The $10 Million Mercedes
FORBES – One of the world’s rarest cars, a 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster made-to-order for the late Baroness Gisela von Krieger’s brother, was the subject of an ownership dispute resolved in 1998 after years of litigation and is estimated to sell for up to $10 million at California’s Pebble Beach Classic Car Week. The Baroness left the car in a garage in Connecticut in 1959 when she traveled to Switzerland and died in 1989 without returning to the U.S. to reclaim the car. In 1992, the car was found “abandoned” in a garage in Connecticut.
[ARIS Commentary: The von Krieger Mercedes case shows that the art market ownership risk extends to the rare, classic and antique automobile market. Collector cars are often parked in storage garages for many years and may be deemed to have been abandoned, which can often lead to lengthy, expensive litigation over the rightful ownership of the car among the finder, garage owner, original owner and their heirs or estate.] Access Full Text