The Cursed Car Of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
- The six-passenger open touring car had been custom-built for royalty. And originally it had been a vivid blood red.On June 28, 1914, Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife Archduchess, Sophie were gunned down by an assassin.A young fanatic armed with a pistol had leaped onto the running board of the car. Laughing in the faces of the Archduke and Duchess, he fired shot after shot into their bodies. That double assassination was the spark that touched off the first World War, with its casualty list of 20 million – a war the red car had helped to start.
- General Portiorek was the next to possess this cursed car. After a huge military defeat and a trip to Vienna for more disgrace, he began having mental problems and died in an insane asylum.
- After the Armistice, the newly appointed Governor of Yugoslavia had the car restored to first-class condition. But after four accidents and the loss of his right arm, he felt the vehicle should be destroyed.
- His friend Dr Srikis disagreed. Scoffing at the notion that a car could be cursed, he drove it happily for six months – till the overturned vehicle was found on the highway with the doctor's crushed body beneath it.
- Another doctor became the next owner, but when his superstitious patients began to desert him, he hastily sold it to a Swiss race driver.
- In a road race in the Dolomites, the car threw him over a stone wall and he died of a broken neck.
- A well-to-do farmer acquired the car, which stalled one day on the road to market. While another farmer was towing it for repairs, the vehicle suddenly growled into full power and knocked the tow-car aside in a careening rush down the highway. Both farmers were killed.
- Tiber Hirschfield, the last private owner, decided that all the old car needed was a less sinister paint job. He had it repainted in a cheerful blue shade and invited five friends to accompany him to a wedding. Hirschfield and four of his guests died in a gruesome head-on collision.
- By this time the government had had enough. They shipped the rebuilt car to the museum. But one afternoon Allied bombers reduced the museum to smoking rubble. Nothing was found of Karl Brunner and the haunted vehicle. Nothing, that is, but a pair of dismembered hands clutching a fragment of steering wheel.
I want to draw attention to an even more astounding coincidence concerning the Franz Ferdinand death limo – one that is considerably better evidenced than the cursed car nonsense. This tiny piece of history went completely unremarked on for the best part of a century, until a British visitor named Brian Presland called at the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum. It was Presland who seems to have first drawn the staff's attention to the remarkable detail contained in the Gräf und Stift's license plate, which reads – as can be seen in the old photo below and the current image above – AIII 118. That number, Presland pointed out, is capable of a quite astonishing interpretation. It can be taken to read A (for Armistice) 11-11-18 – which means that the death car has always carried with it a prediction, not of the dreadful day of Sarajevo that in a real sense marked the beginning of the First World War, but of 11 November 1918: Armistice Day, the day that the war ended. Source.