Minichamps MIN436035600 1939 Mercedes-Benz Gelandewagen Typ 4 (G4) Limousine - Francisco Franco (1:43 Scale)
"I would rather die standing up in a Mercedes than hide away."
- German Chancellor, Adolf Hitler, commenting upon a possible assassination attempt while riding in his limousine, 1938
Long before Hitler's rise to power, Daimler-Benz worked on the development of a heavy off-road sedan for the Reichswehr (German military). In 1934, a three-axle car was created, called the "Gelandewagen Typ 4" (cross country vehicle) or G4. Because it was too heavy and too costly for the Reichswehr, the car would probably have faded into history if not for Hitler and other important figures of the time. After their ascension to power, many German dignitaries used them to visit army maneuvers and attend parades. It was also used during the annexation of Austria, the occupation of Czechoslovakia, and for tours of captured territories.
For this, the Mercedes-Benz G4 was supremely suited, since it was capable of driving off-road while offering its occupants a first-class ride. Over time, the engine was produced in three variants and the body's exterior was modified repeatedly. Some cars were even bullet-proofed and came equipped with "run-flat" tires should they be shot out.
Daimler-Benz has a long history of producing four-wheel drive vehicles. In 1907, the Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft built a four-wheel drive vehicle called Dernburg-Wagen, which was also equipped with four-wheel steering, that was used by German colonial civil servant, Bernhard Dernburg, in Namibia, Africa. In 1926, Mercedes and BMW introduced a rather sophisticated four-wheel drive, known collectively as the G1, the G4 and the G4 following. The 1937 Mercedes-Benz G5 and BMW 325 4x4 featured full time four-wheel drive, four-wheel steering, three differential lockers, and fully independent suspension. They were produced because of a government demand for a four-wheel drive passenger vehicle. The modern G-series/Wolf such as the G500 and G55 AMG still feature some of the attributes, with the exception of fully independent suspension since it hinders suspension articulation. The Unimog is another Mercedes truck.
It was not until "go-anywhere" vehicles were needed for the military that four-wheel drive found its rightful place. The Jeep, originally developed by American Bantam but mass-produced by Willys and Ford, became the best-known four-wheel drive vehicle in the world during World War II. Willys (since 1950 owner of the Jeep name) introduced the CJ-2A in 1945 as the first full-production four-wheel drive passenger vehicle, possibly beaten by the 1941 GAZ-61.
Pictured here is an uparmored 1:43 scale 1939 Mercedes-Benz G4 limousine that was presented to Generalisimo Francisco Franco of Spain by Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler of Germany. Comes in a handsome display case.
Length: 6 inches
Width: 2 inches
Release Date: February 2009
Historical Account: "The Grey Column" - The SS-Begleitkommando des Fuhrers (literally: "SS Commando assigned to accompany the Fuhrer") was a bodyguard team of SS soldiers tasked with protecting the life of Adolf Hitler during the time of Nazi Germany. Formed on February 29th, 1932, the original unit contained eight men, Franz Schadle, Bruno Gesche, Erich Kempka, August Kober, Adolf Dirr, Kurt Gildisch, Willy Herzberger, and Bodo Gelzenleuchter, all of whom were personally approved by Hitler. These men, along with other members of his entourage, would ride in several Daimler-Benz G4 limousines immediately behind the car carrying Adolf Hitler. It was replaced by the Fuhrerschutzkommando in 1934.
Reichssicherheitsdienst (RSD) was an SS security force of Nazi Germany. Originally the personal bodyguards of Adolf Hitler, it later protected other high-ranking individuals of the Nazi regime.
The RSD was founded on March 15th, 1933, as the
Fuhrerschutzkommando ("Fuhrer protection command"), and renamed Reichssicherheitsdienst ("Reich's Security Service") on August 1st, 1935. Its members originally belonged to the Bavarian police and were charged with personally protecting Hitler inside the borders of Bavaria. Outside of that state, Hitler's protection was ensured by the SS-Begleitkommando des Fuhrers, an eight-member bodyguard. The RSD replaced the Begleitkommando throughout the country in 1934.
Members of the RSD were made Wehrmacht officers by a resolution of the
Oberkommando der Wehrmacht upon the outbreak of World War II, granting them extra jurisdiction and privileges. Their official designation in 1939 was Reichssicherheitsdienst Gruppe Geheime Feldpolizei z. b. V. The group's leader for its entire existence was Oberfuhrer Johann Rattenhuber. After Hitler's suicide on April 30th, 1945, in the Fuhrerbunker, Rattenhuber was captured by the Red Army on May 1st and placed in a Soviet prison.