipulation via socialist governments, a tool of crony capitalism and completely overtaxed by capital gains taxes – thereby making investment for most, untenable.

    That ends this morning’s Bigtruckseries words of wisdom.

    AND NOW BACK TO CAPS LOCK AND HELLCAT.

    • 0 avatar
      RangerM

      People seem to naturally imbue objects (read: idols) with their former owners’ qualities.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m Black.

        If I put a Confederate Flag on top of an Orange HELLCAT CHARGER with SEVEN-HUNDRED-AND-SEVEN HORSEPOWER…

        …would that make me a racist?

        Or is a prerequisite of “racism” me being White?

        If an Asian drives it – does that make him a racist?

        NO.

        People develop Pavlovian responses to items, objects and idols.

        If you took all of Hitler’s items and burned them, you’d only deprive the future generations of knowledge of the past.

        Those who choose to ignore the past – or are ignorant of it are doomed to repeat it.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          That’s like asking whether displaying a swastika on my car would make me a Jew hater.

          As I’m Jewish, it’d just make me really, really stupid.

          • 0 avatar

            Or Buddhist…

            google.com/search?q=indian+kid+with+swastika&safe=strict&espv=2&biw=1280&bih=685&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMIxcvwurmhyAIVxBU-Ch3kTQvz#imgrc=5x_x-Ricca1-1M%3A

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I’m sure Hitler was going all OMMMMMMMMMMM when he commandeered the swastika!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The swastika is an ancient sun symbol which is why it was appropriated. Pagan beliefs for centuries involved sun worship. NSDAP/SS ideology grew from Norse myths, the pagan fictions of Guido von List, and is generally steeped in mysticism. There are also ancient occult aspects to worship or belief in the sun.

            “It has been used by the Phoenicians as a symbol of the Sun”

            http://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends/symbol-swastika-and-its-12000-year-old-history-001312

            “Quoting the book Secret Doctrine by H. P. Blavatsky, it states that worship of the dragon and the sun were universal on the earthplane. “The tradition of the Dragon and the Sun is echoed in every part of the world.…There was a time when the four parts of the world were covered with the temples sacred to the Sun and the Dragon: but the cult is now preserved mostly in China and the Buddhist countries (p. 378-9, V. II).” The dragon, however, is not the middle age concept of a beast with wings breathing fire, but is, in reality, a snake.”

            http://occult-advances.org/nc-prophecy-lucifer-fallen-angel.shtml

            http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/lithathesummersolstice/p/SunWorship.htm

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norse_religion

        • 0 avatar
          VW16v

          The issues with Crow is more related his racist history. And Rubio having a fund raiser at his home gathers up those right wing extremist votes. Sorry, the majority of the right extremists are racist. Meaning they hate Jews and any race not white.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            If there were any evidence whatsoever of this guy having a racist history, you think that the progressive activists calling him a Nazi for collecting cars would have left that out?

            It’s not the militaria collectors in this country leading the charge to divest from Israel.

            http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4631809,00.html

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            Harlan Crow is a racist? Any proof, or are you just guessing and letting your political beliefs sully common sense?

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            ” Sorry, the majority of the right extremists are racist.”

            Lol. Right wingers tend to be deeply religious, and being racist is at odds with that. Just because SOME people are racist and make asses of themselves does NOT mean they represent a majority.

            Either you are quite ignorant or are purposely being obtuse. Either way, youre doing a fine job of doing everything you pretend to be agsinst. Liberals preach that people should be non-judgemental, yet if they come in contact with a white man with a heavy southern accent, they immidiately judge him to be racist and stupid. They preach acceptance and understsnding, and in the same breath they paint all people on the right with the same brush and stick their fingers in their ears when someone comes up with a different opinion or solution. They are quick to assume that “the majority” of people on the right are Jew haters, and in the same breath say opine that Iran should have nukes despite the fact that they have stated over and over again that their intention is to wipe Isreal off the map. They (namely Code Pink and other similar groups) often voice support (in the name of acceptance) for those who regularly murder Christisans, Jews, gay people and others they consider in a similar light as the Nazis did. They wont accept someone who lives in Alabama or Mississippi because of their ignorant assumptions about them, but they voice support for those who would like nothing more than to destroy them in the most violent way possible. Its okay to build a mosque but not a Christisan church. Its okay to celebrate Muslim holidays, but if you happen to say “Merry Christmas” instead of “happy holidays”, youre forcing your views upon them and must be stopped. Its quite alright to use a offensive and homophobic term (“teabaggers”) in refrence to someone they dont like, then in the same notion also refer to those same people as homophobic, racist, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            George B

            VW16V, I seriously doubt that Harlan Crow is a racist. The main political controversy associated with Harlan Crow involved his close personal friendship with Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas. Harlan Crow is heavily involved in Club for Growth and American Enterprise Institute. He’s a fiscal conservative who supports capitalism and opposes communism.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “Sorry, the majority of the right extremists are racist”

            Every single person in this country is racist including you, so stop the holier than thou sh*t.

