I first saw the ex-Muller V16 Auto Union in 1990 at the Riga Automobile Museum, and its bizarre history was recounted to me by the Museum’s director, Viktors Kulbergs.
This 1938 car was one of several seized in 1945 from Auto Union’s Zwickau factory by invading Red Army troops and sent back to Moscow by train as booty. These cars were broken up one by one over the years until only this one remained, in pieces and gathering dust in a corner of the Moscow Motor Works. Viktors, an avid motor racing enthusiast, was informed by a friend that the car was about to share the same fate as the others.
Drastic and urgent action was needed: Viktors contacted the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, a noted car enthusiast himself, who personally interceded and directed that the car be sent to Viktors’ embryonic museum in Riga.
The car at this time was in pieces, minus its gearbox and other parts, which had been detached for use on other cars. Viktors was able to painstakingly locate and identify the missing parts and have them sent to Riga, restoring the car close to its original appearance; no mean feat considering the circumstances prevailing.
I am yours, etc
Jeremy Willings, Liphook
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