Here Is What Happened To These Infamous Dictators’ Cars

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Although Stalin was praised for his efforts with the Allies to defeat Hitler, the rest of his career is more ignominious. He starved the people of Ukraine, and sent countless political foes to labor camps in Siberia (via Britannica and PBS). He kickstarted his country’s industrial capacity on the backs of the workers, and nurtured a cult of personality, including renaming the city of Volgograd to Stalingrad. He was not a good person. But, he did like good American cars.

Before the split of ideologies turned into the Cold War, American auto manufacturer Packard sent 10 cars across the Atlantic to the pre-war Soviet Union, purchased by Stalin (per Auto Restorer). One such vehicle was a 1937 Packard Super 12, powered by a V12 as the name suggests. An elaborate, decadent, and luxurious car for its time, it is an appropriate car for heads of state, even those states where everyone is “equal.” 

The Packard Super 12 eventually made it back to the United States, where it ended up resting at a museum in Illinois. According to ABC Chicago, this car had been reported stolen from a museum in Bulgaria in 1992. The car was given to the prime minister of Bulgaria by Stalin and by 2013, Bulgaria wanted the car back, invoking a treaty to demand its return. It may still reside in Illinois, as no more information about it seems to be readily available.

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