Sun Nov 18, 2018 London
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OPULENCE & SPLENDOUR

Luxury and the artsFrom houses to cars and from Hockney to van Dyck, a profile of the best and the worst

Limo Communism

Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman once owed by Communist Party commander Chen Yi goes to auction

 

Communist and dictators are amongst the well-known to have purchased Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman limousines and one fine example is about to go to auction with Bonhams on 12th July in their Stuttgart sale.

 

1965 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman
1965 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman
The opulent interior of the car
The opulent interior of the car

Having a guide price of £120,000 to £200,000, this 1965 car was imported by the Chinese government from West Germany for the use of China’s Foreign Minister, Chen Yi, one of the military leaders of the Chinese Communist Revolution and a close associate of Mao Zedong.

 

After Chen Yi’s death in 1972, the limousine was given to the government-owned Shanghai car plant with a plan that it would serve as a template for a Chinese-produced version. The ensuing Cultural Revolution forced the abandonment of that plan and the vehicle was left in storage until the 1980s.

 

In due course a German engineer who worked for Volkswagen Shanghai named Hans Luwich discovered the vehicle and shipped it back to Germany in 1993. He titled the car in 1998 and sold it to the Netherlands earlier this year.

 

With a current odometer reading of just 21,160 kilometres and having never been restored, this fine vehicle is described as being presented in “good running and driving condition”.

 

 

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