          • 0 avatar
            VW16v

            The US Department of Homeland Security defines right-wing extremism as hate groups who target racial, ethnic or religious minorities and may be dedicated to a single issue. The phrase is also used to describe support for ethnic nationalism.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            That’s some frightening ignorance right there. “1984” was a how-to book.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            It’s hilarious to watch him hang himself every couple weeks.

          • 0 avatar
            VW16v

            Not my fault the truth pisses so many people off. I think some people get confused with Right Wing Extremists and being a member of the Republican party. Hope people know and see the difference.

          • 0 avatar

            I have to say, as a liberal Democratic Jew, I don’t know that the majority of right wing extremists are racist. I’m going to operate on the assumption that they are not, because I think it poisons the political discourse to assume bad things about political opponents. Furthermore, I know that critics of one policy or another use slurs to tar their opponents, rather than discussing the actual policy issues, when it is those issues that matter in political discourse.

          • 0 avatar
            VW16v

            Kinda like if someone does not like the facts. They cry ” liberal media biased” or ” fox activitist news channel “. But underneath the extreme right wing. Equals racist views.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      Some people admire power and they want to get close to that power. Standing next to Hitler’s car might do it for some folks.

      I look at these machines as what they are – interesting machines. I don’t admire the people that owned them or rode in them. However these machines are presented to the viewer with all the political garbage that came from their owners.

      That might be good b/c it will remind some to remember the massive murders that these people caused.

      For others it will be a shrine to these megalomaniacs – with treasures and political symbols all around.

      I recommend we continue to stare at these artifacts and remember the terrible things all these men did during their time in power. Each one used war (and all the crimes that word contains) and death to achieve their goals.

  • avatar

    I think this article has a way too political theme. Place it somewhere else.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      Yeah, plus Wasserman’s pretty hot.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      Unless I missed something, the whole point of the article is that you really shouldn’t mix politics with historical artifacts?

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Agreed…and it’s at least three… three massively right wing rants in one!

      We get a right-of-Genghis-Khan screed about the International-Iran nuclear negotiations, a kiss toward Netanyahu with a corollary counter-swat at Schultz as some sort of self-hating Jew, AND an endorsement of Bloom’s sad excuse of book, ‘The Bell Curve.’

      Tune in to Ronnie Schreiber next week for why “Eric Garner Posed A Clear & Present Danger To U.S. Citizens Everywhere.”

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff Waingrow

        DW, I’m not always on the same page as you, but here I think you got it just about right. Ronnie’s a brilliant guy who does deep research, as shown here and in his many other posts. I respect that a great deal. So it saddens me when he interjects his politics so nakedly into his otherwise praiseworthy pieces. His articles often betray an underlying anger that I find unsettling. I think he might do a bit of soul-searching and examine his motivations. And perhaps remove some of the bile.

      • 0 avatar
        jimbob457

        Sen. Schumer is to the right of Genghis Khan? It is wrong to admire the Prime Minister of Israel? Disparaging the utterly despicable Rep. Debbie who voted to throw Israel under the bus is wrong?

        I have to agree with your evaluation of The Bell Curve, even though you don’t know who wrote it. I didn’t think much of Bloom’s book either.

        I suppose even a broken clock is right twice a day.

      • 0 avatar

        It’s right wing to point out that genocidal Jew haters in Iran are genocidal Jew haters?

        I don’t believe that I even referenced the Israeli prime minister. If I was an Israeli citizen, I wouldn’t necessarily vote for Likud (though they’re certainly not the boogeymen the international left likes to make them out to be). Binyamin Netanyahu (I’m waiting for news anchors that roll every L and R in a Spanish surname to be able to pronounce BeenYahMeen) has a long way to go to reach the moral stature of Menachem Begin, a man of great rectitude, but I’m sure that Begin would agree with him about Iran. I admire greatly Begin’s completely unapologetic stance (his press conference after Israel bombed the Osirik reactor in Iraq is a gem).

        I’m not sure that the term “self hating Jew” is actually an accurate description of those who deserve the appellation. It’s other Jews they hate. Once it was religious ostjuden, today it’s those who don’t genuflect to leftist pieties.

        Wasserman Schultz isn’t even smart enough to be a self hating Jew.

        Bloom? You’re mixing up your right wing boogeymen. The Bell Curve was written by Charles Murray and the late Richard Herrnstein.

        The statistics on Ashkenazi IQs are what they are. Wasserman Schultz is still an idiot.

        Eric Garner was the victim of big government that likes to criminalize everything, even selling loose cigarettes. If Eric Garner voted, he likely voted for the same party supported by the labor union of the police officers who killed him.

