Romanian Dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu’s Mercedes Benz Heads to Auction

The car boasts "remnants of technology from the secret police."

Nicolae Ceauceșcu.
Photo: Courtesy of GERARD FOUET/AFP/Getty Images.
Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu (1918 - 1989).<br /> Photo: Courtesy of Keystone/Getty Images.

Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu (1918 – 1989).
Photo: Courtesy of Keystone/Getty Images.

Later this month, a handsome Mercedes-Benz previously owned by deceased Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu will be hitting the Bonhams auction block in Stuggart, Germany.

In an e-mail to artnet News, Bonhams said that they estimate the vehicle to fetch upwards of €30,000–50,000 ($32,000–54,000).

According to the press release, the sale of the 1973 350 SL Roadster will go directly to CrossCause, an Irish charity founded in 2003 that supports special-needs orphans in Romania and beyond. “The funds raised by the sale of this Mercedes will go to benefit the children who suffered at the hands of this regime,” said a charity spokesman in a statement.

The vehicle boasts “remnants of technology from the secret police,” which the auction house identifies as a Becker short-wave radio system hidden in the glove compartment and a Becker Mexico radio.

Nicolae Ceaușescu's 1973 Mercedes-Benz 350 SL Roadster.<br>Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.

Nicolae Ceaușescu’s 1973 Mercedes-Benz 350 SL Roadster.
Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.

As Romania’s last communist leader, Ceaușwas the head of the country’s Communist party from 1965 until 1989, when he was found guilty of genocide by a military tribunal and executed by firing squad. According to Bonhams, the Romanian government started auctioning the possessions in his estate back in 1999.

“The sale presents a wonderful opportunity to raise money for an incredibly deserving charity,” Bonhams European motoring director Philipp Kantor said in a statement.

This is hardly the first time we’ve seen the prized possessions of disgraced politicians hit the block. In 2014, South Korea cashed in on 600 artworks that once belonged to defamed dictator Chun Doo-Hwan. Then there’s last year’s sale of Adolf Hitler’s watercolors, paintings, and drawings, which cumulatively fetched €400,000 ($450,000) at the Weilder auction house in Nuremberg.

This past month, it was announced that former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos will see a trove of her family’s multi-million dollar jewelry collection sold at auction later this year.

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