The Mercedes-Benz 770, also known as the Großer Mercedes (large Mercedes) was a luxury automobile built by Mercedes-Benz from 1930 to 1943. It is probably best known from archival footage of high-ranking Nazi officials before and during World War II, including Adolf Hitler and Hermann Göring.
Series I - W07 (1930–1938)
The 770 was introduced with the internal code W07 in 1930. These cars were mainly used by governments as state vehicles.
The W07 version of the 770 was powered by an inline eight-cylinder engine of 7,655 cc (467.1 cu in) capacity with overhead valves and aluminium pistons. This engine produced 150 brake horsepower (110 kW) at 2800 rpm without supercharging. An optional Roots type supercharger, which was engaged at full throttle, would raise the output to 200 brake horsepower (150 kW) at 2800 rpm, which could propel the car to 160 km/h (99 mph). The transmission had four forward ratios, of which third was direct and fourth was an overdrive.
The W07 had a contemporary boxed chassis suspended by semi-elliptic leaf springs onto beam axles front and rear. Dimensions would vary with coachwork, but the chassis had a wheelbase of 3,750 mm (147.6 in) and a front track equal to the rear track of 1,500 mm (59.1 in).
117 W07-series cars were built.
Series II - W150 (1938–1943)
The 770 was substantially revised in 1938, resulting in the new internal designation of W150. The all-new chassis was made with oval section tubes and was suspended from coil springs all around, with independent suspension at front and a de Dion axle at the rear.
The engine had the same basic architecture as that of the W07, but it had been tuned to produce 155 brake horsepower (116 kW) at 3000 rpm without supercharging and 230 brake horsepower (170 kW) at 3200 rpm with. The transmission now had five forward ratios with a direct fourth gear and an overdrive fifth.
In 1938 the Mercedes 770 is thought to have been the most expensive German passenger car offered for sale up to that time, though it appeared on no price list: the price was published merely as "auf Anfrage" ([available] by request).
88 W150-series cars were built before chassis production ended in 1943. The last cars were actually bodied and delivered in March 1944.
The 770K originally owned by Marshal of Finland Gustav Mannerheim was sold to an American collector after World War II. It was featured in the motion picture The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel as Hitler's parade car.
In 1973, Mannerheim's 770K, erroneously alleged to have been the parade limousine of Adolf Hitler, was sold at auction for $153,000, the most money ever paid for a car at auction at that time. This broke the previous record price for an antique car, which was $90,000 for Greta Garbo's Duesenberg in the fall of 1972. Mannerheim's car passed that amount within its first minute on the auction block. It was sold to Earl Clark, a businessman from Lancaster, Pa, who wanted the car for a park called Dutch Wonderland. Another 770 sold at the same auction, sold for $93,000. Billy C. Tanner, an Alabama developer and George Wallace's 1964 campaign manager, bought it, but he could not secure financing to complete the transaction. Consequently, he sold his option to Don Tidwell, a mobile-home manufacturer.
As of November 2009, one of Hitler's 770Ks has allegedly been purchased for several million Euros by an unnamed Russian Billionaire.
In the Norwegian Mercedes Benz Club's magazine of June 2010 is an article on a 770 Offener Tourenwagen (W150). It was brought to Norway in 1941 by General Nikolaus von Falkenhorst. After World War II it was used by the King of Norway. It was later sold to a buyer in the United States. The car won the prize for the best unrestored pre-war car at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in 2003.
Two other 770s were brought to Norway during the war, one for Josef Terboven and the other for Vidkun Quisling. The Norsk Motorveteran magazine had a short article on one of the cars, which stated that it was displayed for sale to the public, but no one wanted to buy it despite the low price of KR 50,-. It was eventually scrapped and all that now remains of the car is parts of the bulletproof glasswork.
A black 1938 W150 / 770K, on display at the Technisches Museum in Sinsheim, Germany, allegedly was owned by the German Central govt' office and used by Adolf Hitler during parades. The car was fitted with mine proof floor armor and thick glass and body work. Due to its nature as a convertible parade car, however, the occupants' protection was limited.