Classic Find

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I recently read in the Greenwich Time about a classic car that was found in a storage shed at The Homestead Inn.

A 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster, once owned by Gisela von Krieger, was discovered in 1989 by a legal team settling her estate. It was apparently in storage for 40 years.  Henning von Krieger, her brother, was the original owner, who paid $7,000 for the car in the late 1930s - right before the breakout of World War II. Gisela, a Prussian baroness, loved the car, and had it shipped to Switzerland when she fled Nazi Germany. (Gisela had a romantic relationship with a Jewish Englishman and feared she would be persecuted if she remained.)


                         PHOTO:   Greenwich Time


Eventually, Gisela moved to Connecticut, and stored the Merceds-Benz in a Greenwich Cab garage on Railroad Avenue. The car was moved to the Homestead Inn in the 1950s, where Gisela spent her summers. She moved back to Switzerland in 1958 and planned to return to the United States. Several automobile collectors expressed interest in the vehicle, but Gisela said she wouldn't decide on selling it until she returned from Switzerland.  Unfortunately, her brother died the following year and her return was postponed. 

Gisela passed away in 1989.  She left no will!  Ownership of the vehicle was up-in-the air.  In 1994, Krieger's "estate" received ownership, and well-known collector Lee Herrington purchased the vehicle in March 1998.  The car had been in storage for 4 decades by the time Herrington moved it to New Hampshire.

The Roadster is now 75-years old.  It's 17-feet long, and 6-feet wide.  The white sidewall tires stand out against the black exterior.  Collectors describe it as being in pristine condition.  It's a tribute to German engineering. 

In August 2012, the vehicle was sold for $11.77 million at the Concours d'Elegance at Pebble Beach in California!  Not bad for a $7,000 investment.


THANKS TO:   Christopher Meyer, Reporter, Greenwich Time

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Carl White published on May 10, 2013 10:40 AM.

Update: Greenwich Point Observation Tower was the previous entry in this blog.

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