1934 Mercedes Series 200 Cabriolet: Tall Tale


While every car has a story, some have chapters and chapters of fairytale-grade material that almost defies description. This 1934 Mercedes-Benz 200 cabriolet here on craigslist has been swapped, buried and sneaked throughout its life, according to the seller, who notes it was originally owned by a German SS soldier and later swapped with a farmer who buried it under his barn. The car has lost much of its original appearance after various rebuilds and re-assembly, more resembling a kit car than anything else. The aftermarket wire wheels, bench seat, modified gauges and generic tail lights all scream “fake” at first, but some original components like the stamped steel wheels are included. The windshield looks correct but the rear fenders don’t; the grill appears authentic but the rear window slit is too small. Wherever the truth may lie, this Mercedes certainly isn’t short on intrigue. Do you think it’s the real deal, or has too much been changed to tell? Thanks to Barn Finds reader Robert R for the find.


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  1. RayT Member

    It may be that there are some original 1934 M-B pieces hidden in various spots around the car, but the whole thing screams “fake!” to me. Looks like a clever assemblage of parts from various makers and, perhaps, a few bits turned out by a skilled fabricator. If anyone goes for a look, I’d suggest taking a magnet to see what those fenders are made of.

    In any case, I would never consider dropping $190K on this thing, no matter what the backstory might be. I don’t like the general run of home-made “replicas,” and that’s what I’m seeing.

    • Dave Wright

      I am with you……..had might as well be a plastic kit car. The guy is looking for a fish.

  2. niels kroon

    It has a dutch licenseplate up front a german one on the back, but its located in America….. all very strange.
    Also according to the dutch registration system, the dutch license plate does no longer exist…..

  3. Matt Tritt

    Look at those ridiculous seats,leatherette, add-on guages, louvres on the top of the hood (facing backwards), the absurd chrome wires and an automatic? This car should be more in the 35 thousand range and even that would be too much. The claimed history shouldn’t be a part of the price at any rate. Even the dogtag appears to be fake!

  4. Rev rory

    Wow. That’s pretty blatant. The story, the car…all of it. Complete fabrication…

  5. francisco

    Why doesn’t the seller tell us who the “well known collector from West Virginia” is?

  6. tkd

    pure crap!!

  7. PaulG

    The ad might as well read:
    Original stamped steel wheels: $180,000.00
    Rest of car: $9900.00
    Enough said…

  8. Ceezy

    Too many red flags, and the biggest is that absurd price tag. Even if it was a real MB at one point, there’s been too many crappy modifications to even consider it an authentic MB.

  9. DanaPointJohn

    Sorry Seller…this car has zero historical significance. What a completely useless car as a collectable or an investment. Geez!!!

  10. artichoke330

    Since when does the Ukraine have a border with Finland?

    • PAW

      Had a good laugh on that one too. Tells a story of seller and his facts…

      Helsinki – Kiev are only 2 hours 5 min apart. With a commercial airline

  11. angryrabbit

    I noticed other inconsistencies – the rank is misspelled (Oberleutnant vs. Oberlieutenant), then the name on the dog tag is Franz Schellwegg, not Franz Schallweg (as listed in the story). Fairly junior officers drove themselves to the Russian front? And where is the unit marking? The story may be true, but there are too many inconsistencies. And then there’s the car…

  12. Dolphin Member

    I think the comments above explain something important about this car:

    Why it’s on Craigslist, with no documentation of the story and errors like the one artichoke caught about Finland being nowhere near Ukraine, instead of in a decent classic car auction or with a reputible dealer.

    Sometimes a story can have too much detail, especially when some of it is obviously wrong.

    And metallic red on a ’30s M-B??
    I don’t think so.

  13. Fred

    If nothing else, the seller has a future as a fiction writer or copywriter. Excellent, interesting writing style. The car itself is wrong on many levels.

  14. francisco

    I would have enjoyed the story more if the author claimed the car once belonged to Col. Klink and driven by Sgt. Schultz. “I know nuthink!”

  15. skibum2

    Hahahahahaha… Finland and the Ukraine….the dumbing down of America is working… Love the comments, thanks for the chuckle…

  16. Maurice Mentens

    That’s why this is done through Craigslist and not through a legit dealer. Remember that every day another dummy is born? The seller is clearly fishing for that ONE person who will buy this BS.

    As for the car, I get nauseous looking at the way this Franken-Benz has been butchered – then comparing it with the description. I actually feel sorry for the car, but I personally know a few that got cut up this way.

    I remember inspecting a 1939 230A Cabriolet which unfortunately after WWII ended up in Russia too and got horribly mangled there. (Picture) The people there had no assets to do any better so in a way I understand. That car needed everything but had a lot of period correct parts like engine and transmission. It also had a (around) $20K price tag! I would put this one on the same level but preferably less because of the fairytale that was let loose on us. Let’s hope potential buyers read Barnfinds first!

    BTW, in the whole tale nobody explained why it has a genuine Dutch license plate. I’m sure that one will make a good one too, bring out the popcorn!

    Thanks for the smiles, Jeff – very good one!

  17. Tirefriar

    Let’s see, a German businessman trying to cross a Soviet boarder in an unregistered car and actually doing so by waiving a flyer for a car show taking place in “stagnating West”? Could be a start to a potential movie script….

  18. French Guy


    The rear plate looks to be Spanich, a registration from Madrid, one of the serie before the European sticker on the left side.

  19. High Hope

    Horrid to look at. The period B&W photo of the Benz is supposed to imply…what? Finally, why do people insist on saying “motorcar?” Perhaps they’ve been reading to many posts on BaT?

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