A German family is reclaiming a Mercedes-Benz that recently sold at auction for $3.8 million which was stolen from them by a U.S. soldier during World War II.
Unfortunately for Frans von Haren, the person who bought the car at the California auction last August, bringing it back to Germany meant the rightful owners could reclaim the car with the original bill of sale, which they have.
The 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500 K Roadster was one of 29 built and has a 160-hp straight six engine. According to the original documents, it was sold to Hans Friedrich Prym, the inventor of the clothing snap. When von Haren listed the car for sale in Germany, the Prym family sued to have their rightful property returned to them.
Under German law, the 30-year statute of limitations for theft only starts when the item returns to German soil. According to Prym’s descendants, the car disappeared while he was being held in a U.S. prison and the estate’s care taker was away.
Today, the car sits in an impound lot, but it doesn’t look like von Haren can do much about losing the car.