Maybe you know of the existence of this Mercedes 540 G4. It is the property of National Patrimony and is exposed to the public at the Headquarters of the King of the Palace of the Pardo. Until very recently, was the property of the Spanish Royal Family. What you may not know are its origins: it was a gift from Adolf Hitler to Franco, for its ideological support during the time most ominous of the last century. This is the peculiar story of an off-road only, of the only three units currently exist. This is the story of the Spanish unit.
Its total length is 5,92 meters, equivalent to a Mercedes S-Class Maybach today.
The Mercedes 540 G4 – box W31 – was developed during the 30’s of the last century as authentic off-road vehicle. It was a car destined solely and exclusively to high ranking military officers of nazi Germany – not sold to the general public. A vehicle commander, able to cross areas destroyed by the battle without getting stuck, keeping the luxury and comfort typical of a Mercedes limousine. A advanced machine technologically, that was intended show the world the technical superiority of the Germany of Adolf Hitler.
With 5,92 m length, came painted gray from the factory, with a peculiar running gear consisting of six wheels. It was not an off-road pure: the four rear wheels are driving the car, but your front axle was not driving. Even so, equipped with a gearbox with low range, solid axles in the rear, off-road tires and a good ground clearance, was really capable off the tarmac. Its braking equipment was hydraulic, with servoasistencia in the three axes of the vehicle.
Only three units of the 57 produced are currently kept. Unde of them is in Spain.
Under its hood had one of the engines of street’s most powerful developed by Mercedes: a huge eight-cylinder in-line came to have 5.4 liters and 115 HP of power in your iteration more powerful. Was able to move this mass of 3.7 tonnes to a tip speed of approximately 65 km/h. In its central section there were a multitude of space, with a passenger compartment, a convertible three rows of seats. These seats could be folded down, with the goal of a leader is to rise above for better visibility.
Or greet your new subjects: Hitler went on to conquer his Mercedes 540 G4 after the annexation of Czechoslovakia and Austria, in the stages prior to the Second World War. Before the outbreak of the conflict Mercedes had built 57 units your G4, for the German Wehrmacht. Of these 57 units, 30 were equipped with the most powerful engine of 5.4 liters and currently only three units of the total production is retained. The conflict ended with the greater part of the copies, converted to use 100% military.
Adolf Hitler regaled Frank with a Mercedes 540 G4 for his birthday, the 4th of December, 1940.
Were painted camouflage and had lost their gray paint glossy. Funny thing is the whereabouts of these three units: the unit in which Hitler went on to conquer their territories and preserved in the Sinsheim Auto & Technik Museum – I restored it to its original state after being transformed into a car fire after the conflict – and another unit is located in Hollywood, where it has been used in film productions. The third unit was given to Franco by Hitler himself, as a token of gratitude.
The car landed in Spain in Barcelona, and shot by their own means to Madrid. In a ceremony, the German ambassador took delivery of the car to Franco, equipped with a set of chains made-to-measure and six suitcases signed by Karl Baisch. Despite the appreciation written of the dictator, Franco not convinced a lot of this Mercedes. In tests by the Monte del Pardo got stuck on one occasion – had to be towed – and it was only used occasionally in a hunt for court official.
A batch of three units went to auction in 2009 for $ 9 million. It was discovered that they were replicas, not official, equipped with diesel engines.
Never was sold or scrapped, and after the death of Franco came into the hands of the Royal Family. Interestingly, their current enrollment – M-1200-AD – is of the year 1974. It is rumored that Mercedes even offered a blank check to recover the unity of spain. Between 2001 and 2004, the car was completely restored by Mercedes-Benz Classic in Stuttgart, as a gift of the Spanish subsidiary of Mercedes. Mercedes confirmed the limited use that had the G4, and certified that the unit is the best preserved of all the remaining in the planet.
Source: History of Iberia Vieja