lawsuit about ownership of a (high price) classic

  • landmark
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06 Jun 2012 13:16 #22992 by landmark
landmark created the topic: lawsuit about ownership of a (high price) classic
Hello,

this is not about an ACD car, but an interesting story of the disput about the ownership of a pre-war jewel.

I found the report in the german newsmagazin "Der Spiegel", the story is as follows:

A dutch car collector bought a 1935 Mercedes 500K Roadster at an (pebble-beach) auction in 2011. The price was roundabout $ 3.8 million.

He shipped the car to the Netherlands. In april 2012 he went with the car to the german classic car fair "Techno Classica".

At that fair the car had been confiscated by German authorities. The cause for that was that the heirs (grandchildren) of the first german owner Mr. Hans Friedrich Prym (owner 1935-1945) say that Mr. Prym has not sold the car to a US soldier in 1945, who shipped the car to the USA. The Prym heirs say the car was taken without paying and without a salescontract.

Last week a german court judged that the car is owned by Mr. Prym's heirs and the cartaking in 1945 was unlawful.

I think that would be (by far) not the end of that story and following lawsuits will take years with an open end.

Here is link to the german "Spiegel" report: http://www.spiegel.de/auto/aktuell/proz ... 36516.html

And here an older article about the confiscation in english language: http://www.businessinsider.com/1935-mercedes-2012-4


Matt

Was man besonders gerne tut,
ist selten ganz besonders gut

Wilhelm Busch

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07 Jun 2012 11:31 #22998 by landmark
landmark replied the topic:
Hello,

that: http://www.rmauctions.com/CarDetails.cf ... &Currency= would be the car, the story is about.


Matt

Was man besonders gerne tut,
ist selten ganz besonders gut

Wilhelm Busch

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07 Jun 2012 12:43 #23000 by alsancle
alsancle replied the topic:
As I know a little bit about these cars I guess I'll throw a couple of comments out. Most prewar MB production was sold to European owners new - which is what you would expect. New MB sales in the U.S for the period of 1936 to 1940 was approx 30 cars of all models and maybe 10 500k/540ks. A U.S. delivered car would be safe from this. However, a large number of 500k/540K Mercedes, as well as Horch and other desirable European cars were purchased by GI's and brought back to the U.S.. I doubt many of these (if any) have any paperwork from that transaction. Of course, the cars coming back from the USSR and eastern Europe could have an even more murky history.

The problem is at this point there is no reasonable way to tell if a car was stolen/confiscated or legally purchased. Basically a mess. I think it's critical that the claim the car was stolen was made in period and documented and not conjured about by someone's great grandchildren.

I don't know the whole story on this car. I do feel bad for the current owner who has done nothing wrong. Hopefully the whole thing will be sorted out in a reasonable way.

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08 Jun 2012 02:07 #23001 by balinwire
balinwire replied the topic:
The problem is that the statue of limitations begins when the car re enters the country. There may be some documentation of the claim of post war loss. The conclusion of this could be of concern to any owners of imported vehicles. Some countries will not allow certain vehicles cannot be exported as they are considered state artifacts. Many vehicles have left the States under unusual circumstances. I wonder if those countries would be reciprocal in cooperation on returning these vehicles in question. Anyone can make a claim but I am sure the original owner will regain his car. Anything else would be just as corrupt as the grandfather claim.

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08 Jun 2012 19:34 #23005 by balinwire
balinwire replied the topic:
The court has awarded the car to the heirs as stolen war booty. It just seems that following the ownership of these cars all the way back would be impossible as even the history of the Duesenbergs is cloudy in many cases. HM may be on the hook but they did disclose it "showed up" sometimes in the 70's. Best advice is not to sell or show your car in another country. I have the title for the Ford Museum Cord, I guess it's mine. :+)

http://www.autoblog.com/2012/06/07/4m-w ... d%3D168297

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08 Jun 2012 20:15 #23006 by landmark
landmark replied the topic:

balinwire wrote: The court has awarded the car to the heirs as stolen war booty. It just seems that following the ownership of these cars all the way back would be impossible as even the history of the Duesenbergs is cloudy in many cases. HM may be on the hook but they did disclose it "showed up" sometimes in the 70's. Best advice is not to sell or show your car in another country. I have the title for the Ford Museum Cord, I guess it's mine. :+)

http://www.autoblog.com/2012/06/07/4m-w ... d%3D168297


Hello Balinwire,

thank you for the link. The last passage of that is interesting. I hope Mr. van Haren gets out of that disaster without to much loss.

Matt

Was man besonders gerne tut,
ist selten ganz besonders gut

Wilhelm Busch

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