During his lifetime, it is known that Adolf Hitler had a number of automobiles at his disposal, some of which he personally drove. Hitler was the proud owner and “occasional” driver of a diverse fleet of automobiles, including various Mercedes-Benz luxury models and probably the first ever Volkswagen Beetle which he personally commissioned as a “people’s car.” In 1925, Hitler was said to own a car that cost around $110,000 in today’s money, or 26,000 Reichsmark. Below, you will find the cars with which Hitler has been associated, along with some specifications about them.
Questions about Hitler’s cars
What car did Hitler drive?
Hitler drove so many cars. The Mercedes-Benz 770 was the most notable. It was an armored Type 770, and it was later seized by the United States’ 20th Armored Division in the closing days of World War II.
Where is Hitler’s Mercedes?
“Hitler’s Mercedes” is located at the Canadian War Museum (CWM) today. It is a black Mercedes-Benz 770, and it is among the most popular exhibits. This fully armored vehicle weighed in at a hefty 9,000 pounds (4,100 kg).
Do Hitler’s cars still exist?
One of the seven automobiles that Hitler used is on exhibit at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa today. This includes the famous black “Grosser Mercedes”.
How much is Hitler’s Mercedes worth?
Hitler’s powerful Mercedes-Benz 770K Grosser, which features an armored body, has undergone a thorough restoration and is now worth up to $8 million. But the Canadian War Museum is not planning to sell it.
Did Hitler know how to drive a car?
While Hitler could have driven and would have liked to have learned to appreciate the experience more, he never took the time to do so. Eventually, he came to the conclusion that he would seem more significant if he were chauffeured about in his Mercedes Benz.
For him, driving was more of a headache, and he felt unsafe doing it. Even if he hadn’t gotten a driver license, as Führer in 1934 Germany, he didn’t need one to drive anyway. When being driven, Hitler was known to be very cautious and watchful. But he was said to have been in a number of car accidents as well.
In 1931, both Hitler and Winston Churchill came dangerously close to dying in automobile accidents. “For a few seconds, perhaps, I held the history of Europe in my rather clumsy hands” said John Scott-Ellis (then 19), the late baron and racehorse owner quoted by Ed Smith in his book Luck: “[Hitler] was only shaken up, but had I killed him, it would have changed the history of the world.”
Why did Hitler and the Nazis mostly drive Mercedes cars?
- Quality and status: Owning a Mercedes-Benz was a status symbol because of the brand’s reputation for creating high-quality premium automobiles. Hitler, as head of Nazi Germany, probably wanted to seem bold and successful, and a Mercedes-Benz may have helped him achieve so.
- Patriotism for Germany: Hitler was an ardent supporter of German nationalism and the German economy. It’s possible that Hitler’s preference for Mercedes-Benz vehicles was a way for him to show his pride in German engineering and manufacturing.
- Personal preference: It’s also plausible that Hitler drove Mercedes-Benz vehicles because he favored their design, performance, or safety.
As a rule, Hitler took a seat close to the chauffeur. So, in order to stand and wave to people, Hitler had a platform installed beneath the front seat of his Mercedes vehicles. For that, there was a grip on the windscreen as well. To the same extent, Hitler, if seated in the rear, might fold up the rear seat and use the extra space to stand up.
Mercedes-Benz 16/50 PS
In 1920, Hitler was given his first use of an automobile. At first, he drove a vehicle manufactured by a brand named “Selve Automobilwerke AG,” but within a year, he upgraded to a sponsored Mercedes.
Daimler-Benz provided Hitler with vehicles and was a close ally of the Nazi party. In the 1920s, while Hitler resided in Munich, he was speculated to own a luxurious Mercedes-Benz 16/50 PS vehicle (1921–1926). This model was popular at the time since it was among the first small, and sporty cars. It was equipped with a six-cylinder inline-engine that had a capacity of 4.2 liters and was capable of achieving speeds of around 56 miles per hour (90 km/h).
From 1921 until 1926, Benz manufactured the 16/50 PS automobile. Following the merger that created Daimler-Benz AG from the combination of Benz and Daimler, the car was marketed as the “Mercedes-Benz 16/50 PS” until 1927. It was known for its good performance and handling.
Mercedes-Benz 11/40 PS
After serving nine months of his five-year sentence for treason, Hitler bought a Mercedes-Benz 11/40 PS in December 1924. He anticipated that arriving at political events in a luxury vehicle driven by a chauffeur would win him new supporters and convince people of his stature. It was one of Hitler’s first cars.
But Hitler still did not acquire a driving license by that time. He had a justification for this that he was on a 5-year parole, and an automobile accident would have resulted in his being sent back to prison. Therefore, he had a chauffeur that drove his Mercedes Benz 11/40 PS (1923–1925) and any other vehicles he later owned. He most likely drove the car at some point during his ownership.
Mercedes-Benz Type 630
The Type 630 was used by numerous high-ranking members of the Nazi Party, including Hermann Goring, Heinrich Himmler, and others. It is possible that Hitler traveled in a Type 630 at some point in his life; however, it is not known if he ever drove one.
The Mercedes-Benz Type 630 was a high-end automobile that was produced between 1924 and 1929. Also known as “Mercedes 24/100/140 PS” It was a massive vehicle with six cylinders and a 6.2-liter inline-six engine, and it had an excellent reputation for speed and maneuverability.
The Type 630s were propelled by 100 and 140 horsepower engines, and it could reach speeds of up to 75 miles per hour (120 km/h). The Type 630 was also offered as a long-wheelbase model with more legroom and a convertible model with a retractable hardtop.
