( Which is almost 5 million USD )
Rare Mercedes fetches 3.5m euros
A Russian businessman has paid 3.5m euros ($4.7m; £2.4m) for a
pre-World War II Mercedes that belonged to a Romanian king.
The deal is described as one of the biggest ever in the vintage car
The Mercedes-Benz 540K Roadster - an elegant black two-seat convertible
- was ordered by King Carol II in 1939, a year before he abdicated.
Just five such cars were produced in 1938 and 1939 - and this is the
only one to remain intact.
The car was taken to Moscow as a trophy after Soviet troops occupied
Romania at the end of World War II, in which Romania fought on the
'Saved from the Mafia'
A press release from Kienle Automobiltechnik - the German company that
restored and sold the car - says that before 1965 it was used by top
Soviet generals, but then it fell into private hands.
In the 1990s it was taken to Kiev in Ukraine, "to save it from the
Russian Mafia," and kept in a secret location on the city's outskirts.
In 1996 it ended up in the German company's garage.
The meticulous restoration work took five years.
The Mercedes was presented at the Retro Classics showcase in Stuttgart,
where it was spotted by the Russian buyer, whose name was not
"This is one of the biggest deals in the market, because only one such
car exists in the world," Mark Kienle of Kienle Automobiltechnik told
It is not yet clear whether the new owner intends to return the vehicle