Germany’s early staff cars were often civilian vehicles impressed into military service, both native machines and those from the countries occupied by Wehrmacht troops.
History of the Artifact
By 1937, Opel’s Rüsselsheim factory in Germany was the largest in Europe and seventh worldwide in automobile output, making more than 130,200 cars. Opel’s Super 6, a luxury car made in three body styles, was built in 1937 and 1938. This machine, a 1938 Super 6 two-door cabriolet, was used to transport high-ranking officials near combat areas. Its license plate, with WH for Wehrmacht Heer, marks it as a staff car used by the German army.
Staff cars were enticing targets for Allied fighter bomber pilots, who knew those riding inside could be of high importance in the German military command structure. As a result, the car’s civilian glossy paint scheme and chrome trim were painted over with drab colors to make them less visible from the air. At night, the cars operated with blackout headlights, designed to cast a diffused horizontal beam of light onto the roadway.