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"It's no surprise that the 500K appealed to Hans Prym, who was a highly successful industrialist," said Philip
Kantor, Bonhams European Head of Motoring. "The vehicle was vast, stately, and incredibly powerful, only to
be possessed by the elite."
In 1945 the invading American troops stole the car from Hans Prym's estate, after which it disappeared
without trace for the next quarter of a century. It was later discovered in America, where it passed through the
hands of several well-known collectors.
It was then restored by Richie Clyne of Imperial Palace and added to the collection of the renowned Lyon
family. Offered at auction in 2011, the car was purchased by a well-known Dutch Mercedes collector.
However, when the new owner brought the car back to Essen, Germany, it was seized by the authorities.
"Whilst it was believed by many to have been sold in 1945, a 2012 ruling later stated that the 500K was
actually stolen. It is thought to have been taken from the Prym's property – based near the Belgian border –
by U.S. soldiers at the end World War II. Now this incredible motor car is safely back in the hands of its
rightful owners, who have elected Bonhams to offer it at auction." added Philip Kantor. "The pinnacle of 1930s
automotive technology, it is one of only 29 of its type produced. In magnificent condition, we expect strong
Elsewhere in the auction, four Horch classics from the 1930s. Founded in 1904, Horch is one of the ancestors
of the present Audi company. In its short lifetime, the company produced several magnificent motorcars, four
of which will be offered in the Chantilly sale: the 1937 Horch 853 Stromlinien Coupé, estimated at
€600,000-900,000; the 1937 Horch 853 Spezial Roadster Continuation, estimated at €1,000,000-1,300,000;
the 1938 Horch 853 A Sport Cabriolet, estimated at €700,000-900,000; and the 1934 Horch 780 B Cabriolet,
estimated at €600,000-900,000.
Bonhams Chantilly Sale takes place on the grounds of the Château de Chantilly, at Chantilly Concours
d'Elegance now in its 3rd year. The annual event attracts thousands of spectators, taking in the delights of the
"Concours d'Elegance" competition for modern concept cars, and a superb "Concours d'Etat" for classic cars
from around the world. The "Art & Elegance" event also plays host to fine art exhibitions, fashion shows, live
music and various lifestyle exhibits, all on the grounds of the magnificent château.
Images ... Peter Singhof
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