        Meanwhile, four dozen Secret Service agents violate privacy laws and an assistant Secret Service director instructs agents to release embarrassing information about a congressman. I won’t hold my breath waiting for the Holder/Lynch DoJ to investigate, let alone prosecute.

        • 0 avatar

          >>>Binyamin Netanyahu (I’m waiting for news anchors that roll every L and R in a Spanish surname to be able to pronounce BeenYahMeen)

          I agree completely with the underlying sentiment here, and it drives me nuts when they do that on NPR. If they’re going to roll the Rs of the Spanish surnames, they should also say “toidy toid street when referring to a Brooklyn address, and Hahvahd, when referring to a certain university in Cambridge, MA.

          But again, the article is far too political in ways that are irrelevant to the subject matter. It would have been fine, if writing about Crow’s collection, to criticize Wasserman-Schultz (who deserves plenty of criticism, and I say that as a liberal Democrat), but this was really about a different collection.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Yes, Ronnie, Obama wants to destroy Israel, and is intent on doing so with Wasserman-Schultz and the P5+1 International Agreement regulating Iranian nuclear activities.

          Netanyahu is altruistic and never engages in hyperbole, especially given Israel’s 300+ nuclear warhead tipped missile arsenal.

          The Bell Curve is a paragon of academic excellence in peer reviewed studies regarding ethnicity/race and intelligence correlation, especially when applied to nations having extreme non-homogeneity in terms of ethnicity/race, and especially those with widely varying socioeconomic conditions (because socioeconomic conditions have no or little bearing on aptitude on standardized tests or IQ testing).

          You are extraordinarily close-minded, viewing the world in extremes, and black and white, rather than a complex and layered pastiche of shades and tones.

          And nice strawman argument on the “police union,” which obviously is primarily to blame for Eric Garner’s death for the reprehensible crime of selling loose cigarettes.

          • 0 avatar

            Please explain the complex and layered pastiche of shades and tones of Jew hatred.

            I’m all ears.

            PS. Considering I never mentioned the P5+1 agreement, Netanyahu or the Bell Curve, saying that I’m guilty of a strawman argument (inaccurately so, too, because I blamed overcriminalization and big government for Garner’s death) is simply projection.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            This is not a strawman: The ex-Mossad Chief supports the P5+1 deal, yet you (at least) imply in your bizarre, extremist political op-ed that Schultz & Obama (as well as anyone else who backs the Iranian nuclear deal) are somehow “throwing Israel under the bus.”

            http://www.npr.org/2015/07/31/427990359/ex-mossad-chief-supports-iran-nuclear-deal

            The world is not as rigid, defined and as black & white as your apparent dogmatic paradigm, Ronnie.

            Your rage-fueled rantings against everything Obama, Schultz, Nadler (by extension) or anyone else disagreeing with Netanyahu’s POV is lame and demonstrates inflexibility.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        DeadWeight, the right side of the political spectrum viewed the death of Eric Garner as a tragic unnecessary event. Give government more power over individuals and government tends to use that power.

        http://www.nationalreview.com/article/393999/want-limit-use-police-force-limit-state-charles-c-w-cooke#!

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Youre all complaining about the political tone of the article,but if he were supporting that stupid woman instead of rightly pointing out that her claims are unfounded and ignorant, suddenly it would all be okay and youd have no problem with it.

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      Yeah, while there’s some good material here about the issues surrounding collecting, the political observations belong elsewhere. And I would find it equally off-putting if those observations were in rabid support of Wasserman and the Iran deal. Save it for Red state.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’ll be very annoying here, weren’t you the author defending repainting the roof of a production used General Lee?

    If General Lees and the ’69 Rebel L88 aren’t okay to show in their original condition because of wacko racists then a Nazi car isn’t either.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      Although I see your point, there is a huge difference between a car actually owned by an infamous Dictator, and ‘one of roughly 300 Dodge Chargers used in a famous TV show’.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Exactly. I’d say the General Lee’s “historical significance” is more than a little debatable.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I get the significance argument in this case, but does that mean a more “general” Nazi staff car not owned by Hitler should be altered? What about a prop car used in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” or something?

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Define “altered.” Are we talking “altering” a vehicle so that it looks like it would have looked back in the day, or dubs and spinners?

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I mean “altered” like painting over swastikas/slogans and removing party flags that originally adorned the vehicle.

    • 0 avatar

      In a word, no. I wrote a post saying that if Bubba Watson wanted to paint an American flag over the Confederate battle flag on his General Lee, it was his right to do so and that he wasn’t damaging a priceless artifact because the car was restored from a wreck and the current flag wasn’t original.

      If the current owner of that M-B 540K wants to restore it, I’m in favor of property rights so I’d say go ahead. I just think it would be in poor taste.

