Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler's Mercedes, the ultimate war trophy for a Russian collector

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Showing off his stunning collection of classic automobiles, Dmitry Lomakov explains why Russians love Nazi cars. "They are symbols of Russia's victory,'' he says. "For Russians the second world war isn't a historical event. For us it happened yesterday.''

Lomakov is the director of Moscow's museum of retro-automobiles whose collection in a freezing cold hanger includes three rare Nazi-owned vehicles. "Buying a Nazi car is like sticking one finger up to Hitler,'' he explains.

On the left of the entrance is Joseph Goebbels' Mercedes Benz 540K, bought by Lomakov's father in 1972 after he spotted it rusting in a garden in communist Latvia. Then there is Hermann Goering's jaw-droppingly sleek Horch-853 limousine. Next to that is Martin Boorman's comparatively modest Mercedes-Benz 320, used by his cook to transport sacks of potatoes. Earlier this week an anonymous Russian collector snapped up the ultimate trophy: a midnight blue Mercedes Benz 770K belonging to Hitler.

The five-ton armour-plated vehicle – licence plate number 1A 148461 – was part of Hitler's official fleet, and used by the Führer to criss-cross Europe during the second world war. (Hitler was photographed standing in it surrounded by adoring Sieg Heiling crowds.)

Michael Fröhlich, a Düsseldorf car dealer, brokered the deal. The mystery Russian purchased five other similar class vehicles, four of which once belonged to third reich leaders including the Nazi foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop.

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