DICTATOR'S MERCEDES, COMPLETE WITH 'SECRET POLICE' TECHNOLOGY, OFFERED AT BONHAMS

A 1973 Mercedes-Benz 350 SL Roadster originally owned by Communist dictator, Nicolae Ceaușescu, will be sold to benefit a charity supporting the innocent victims of Ceaușescu's brutal regime. It will be sold at Bonhams Mercedes-Benz Sale, taking place in Stuttgart, Germany, on 19 March 2016.

Nicolae Ceaușescu was leader of the Communist party of Romania from 1965 to 1989, and had been in this position for six years when he purchased this Mercedes-Benz 350 SL in 1973.

He became the country's President in 1967, until his brutal regime was overthrown by a popular revolt in 1989. After a trial, Ceauşescu and his wife Elena were shot by firing squad on Christmas Day.

In 1999, the Romanian government auctioned the Ceauşescus' estate, and among the items was the Mercedes-Benz now offered.

The Mercedes includes remnants of the security system installed by the Romanian secret police, including a Becker Mexico radio, and a Becker short-wave radio system hidden in the glove compartment.

All proceeds of the sale will be donated to the charity, CrossCause. An Irish charity, CrossCause was founded in 2003 to support and educate more than 60 special-needs orphans in Romania.

Since then the charity's work has expanded further into Eastern Europe and West Africa. All funds from this sale will help the further expansion of this work.

A charity spokesman said: "Immediately after the revolution of 1989 and the execution of Nicolae Ceauşescu, all the failings of the communist regime were highlighted. One of these major failings concerned the children. The funds raised by the sale of this Mercedes will go to benefit the children who suffered at the hands of this regime."

Philip Kantor, Bonhams European Motoring Director, said: "The sale presents a wonderful opportunity to raise money for an incredibly deserving charity through the sale of a motor car so closely connected to Romania's turbulent history."

Bonhams Mercedes-Benz Sale will take place on Saturday 19 March in the Mercedes-Benz Museum, Stuttgart, Germany. The Mercedes-Benz Museum charts the entire history of the world's oldest car manufacturer, with a total of 1,500 exhibits featured in the museum.


NOTES FOR EDITORS

Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to https://www.bonhams.com

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