      Frankly, I was annoyed by the flap over the General Lee’s flag because I’d already done pieces on the Monkeemobile and the Batmobile and was planning on doing something on the General Lee. Because of the brouhaha over the flag that followed in the wake of the heinous church shooting in Charleston I couldn’t write about the car without addressing the flag.

      As it happens, I know a couple of guys who own authentic General Lees. Neither is, as far as I can tell, a racist.

  • avatar
    turf3

    See Carol Moseley Braun, who ripped into Orrin Hatch for a comment he made about the Dred Scott decision…

    Hatch characterized it as “the all time worst case in the history of this country”.

    Moseley Braun knew so little about the Dred Scott decision that she did not understand what he was talking about.

    The only (at the time) black member of the US Senate. On a decision that has been reviewed thousands of times – in every high school American history class – and is generally regarded as one of the proximate causes of the Civil War. One would think she would have had some awareness of this court case; it’s not like it was some arcane aspect of patent law.

    Another time, a member of Congress went ballistic when another member referred to a policy as “niggardly” meaning stingy. (The word has NOTHING to do with African Americans, nor did the debate in question.)

    How many entities have banned “Huckleberry Finn” because it contains the “N” word, despite the fact that the book is an eloquent statement in favor of the essentially equal humanity of all people, regardless of their condition or color?

    I often hear “the ugly American” used as a reference to Americans who throw their weight around in foreign countries. The book “The Ugly American” is about an American who is physically unattractive, who goes to a third world country, and works with the locals to improve their lives in a manner that is culturally sensitive and becomes a well-loved member of the community.

    The man in the grey flannel suit refused to take the job that would have required him to become a soulless automaton who gave his life to the company.

    In summary: Politicians don’t get where they are because they necessarily know anything about what they are talking about.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    This would have been a far better article without the the silly political content.

    I have no problem with Nazi artifacts when they’re in a museum. That’s where stuff like that belongs.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Interesting collections .

    This article is the truth about cars and so belongs nowhere else as uncomfortable as it is in subject .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    If Debbie Watermelon Shultz is so worried about glorifying the Nazis, why is she backing Obama and Kerry’s treaty giving Iran access to the bomb which they hope to use to destroy Israel ?
    Cars are just cars. They do not make policy or make war. They do not destroy nations or or conspire to promote -isms. (Communism, Fascism, Socialism.)

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Time to get the popcorn

  • avatar
    319583076

    IQ measurements are normalized so that 100 represents the mean IQ of a population. The current “standard” normal distribution model for IQ uses a standard deviation of 15 points, not 10. Previously, some distributions used a standard deviation of 16 points. I’m not aware of any IQ model that employs a standard deviation of 10.

    Furthermore, the normalized model of intelligence distribution does not linearly correlate with cognitive ability, it simply ranks individuals against a population.

    Many small sample sets, however defined, do not correlate with the population model on a one-to-one basis, which is the expected result.

  • avatar
    probert

    Much like Poland’s decision to set up showers at Auzwitch, let’s agree that the symbolism was – uh – in bad taste.

    I would suggest the cars be cleaned of all DNA to assure that the collecter and his minions don’t attempt a cloning to create the perfect candidate. But with Trump’s plan to “nicely” round up 11million aliens – I mean illegals – I mean people – and presumably put them into camps before deportation – perhaps my fears are – hmm quaint.

    The camps would probably be built Sonderkommando style – as most labor in the west is alien – I mean other types of people – uh – illegal humans – but that will give them extra cash when they’re sent away somewhere. Trump seems thoughtful that way.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Nice article Ronnie.

    Mussolini certainly had a fly ride.

  • avatar
    06V66speed

    Oh, boy. What a tangled web we weave fusing together emotional standpoints, politics, and vehicles associated with the bowels of the human race.

    I hadn’t finished my 24 ounce gas station coffee yet, but please allow my take on the subject.

    These vehicles are part of history. It may be an ugly, undesirable, unimaginable history; but history, nonetheless. Now there is undoubtedly a difference in value and integrity amongst these artifacts- for instance, nobody wants to go out of their way to preserve the blue Chevy Caprice which the D.C. Sniper “headhunted” out of, but a one-off custom-built Mercedes from the mid 1930’s? Sounds like a good investment, specifically from a numbers standpoint.

    My sentiment now echoes that of BTSR’s previous post… there’s a certain feeling or notion (whatever “it” is, “it” is intangible) that people experience looking at these authentic vehicles. The realization that “Oh my, God! Hitler stood and addressed his troops from this very car!” (and so forth) can take a profound effect on the viewer’s demeanor. I would also accredit that “experience” to the reasoning in which reproduction artifacts are generally frowned upon. It may look exactly the same, be period-correct, and so on; however, if it’s not original or authentic, it doesn’t carry the same weight and influence.

