Hitler’s Mercedes is on the move.
A Mercedes-Benz limousine that was once used to parade the Nazi leader and his henchmen around Germany, and famously failed to sell at an Arizona auction in January, has been spotted on the streets of Medina, Wash., just outside Seattle.
The 1939 770K Grosser Offener Tourenwagen was the most lavish Mercedes-Benz of its day. (Worldwide Auctioneers)
Jessi Sites told The Seattle Times that she was driving through the upscale city on a Saturday last month when she saw an unusual car being unloaded from a delivery truck outside of a private school. She said the deep blue four-door convertible was running on its own power and that “it was loud, sounded like an old car, kind of sputtering.”
Medina is on the east shore of Lake Washington across from downtown Seattle. (Google Earth)
The stately 1939 770K Grosser Offener Tourenwagen is powered by a 7.7-liter supercharged V8 and weighs roughly five tons due to its armor plating and bulletproof glass. Period photographs confirm that Hitler rode in it on numerous locations, although the German High Command’s motor pool had a fleet of several similar vehicles. It was captured by U.S. forces in France at the end of the war and eventually brought to the United States, but its ties to Hitler weren’t uncovered until the 1970s.
Hitler was photographed in the car being paraded through Berlin on July 6, 1940 following the fall of Paris. (Getty Images)
Sites noticed another covered vehicle inside the truck, and photographed the Mercedes before driving off to take care of some errands. When she passed by again a short time later, the truck was heading toward the highway and there was no sign of either of the cars.
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Not knowing what the car was, she did some searching on the Internet and matched the license plate to the one that was offered at the Worldwide Auctioneer’s event in Scottsdale.
The car has been restored to its original condition. (Worldwide Auctioneers)
The car received a high bid of $7 million, but that was below the reserve price so it didn’t sell. However, the auction house later confirmed that private negotiations continued after the auction and ended in transaction between anonymous parties.
As to why it turned up in Seattle, that remains a mystery. A spokesman for the auction house could not reveal to the newspaper who the buyer was, citing a confidentially agreement, but did reveal that “the end destination is not in this country. It’s far, far away.”
Along with bulletproof glass, the Mercedes is equipped with an armor shield that rises up behind the passenger compartment. (Worldwide Auctioneers)
He suggested that it was the other car that was being dropped off in Medina and that the Mercedes was just making way for it. Seattle and Tacoma’s Northwest Port Alliance is the third largest cargo port in the United States, while nearby Vancouver handles the most cargo of any port on North America’s West Coast.
Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com's Automotive Editor. Follow him on Twitter @garygastelu