Lennart Meri's Mercedes reaches Estonian National Museum
The legendary car used by President Lennart Meri was moved to the Estonian National Museum on Tuesday after having remained on display at Tallinn Airport since 2017.
The special vehicle will be on display at the museum for a few months before it is returned to the Estonian Defense League, the museum wrote on social media.
The museum communicated that the Mercedes-Benz covered over 300,000 kilometers during its eight years in service, and when it was said in 1997 that the car was too ordinary and no longer fit for the president, Meri disagreed. "There is nothing more pathetic than the Estonian head of state prodding along Harju County roads or visiting Taevaskoja in an armored limousine. I'd rather walk or get a bicycle," the president said. The Mercedes remained in use until the end of Meri's term.
The car is displayed in the Pööripäev restaurant at ERM for free.
The vehicle was handed over to the Estonian Defense League by President Arnold Rüütel in 2002 and the league restored it to its former glory.
Autoleht wrote in 2017 that Meri first settled in on the beige leather seats of the black Mercedes in June of 1993. The president's new car was covered by all the major papers. The car was actually second hand.
It was a 1992 model that had previously been used by the director general of state company Tallinna Hotellid. It was also a base S-Class that cost half of what the top line model went for at the time.
Meri's first car was a Chaika GAZ-14 that was used to drive him to Toompea so he could take his oath of office in October of 1992. Before the Mercedes, Meri was chauffeured around in a Volvo 960.
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Editor: Marcus Turovski