The Mercedes-Benz 770 was designed as a successor to the Type 630. The car was also referred to as the “W07” or the “Großer Mercedes” (Great Mercedes). From 1930 until 1943, Mercedes-Benz produced these luxurious limousines specifically for the Nazi Party. High-ranking members of the Nazi Party were known to ride in these vehicles on multiple occasions. Adolf Hitler used the Type 770 as a personal vehicle.
The Mercedes-Benz 770 used by Nazi German leaders and other Axis officials, such as Adolf Hitler, Hermann Goring, Heinrich Himmler, Reinhard Heydrich, Paul von Hindenburg, Ion Antonescu, Hirohito, and Benito Mussolini, is possibly the most famous example of the car’s employment. They were captured on archival film in the car. Other Axis officials included Reinhard Heydrich.
An armored Grosser Mercedes 770 (W150), first supposed to be Goering’s automobile, was seized by the United States’ 20th Armored Division in the closing days of World War II in May 1945. The car later turned out to be Hitler’s personal vehicle since many pictures showed him sitting in it:
The 20th Armored Division’s Sergeant T. Joe Azara discovered the vehicle on a railroad yard in the little town of Laufen, Austria, located north of Salzburg. Azara successfully locked the vehicle, unloaded it from the flatbed, and got it going after a firefight with German snipers. Eventually, however, he had to swap out the original engine with an equal engine salvaged from a Mercedes near Hitler’s hideout in Berchtesgaden, Austria.
In May of 1970, Claude Pratte, a businessman from Quebec City, gave the automobile to the Canadian War Museum in exchange for a tax deduction. Years before, he bought it from Montreal collector H. J. O’Connell for $2,725; O’Connell had gotten it at an auction at the U.S. Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland in November 1956. When the car was purchased, it was sent to Toronto, where another $5,000 Canadian was spent on restoration.
During the 1930s and 1940s, Adolf Hitler spent a lot of time driving about Europe in his Mercedes-Benz 770. It was equipped with a 7.7-liter V8 engine and had the capacity to travel at speeds of up to 106 mph (170 km/h). A total of 205 Type 770s were produced.
Mercedes-Benz W31 Type G4
The G4 was noted for its off-road prowess and durability. Produced between 1934 and 1939, the car was equipped with an eight-cylinder inline engine that was capable of producing 5.0 liters of power and reaching speeds of up to around 42 mph (67 km/h). It was a large, six-wheeled car, and a total of 57 of them were ever made.
Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Hitler’s preferred mode of transportation was also a Mercedes-Benz G4. It is not known whether Adolf Hitler ever personally drove one of these cars. But the Spanish Royal Guard has a Type G4 car that Hitler gifted to Generalissimo Franco. The Wehrmacht only received 11 of these vehicles in total during their delivery.
The “G4”, also known as the “G4 W31,” was conceived as a luxurious transport for senior members of the Nazi Party, such as Hermann Goring and Heinrich Himmler. The Nazi Party put it to use as a staff automobile and mobile command vehicle, among other things.
In keeping with their military as well as Schutzstaffel (SS) function, all the G4s had been given anti-reflective matte or camouflage finishes by Adolf Hitler at the war’s conclusion. Many of the highest-ranking party members’ G4 cars also had lighting mounted on the back. Those who followed too closely were rendered momentarily blind.
In parades commemorating the conquest of Austria and the Sudetenland, Adolf Hitler and his entourage rode in G4s with 5.4-liter engines and 110 horsepower. In all, 30 of these “Hitler G4s” were produced until production halted in 1939.
A historic vehicle collector in the United States asked $9 million for three W31s with claimed links to Adolf Hitler in 2009.
It is widely speculated that Adolf Hitler drove a Volkswagen Beetle, which was designed by Ferdinand Porsche and then built in vast quantities by Volkswagen in the 1930s. The first Volkswagen Beetle was capable of reaching top speeds of up to 65 miles per hour thanks to its 1.1-liter engine. The very first 1938 Volkswagen Beetle convertible was a gift to Adolf Hitler.
There is no actual evidence that Adolf Hitler ever personally drove the Beetle, just like he did not drive many of the other cars he owned. The Volkswagen Beetle, also known as the Volkswagen Type 1, was a model of compact automobile that was developed in the 1930s under Hitler’s direction. He had the intention of using the automobile to “motorize” the German people.
Hitler was known to get rides in Beetles on occasion. The car became a well-known symbol of Nazi Germany due to its widespread production throughout the 1930s and 1940s. After World War II, Volkswagen rebranded the car as the “Beetle” to distance it from the Nazis, which became an instant hit with consumers and remained in production until 2003.
- 1931: One Year, Two Auto Accidents that Could Have Changed the World – International Churchill Society
- Hitler’s Chariots: Mercedes-benz G-4 Cross-country Touring Car, Blaine Taylor.
- Kosche, “Story of a Car.” [PDF]
- [Photo] Adolf Hitler on his release from Landsberg Prison, Bavaria, Germany, 20 Dec 1924 | World War II Database
- Werner Oswald: Mercedes-Benz Personenwagen 1886–1986. Motorbuch Verlag Stuttgart (1987). ISBN 3-613-01133-6.
- Marco Ruiz, 1988. The History of the Automobile. W.H. Smith Publishers. ISBN 0-8317-6550-X.
- The Devil’s Mercedes: The Bizarre and Disturbing Adventures of Hitler’s Limousine in America – Robert Klara