Clive Palmer is one of Australia’s most divisive figures. According to The Sydney Morning Herald’s Resolve Political Monitor, the controversial politician and former mining magnate is officially Australia’s least liked political figure – probably thanks to his boosting of COVID-19 misinformation to parroting Donald Trump’s talking points and campaign style almost verbatim.
Also like Donald Trump, Palmer seems to have an unhealthy admiration for undemocratic strongmen, as evidenced by his latest and most outrageous purchase: Adolf Hitler’s Nazi parade car.
After two years of negotiations, Palmer has reportedly bought the notorious German dictator’s 1939 Mercedes-Benz 770 Grosser Offener Tourenwagen from an unnamed Russian billionaire for over $200,000. Not a very good look for a man who wants to run for a Queensland Senate seat at the upcoming federal election…
Australian oligarch buys dictator & mass murderer’s car from Russian oligarch amid worldwide sanctions against Russia- telling us exactly who he is & what he really cares about. #moralwasteland #auspol https://t.co/j13JSpiMpj via @newscomauHQ— Diana (@ElephantFlowers) February 27, 2022
Produced from 1930 to 1943, the Mercedes-Benz 770 – also known as the Großer Mercedes (German for “Big Mercedes”) or the Super Mercedes – was at one point the most expensive German car ever made. Powered by a 7.7L inline-eight, the imposing vehicle made between 112 to 172kW depending on model year and supercharging: an impressive figure for the 30s, especially considering it weighed over 2,700kgs.
Multiple cabriolet examples of the 770 were used by Hitler as parade vehicles, most of which boasted bulletproof glass and armour plating. The car has become a potent symbol of the Nazi regime and remains one of the most notorious vehicles of all time.
Some other dictators who either drove or were driven in the 770 include Italy’s Benito Mussolini, Portugal’s António Salazar, Romania’s Ion Antonescu and Spain’s Francisco Franco. Other high-ranking Nazis such as Hermann Göring, Reinhard Heydrich and Heinrich Himmler also used the 770.
Palmer reportedly also purchased a Rolls-Royce once owned by King Edward VIII – himself a controversial historical figure, and a notorious Nazi sympathiser.
The 67-year-old apparently wants to build the world’s biggest car collection and has long nursed plans to build a huge car museum in order to show them off. Palmer reportedly owns over 600 cars – some stored under his palatial Gold Coast home, some at the Palmer Coolum Resort on the Sunshine Coast, and some at a secure facility also near the Gold Coast.
While undoubtedly there’s some historical merit in the preservation and display of such a reviled man’s car, it’s not a good look. Especially while Ukraine’s being invaded by Russia. Hitler also tried to invade Ukraine, after all…