    In the interim, this is a fantastic piece and you should receive quite the array of spirited responses. It seems that in “The Year of The Offended” A.K.A. 2015, the gap between the left and the right (speaking politically here) has never been as large as it currently, sans perhaps the Civil War Era (granted, I’m all of thirty years old, so what the Hell do I know?). There seems to be a lack of empathy these days. People choose to believe what they want, and base their opinions off such. It’s not that the facts aren’t available… it’s (seemingly, in my humble opinion, mind you) that no one wants to take the time to understand the other side’s perspective.

    In short, it is my hopes that Hitler’s vehicles, Mussolini’s vehicles, and the like (I’m reaching for names here) will continue to be available for viewing… if not necessarily for admiration, for historical understanding and analysis. But at the end of the day, if the Jewish lady one office over from you enforces that she will “never own a German vehicle because her parents were forced to work as slaves in a Volkswagen Factory”… I say we respect that and choose to not open that wound by dissecting it.

  • avatar

    >>>not long after perestroika and glasnost and Reagan, Thatcher and John Paul II helped push the USSR to collapse in 1991.

    Oh, come on. These three had virtually nothing to do with it. The Soviet Union collapsed because CENTRAL PLANNING DOESN’T WORK!

    There is a Russian joke that my late father, Franklyn D. Holzman, a noted Sovietologist at Tufts University and at Harvard’s Russian Research Center used to love to tell:

    It’s the annual celebration at the collective farm. The head of the collective farm is giving the big speech, telling the people that they’ve done such a great job that in five years they will all have bicycles. They all cheer.

    Then he goes on to say, in ten years, you’ll all have automobiles. The cheering gets louder, and longer.

    And then, in fifteen years, you’ll all have your own airplanes!

    At this point, it’s practically pandemonium. The cheering goes on for five minutes. At the end of which, Epstein, a mathematician, raises his hand.

    “Yes, Comrade Epstein,” says the head of the collective farm.

    “Comrade, I know that it’s wonderful we are doing so well, and I, too, am proud of our comrades, and I am looking forward to enjoying the fruits of our labors. But Comrade, what could we possibly need to have our own airplanes for?”

    “Why,” said the head of the collective farm, “If they are selling shoes in Moscow, you can fly there in your airplane and be first in line to buy them.”

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “The Soviet Union collapsed because CENTRAL PLANNING DOESN’T WORK!”

      The Afghan war was the nail in the Soviet coffin. That was facilitated by the aid provided by the US to anti-Soviet fighters, a policy that was initiated by Carter and maintained by Reagan.

      The US certainly did help to push the Soviets over the edge, but they probably would have been stuck in the quagmire, regardless. The major powers have all failed in their efforts to tame Afghanistan, and the Soviet system was not so robust that it could absorb an error that large.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I am interested in Russia’s growing presence in Syria. While small at the moment, it’s still the largest force they’ve deployed outside of former Soviet states since the Cold War ended. Until this, it’s been mostly flying 60 year old Bear bombers around to irritate the Americans. I never grow tired of photos of F22s intercepting Tu-95s.

        It also amuses me that Russia released their first, “check out what we bombed via our air power,” in forever, and it was old school bombs that missed their targets. They are on a budget when it comes to bombing ISIS (or various anti-Assad rebel groups since they didn’t actually bomb ISIS yesterday).

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Soviet forces will prop up Assad, and from what it looks like, destroy the Western-backed ISIS boogeyman conveniently after Europe was invaded by “refugees” being held in Turkish camps. Evidently the Libya show will not be renewed for another season.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            They won’t be able to destroy ISIS. They don’t have the ability to operate everywhere ISIS does. ISIS should be more afraid of the Iranians. Both Russia and the US will look the other way if Iran wanted to dump all over ISIS.

            They also didn’t hit ISIS targets yesterday. Well they didn’t really hit many targets at all. They mostly missed. All Russia is doing is swinging its dick around. At least they gave us an hour notice before they whipped it out.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Behind the scenes deals/actions are probably taking place. ISIS as an organization goes away as soon as their airdropped supplies stop. Then later the boogeyman can be resurrected if need be by Western intelligence when they feel like green lighting terror attacks.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The Russian air cover is for Lebanese Hezbollah, Syrian, and Iranian troops to move against a number of rebel groups. They aren’t going against ISIS yet. They are going to eliminate the more moderate US backed rebel groups first. They aren’t even bombing ISIS controlled areas. Homs isn’t controlled by ISIS. Neither are the places they bombed today.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Truthfully I don’t believe there any moderate terrorists given the chance they would kill you or I. The “moderate” terrorists were also backed in Libya and were used to overthrow Gadaffi who himself claimed they were Al-Qaeda. Now Gadaffi was an asshole but now that county is in complete chaos. The West tried to play the same game here but was shut down because NATO/US couldn’t declare a no fly zone. Putin moved out his knights and used a bishop to put the West in check. Best to withdraw and leave the Western backed terrorists to their fate else risk a military confrontation which could spiral out of control. Better to heed Kissinger, who while being a lot of things, a fool is not one:

