Mercedes cars & Dictators - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 08:08 AM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Member
 
Benz in Brazil's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jul 2008
Vehicle: 1976 W116 - 280S / 1994 W140 - S320
Location: Jundiai - Brazil
Posts: 82
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Mercedes cars & Dictators

Last night I watched "The Last King of Scotland" about the rise of Idi Amin and the fall of Uganda. As I was watching I noticed a number of MBs, namely the presidential 600 pullman, his doctor's 'Pagoda', a c111 flashes across the screen and also a W109 can be seen a couple of times.

That started me thinking, "Why do dictators prefer MBs over other marques?"

Here's a good article I found on the web!

Why do dictators always drive big flashy cars?

Hitler may have dreamed up the VW Beetle but he chose to be driven around in massive Benzes.

Lenin was a Rolls-Royce man but after World War II Stalin ordered a gargantuan ZIS 110, a Russian rip-off of a Packard 180 sedan.

Argentinian despot Juan Peron (and his dodgy wife Eva) showed a bent for Cadillacs and Packards.

In the Mao era, China’s elite prowled around in massive Red Flag limousines. When he wasn’t busy garnering 130 per cent of the popular vote, President Marcos of the Philippines was conveyed in a Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman, as was Yugoslavia’s Tito and Romania’s Ceausescu (though Ceausescu also had a 1974 Buick Electra).

Spain’s Generalissimo Franco was a Benz man too, with a six-wheel G4.

What about President Gaddafi? He usually chooses an armoured and stretched S-Class Merc.

However, Libyan officials recently announced that their Great Leader had personally shaped the design of a new car known as the Rocket.

It might look like it was sketched by Homer Simpson but the Rocket is apparently ‘‘further proof that the Libyan revolution is built on the happiness of man’’. It is also ‘‘the world’s safest car’’, though that might be because it is usually surrounded by guards with machine guns.
The Rocket is a substantial 5.5metres long.

Even if one disregards cruel comments about phallic objects, there is clearly a connection between big and flash cars and leaders who won’t brook dissent. Even those supreme rulers, presidents for life and monarchs who don’t try to design cars certainly like to buy them. Details of the Sultan of Brunei’s car collection are closely guarded but by some estimates runs into the thousands.

None of your common muck, either. We’re talking hundreds of Rollers, Ferraris and Bentleys for starters. Some of them are bespoke designs that cost millions apiece.

In the Sultan’s defence, though, he has a large family and they can’t be expected to use Brunei’s rather miserable public transport system.

Religious and spiritual leaders don’t mind a showy set of wheels either. Before the introduction of the fish tank-like modern Popemobile, His Holiness was conveyed in presidential-style limousines built by Mercedes and Ford (the latter being the massive Lincoln-based Lehmann-Peterson).

Remember the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, the Indian mystic who convinced thousands of Westerners to dress in orange and liberate themselves from monogamy and other silly vestiges of their repressive upbringings? The Bhagwan wasn’t quite a head of state, though he presided over a largely self-contained ‘‘city’’ in Oregon.

Before he was arrested and exported from the US in 1985, he had acquired more than 90 Rolls-Royces, mainly Silver Spirits and Silver Spurs.

These he used only for short drives, usually around his compound to be waved at by his devoted followers.

Why so many? Bhagwan didn’t like to use the same one twice, according to the recent book Breaking the Spell by Australian Jane Stork.

‘‘When he owned a car in every colour and combination made, he had a paint shop built in his garage and had new cars painted in unique colours and designs before he ever drove them. Only he drove them and then only to go for his daily drive.’’

Stork adds that Baghwan was such a terrible driver that a back-up vehicle followed discretely behind ‘‘to pull him out of ditches’’.

North Korea’s Kim Jong-il has a weakness for Benzes and, less obviously, Nissans. More bizarrely, the Stalinist state supposedly transports its top echelons in local copies of the SsangYong Chairman.

Why anyone would copy the SsangYong Chairman is hard to divine. It’s a little like being a Billy Joel impersonator. It doesn’t matter how much work you put into it, or how well you do it, the best you can ever be is as good as Billy Joel.

What do you make of the eccentric choices of our best-known dictators? And what would you drive if you could successfully pull off a military coup in Australia?

Tony Davis

Posted on October 1, 2009 5:44 PM



More suggestions please!
Benz in Brazil is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 11:01 AM
BenzWorld Elite
 
Date registered: May 2005
Vehicle: '07 GL320CDI
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 5,070
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Is there any question Mercedes isn't the best car in the world?

Kent Christensen
Albuquerque
'07 GL320CDI
lkchris is offline  
post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 11:50 AM
BenzWorld Veteran
 
j99xj's Avatar
 
Date registered: Apr 2009
Vehicle: 1999 E320 4matic (owned previously); 1996 SL500
Location: Colorado
Posts: 674
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If there are revolutionaries constantly trying to assassinate you, you would naturally want a well made, and fast getaway car.

"Elitist snobs talking about elitist snobs on an elitist circlejerk forum... " -Fergie

"And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile" -Once In a Lifetime, Talking Heads

"...and now you know...the rest of the story." -Paul Harvey
j99xj is offline  
post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-14-2010, 03:35 PM
BenzWorld Elite
 
Date registered: Dec 2008
Vehicle: w204 (C350ELE)
Location: Miami, Fl and Mar del Plata, Argentina
Posts: 1,262
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Smile

Nevertheless, Wilt Chamberlain rode in a 600 Fiat and Arnold Schwarznegger a Citroƫn 2Cv, both with a chauffer and themselves riding in the back seat, of course.

