Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hermann Goering's Bullet-Proof Car

This is an interesting newspaper advert from 1947. On show in Cardiff, only a few months after his suicide, was Nazi bigwig Hermann Goering’s bullet-proof Mercedes Benz. The former commander of the Luftwaffe, you might remember, had ingested cyanide the night before he was due to be hanged, having been found guilty of crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg Trials.

Apparently his Mercedes Benz was not only bullet-proof but bomb-resistant too. And the driver’s compartment was especially enlarged to accommodate Goering’s ever expanding waistline. It was painted his favourite aviation blue – a kind of metallic sky blue.

I’ve actually seen a photograph of this unusual automobile on display outside the Castle Garage. A man is standing with his foot on the fender posing rather like a safari hunter might at the corpse of a recently shot elephant. The photo was clearly for the benefit of the press but for the most part the car was parked inside the garage and members of the public paid a fee (6 pennies) to go and view it. Money raised went to the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen’s Families Association.

If you know Cardiff at all the Castle Garage was situated where Black’s the camping shop is today (corner of Castle Street and Womanby Street). Feel free to pop along and soak up the Totalitarian vibes. But listen, don’t go turning that upstanding establishment into a Nazi shrine or anything.