            “Military intervention, humanitarian or strategic, has two prerequisites: First, a consensus on governance after the overthrow of the status quo is critical. If the objective is confined to deposing a specific ruler, a new civil war could follow in the resulting vacuum, as armed groups contest the succession, and outside countries choose different sides. Second, the political objective must be explicit and achievable in a domestically sustainable time period. I doubt that the Syrian issue meets these tests. We cannot afford to be driven from expedient to expedient into undefined military involvement in a conflict taking on an increasingly sectarian character. In reacting to one human tragedy, we must be careful not to facilitate another.”

            http://www.henryakissinger.com/articles/wp060312.html

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Oh the US isn’t going to do anything about it because they don’t care that much. If Russia and Iran burns Syria to the ground, we aren’t going to do $hit about it.

            The USS Teddy Roosevelt carrier group will sit in the Med to counter Russia’s presence. Turkey also lets us use Incirlik Air base, which is very close to the Syrian border.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Washington does care because of natural gas pipelines. There is the Islamic pipeline and Qatar-Turkey pipeline which both run through Syria.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran-Iraq-Syria_pipeline

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qatar-Turkey_pipeline

            Then there is this:

            “Vladimir Putin has conscripted 150,000 new troops into the Russian army as the country unleashed a new wave of airstrikes in Syria”

            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3255876/Russia-pouring-gasoline-fire-Syria-s-civil-war-says-America-Putin-defies-West-drops-bombs-non-ISIS-forces-fighting-Assad.html

            Zoinks!

            That’s a little over 20% in new conscription, apparently.

            “Active personnel‎: ‎771,000 (2014)”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Armed_Forces

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            We don’t care that much about that pipeline. Europe does. Russia may be increasing conscription, but that doesn’t matter. In order to get that many troops battle ready and set to the Middle East, Russia would have to burn through some serious cash. So far, they only have a limited ground presence and about 40 aircraft. We have more aircraft on our aircraft carrier in the Med.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Washington cares about at least one of those pipelines because it will weaken the economic weapon of Gazprom. Whats they do as Moscow steps in to eliminate their proxies is anyone’s guess. Perhaps you and PCH are on the right track with Russian attrition and a new Afghanistan. Maybe it is a trap and since the West could not lure the Soviets into their Ukrainian quagmire they lured them into a Syrian one, we will see. This however is a dangerous game to play between two nuclear armed nations, getting through 1962 intact was a minor miracle as it was.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Maybe it is a trap and since the West could not lure the Soviets into their Ukrainian quagmire they lured them into a Syrian one”

            You need to stop assuming that everything that happens in the world is about us.

            Putin has even more reasons to worry about Islamic fundamentalism than the US. The difference is that Russia is willing to back Assad, while the US would like him to pave the way for an orderly transition. Neither position is particularly feasible, but there are no better alternatives. This is one of those situations in which the best option is just less lousy than the others and the odds of it occurring are low.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            You have a pragmatic point of view and may indeed turn out to be correct.

            I read this is their biggest deployment of troops since 1991 so at the very least Moscow is taking this seriously. I know I will be watching the show.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I suspect that Syria could end up being Russia’s Lebanon or Tet offensive, with an ugly incident eventually forcing them to retreat even if it isn’t a traditional military defeat.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Syria could prove to be Putin’s Afghanistan. Good for us.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I hope he has a good old time gaining a foothold of a bombed out dysfunctional country with fractured militias, a hated leader, ISIS, no infrastructure, and the baddest piece of military hardware ever created sitting a couple hundred miles off the coast.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            If the Russians can’t win quickly and prop up Assad for an extended period, then they will lose from attrition. It’s highly risky for the Russians in general and for Putin’s government in particular.

            I’m sure that he has fears of an Islamic domino theory that spills over into Russia’s regional sphere of influence. Hmmm, that domino theory sure sounds familiar…

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I don’t know if they have the right hardware to win it quickly. They are going to need to coordinate with the Syrians, Lebanese Hezbollah, and Iranians. I doubt they can provide close-air-support at any sort of effective level. The US has a hard enough time with that and we have the two greatest close-air-support weapons in the history of warfare (A10 and AH64).

            Their fog of war is going to be unbelievable if they coordinate group operations.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I thought Iraq was Bush’s Afghanistan. Bad for us.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            What I’m really saying is that a war of attrition appears to be inevitable, and the Russians would be on the losing end of such a conflict. That is the very problem that Obama has been trying to avoid yet the GOP wants. (Losing in Iraq wasn’t enough for some people.)

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            VoGo-

            If you think Iraq was bad for us, imagine Russia, that does not have the money, technology, logistical support, man power, or necessary hardware that we had, fighting the same kind of war with multiple combatants while coordinating a multinational coalition of D-list militaries.