Some people know how to leave and they don't need to be royalty or power hunger idiots. What do you think prompted the Smart Swatch car?

A car would show appreciation for preventive maintenance by never leaving his owner stranded.

Defensive Driving is never having to say you're sorry: a true love story between man and machine.
JoeVal is offline  
post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 05:33 PM
BenzWorld Member
 
MarcDavidMiller's Avatar
 
Date registered: Apr 2008
Location: New York/Moscow
Posts: 99
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Post Not American, Not British...

A friend of mine who has advised several heads of state (some elected, some 'elected', some inherited, and some just plain taken) told me that since the end of World War II, heads of state in general preferred Mercedes over American and British cars because Germany was not perceived as an colonialistic power (Germany lost its colonies at the end of World War I).

Some fun links:

Official state car - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Petersen Automotive Museum

Heads of State - Cars - Ultimatecarpage.com forums

Heads of State Cars - Pictures of Cars
MarcDavidMiller is offline  
post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 12:25 PM
BenzWorld Elite
 
DirectLA's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jan 2007
Vehicle: 1962 W111 220SE Coupe
Location: Cloud City, OR
Posts: 2,289
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Marc, I visited the Petersen during the Heads of State exhibit... wow! It was really an amazing collection and I wish it became part of their permanent exhibit. The Sultan's S600 is currently for sale, or at least recently was listed on eBay.

-Marrs

The Coupe Group (W111/112 coupes and cabs)official website
The Coupe Group on Facebook


"Too many people are working at jobs they hate, to buy things they don't particularly want, to impress people they don't even care about." --Dr. Deepak Chopra
DirectLA is offline  
post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 08:47 PM
BenzWorld Member
 
MarcDavidMiller's Avatar
 
Date registered: Apr 2008
Location: New York/Moscow
Posts: 99
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Post The Armored S600

The Sultan of Brunei's S600 has been for sale for a few months; a client of mine was interested for a brief while, but will probably go with a new E-Guard or S-Guard. He wants to get a lightly armored car to lend to visiting officials when needed.

Here is the Sultan's S600:

Mercedes-Benz : S-Class : eBay Motors (item 190370344574 end time Feb-09-10 21:56:03 PST)
MarcDavidMiller is offline  
post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 10:12 PM
BenzWorld Elite
 
DirectLA's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jan 2007
Vehicle: 1962 W111 220SE Coupe
Location: Cloud City, OR
Posts: 2,289
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcDavidMiller View Post
The Sultan of Brunei's S600 has been for sale for a few months; a client of mine was interested for a brief while, but will probably go with a new E-Guard or S-Guard. He wants to get a lightly armored car to lend to visiting officials when needed.
It sounds like we may have followed similar paths for a time! I used to broker armored vehicles, blast panels, and concealed body armor for clients in the US. A wild ride and as you probably well know, you meet some very interesting people along the way. My best to you and your client in your search.

-Marrs

The Coupe Group (W111/112 coupes and cabs)official website
The Coupe Group on Facebook


"Too many people are working at jobs they hate, to buy things they don't particularly want, to impress people they don't even care about." --Dr. Deepak Chopra
DirectLA is offline  
post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-08-2010, 05:16 AM
BenzWorld Junior Member
 
Date registered: Feb 2008
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benz in Brazil View Post
Last night I watched "The Last King of Scotland" about the rise of Idi Amin and the fall of Uganda. As I was watching I noticed a number of MBs, namely the presidential 600 pullman, his doctor's 'Pagoda', a c111 flashes across the screen and also a W109 can be seen a couple of times.

Tony Davis

Those cars were sourced locally in Uganda. Apparently we do have some MB collectors here. One of the MBs had the owner nervously on standby watching for potential misuse. She drove her own car to the set...

Last edited by Jerrytommygal; 02-08-2010 at 05:19 AM.
Jerrytommygal is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > General Mercedes-Benz

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











  • Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
     
    Thread Tools
    Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
    Email this Page Email this Page
    Display Modes
    Linear Mode Linear Mode



    Similar Threads
    Topic Author Forum Replies Last Post
    Cars & Girls NEOKEN Off-Topic 84 06-08-2016 07:47 PM
    Mercedes Sells their cars with only 70% of the cars real perfomance. joelsec W126 S,SE,SEC,SEL,SD,SDL Class 20 03-01-2011 01:06 AM
    why is mercedes making a computer cars rather than a good reliable cars that they are known for benz lover W126 S,SE,SEC,SEL,SD,SDL Class 9 05-20-2009 12:10 AM
    !!!!!!!!!!! Our own 'v-Bay'?...Buy & Sell Cars, Vans & parts Here !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sarge786 V-Class 24 08-27-2007 12:58 PM
    Mercedes Powered Cars 1 & 2 in US Grand Prix xvvvz Mercedes-Benz Motorsports & Racing 14 06-18-2007 10:26 AM

    Posting Rules  
    You may post new threads
    You may post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are On
    Pingbacks are On
    Refbacks are On

     

    Title goes here

    close
    video goes here
    description goes here. Read Full Story
    For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome