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Tell Tale: World leaders’ wheels

2 years ago

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Ben Oliver | Journalist


16 December 2021

At 11pm on July 4, 1976, the sentries guarding the main terminal building at Uganda’s Entebbe airport saw a long black Mercedes saloon approaching fast, followed by two dun-coloured Land Rovers. The lead car’s distinctive upright tombstone headlamps, which Mercedes designer Paul Bracq had used on everything from the Pagoda SL to the mighty 600 Große, shone out at them through the gloom and dust.

Seeing those headlamps, the sentries snapped to attention. It was a reasonable thing to do. Idi Amin, Uganda’s egomaniacal self-declared President for Life and Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas used a Mercedes 600 Pullman as his state transport, with his Palestinian bodyguards following in Land Rovers. Who else could it be?

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