            We have F22s putting JDAMs through Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s bathroom window and the Russians can’t hit an ammo dump square on.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The US has a lot of cushion for failure, while the Russians do not.

            The war in Iraq was a costly failure for the US, but the US marches on. The Russians can’t afford to have blowouts like that.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            We are now deploying a wing of F-22s to the Middle East. They’ll hang out at 60,000 ft and paint the Russian Su-30s while they are running air cover. It will be a joyous time of making Su-30 pilots $hit their pants.

          • 0 avatar
            joeaverage

            I figure Russia is dealing with the Middle East so they don’t have to deal with more of the same characters in the countries surrounding Russia and closer to home. They prop up Assad so they have a base of operations in the Middle East and then they go after whoever they want to. He is forever indebted to Putin.

            Meanwhile all this distracts the average Russian from problems back home and perhaps gets the military industrial complex rolling again.

            Our government has done similar things here over the past two decades. All the same it is a dangerous game that I’d rather not see happening.

            Just another way for big countries to use little countries as a military playground to justify spending on the military. ISIL/ISIS is a real threat but not so much to the Russians or the American directly. More of a Middle Eastern/Arab problem.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            This is evolving into a Sunni-Shia war. It’s going to be a quagmire.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Propping up Assad is a risky bet. He has lost credibility as a leader and probably won’t be able to hold the country together (which is why the US position has been for him to hand off power.)

            Of course, the Russians may be thinking that they can play a role in replacing him if they can keep him propped up long enough that the tide can be turned against the insurgency.

            This isn’t easy. If I was leading Russia, I would be doing the same thing, but with the understanding that the risk of failure is high and that contingency plans are necessary.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            What would your contingency plan be?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            They are hoping the Iranians will step in and win the ground game. Iran will eventually work to consolidate Shia states in Syria and Iraq. Once these fractures of countries start happening, there will be a domino effect. The Middle East countries are going to start fracturing along sectarian lines. It’s going to be a mess, because you can’t just pull all these groups into a room and draw borders.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The contingency plan is let Iran have/do whatever they want and provide air cover beyond their border.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The contingency plan would be to cut and run, as Reagan did after the Beirut bombing. Let someone else do the fighting.

            In order to avoid a Vietnam- or Iraq-style quagmire, one has to be ready to switch gears instead of just digging in further. Incrementalism fails every time.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Thanks for the reply.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Well Iran is going to fight this fight as long as possible, so Russia will have to figure out if they want to continue to help out or not. The Iranians don’t have capability to do precision strikes. Then again, the Russians don’t have much capability for that either. They have the technology, but the use isn’t widespread.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Brezhnev era stagflation followed by economic consequences of Chernobyl, Afghanistan, and the 1986 oil glut did them in. I’m not saying your father was wrong because central planning doesn’t work but it was the three punch knockout starting in the early 80s which ultimately did them in.

      Let’s see now we’ve got stagflation, an oil glut, and we’re in Afghanistan… 3 out of 4 so far for ‘murica.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        We are fine with the oil glut. We are importing the $hit out of cheap oil. I say we double or triple the 715 million barrel strategic oil reserve while it’s cheap to do so.

      • 0 avatar

        You (28 cars) and PCH are certainly correct about what pushed the USSR over the edge. I don’t think I’m contradicting either of you when I say that central planning is what made the USSR so vulnerable. Marshall Goldman (another Sovietologist with more conservative politics than my father) was writing about impending failure of the Soviet economy at least as early as 1981, but my recollection is that his pessimism about USSR’s future began well before that.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I agree. Then of course there is the Golitsyn Thesis.

          http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2010/01/did_communism_fake_its_own_dea.html

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          The Chinese have largely figured out how to make central planning and one-party dictatorship work for them. The Russians just weren’t good at it.

          Wars are expensive. Modern nations should understand that wars that can’t be won quickly or call for extensive post-war nation building in hostile places are best avoided. The Soviets literally could not afford the costs of an extended military conflict.

    • 0 avatar

      David, yes, the USSR was bound to fail eventually. I didn’t say that Reagan, Thatcher and John Paul II made that happen. I said they helped. I also alluded to Gorbachev’s role.

      You say they had virtually nothing to do with it. That means you agree that they had some role.

      In the book Blind Man’s Bluff about cold war submariners (if you’re in Charleston, SC, I heartily recommend going to the submariners memorial – they used the real sail of a cold war sub and stonework to make it look like a sub in the water), Charles Schultz, who was Secy of State at the time, describes how at Reykjavik, Reagan told Gorbachev, “We don’t know if the missile defense system will work, but we can afford to build it and you can’t afford to build enough missiles to overcome it in case it works.”

