Let’s spare a thought for the leadership of the late and glorious socialist workers’ paradise that was East Germany. They wanted cars appropriate to their status as first among equals (ha!) but they couldn’t be seen in anything as capitalist as a Merc, much though they might secretly thus like. What to do? Go to a socialistish and unaligned country of course. Sweden was deemed to fit the political bill in the 1970s and 80s and orders were made for the Volvo 264 TE (Top Executive) and for the TE landaulet, specially for that nice Mr Honecker who needed to be seen by his devoted socialist workers. Both were converted by a suitably socialist Swedish coachbuilder, Nilsson Karossen.

As Swedish Wiki tells us, “Modellen var speciellt populär i Östtyskland dit över hälften av produktionen sålde” which my pidgin Swedish translates as “the model was specially popular in East Germany where over half of the production was sold”.

Nice to see that the leaders of the socialist people didn’t have to slum it in a stretched Wartburg.