  • avatar

    It’s a shame to distract from the very interesting info about these historical vehicles with politics that is not relevant to them.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      +1

      Ronnie reminds me of an American football running back who has all the moves, but doesn’t advance the ball. He jumps to the left to avoid a defender, then jukes to the right, fakes another move and then jump cuts back to the left and then runs out of bounds, right at the line of scrimmage.

      Sometimes a running back just has to put his head down and take the 3 yards the defense is giving you. Sometimes a writer should just stick to a single topic.

      • 0 avatar

        If Schultz hadn’t made her idiotic statement, I likely wouldn’t have been inspired to write about Hitler’s cars.

        I will note that just about all of the stylistic criticism of this post comes from folks who are on the left. Their political affiliations have nothing to do with the stylistic criticism, I’m sure.

        Had I gone off on what a crybaby John Boehner is I’m quite sure you wouldn’t have objected.

        Burying the lead is part of my writing style. So is getting around to the topic at hand. I like to take the scenic route and my editors here have graciously given me some room to work.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Ronnie,
          I typically like your writing, and respect you as one of the saner voices in many discussions.

          Certainly I am guilty as charged as a lefty, although I honestly just didn’t get why you needed to attack on Schultz. Maybe I’ve grown too accostomed to seeing politicians pandering to their bases, in this case AK bubbies and zeydehs.

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          +1 Ronnie. When the article favors a politically left position, the politically left do not protest that this is a “car site.”

          In fact, the site has always been about cars, politics and whatever people want to talk about. Was Farago most inspired by cars or politics?

          Please keep writing about history. Your articles are wonderful storytelling.

  • avatar
    magnum05

    The German equipment used during world war 2 is some of the best stuff out there. destroying it for political reasons would be a shame. isn’t it enough that Germany was defeated?

  • avatar
    Driver8

    “Since I generally prefer to presume stupidity before malice,”

    As a congressman, especially a DNC Chair with a staff to process everything that comes out of her mouth, I’m going with malice.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    Yeah, and as a counterpoint, 2008 showed us a great example of what unfettered capitalism and unregulated bankers could to to the economy as well. Just saying. It wasn’t quite that simple.

    The USSR wasn’t just communism, it was a bad system mixed with corruption and paranoia. They were also spending inordinate amounts on their military, not just in Afghanistan but on a nuclear program we later learned was mostly dysfunctional. All of this while people even in the capital couldn’t get food or clothing… well, unless they were politicians.

    However, we also later learned that they were able to develop cheaper solutions to military needs than our own “cost be damned” military-industrial complex. One example was airplanes that could be made of high-tensile steel rather than titanium, or whatever we use to make billion dollar planes that none of the services say they actually need.

    Anyway, aside from some of the contemporary political diatribe, I agree with much of this article. Archiving history is not an endorsement of it but rather an important part of our collective education and remembrance.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      The USSR wasn’t just communism as described in their books. But it was just communism.

      Communism rely on a planned economy that’s not competitive (against private free economy). The government has to forcefully eliminate all free economy and they need a dictatorship to accomplish that. If the government is any more moderate and democratic, the policies simply can’t be executed and the country would not count as being communist.

    • 0 avatar
      Kendahl

      Capitalism was hardly unfettered leading up to 2008. There were plenty of regulations, especially stupid ones, and the banks learned how to play them. The government essentially said, “Go ahead and make real estate loans the borrowers can’t hope to repay. Don’t worry about the consequences. We won’t let you fail.” Years ago, Sweden handled a similar situation much better. The government took over failing banks which were then worthless, operated them long enough to weather the storm, and sold them for a profit.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Hey, say whatever you want about Hitler. But he wouldn’t allow VW to cheat the emission test. Heads would roll, literally, if that happens.

  • avatar
    George B

    Here’s a Dallas Morning News article about Harlan Crow’s collection.
    http://www.dallasnews.com/lifestyles/columnists/mariana-greene/20140321-harlan-crows-rare-papers-and-statues-are-powerful-on-their-own.ece

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    Even if a famous person’s vehicle is otherwise unremarkable, its connection to that person makes it collectible. The car didn’t choose its villainous owner.

  • avatar

    For the record, nobody that objected to the politics of this piece seemed to mind me mentioning low IQ Republicans. None of our resident conservatives or libertarians did either. The Republican establishment should take note.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    The only real problem I have with this article is the paucity of paragraphing.

    Dense blocks of nudnik noodle syntax hurtz me eyeballs.

    That said, nobody works harder than Ronnie-on-a-mission. He can’t ever have been very popular.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    Viewing the Nazi six-wheeler in person would certainly give me chills. It’s very provocative within its historical context. Remove all associations to Nazi Germany and it’s just another old vehicle that does nothing to remind me of what humanity has been through. Well, aside from muddy trails.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Has Lensing made any effort to add Cecile Richards’ ride to his collection a genocidal maniac motors?

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