The Curse of the Franz Ferdinand Limousine

        The Archduke of Austria, Franz Ferdinand was the heir to the throne of Austro-Hungary, but he never got to be emperor due to his assassination, which eventually brought about war between Austria and Serbia. This is one of the starting points to World War I. On June 28th, 1914, Franz Ferdinand and his wife were killed in Sarajevo while they rode in their limousine. Legend has it that the limousine carries a curse from that fateful day.

          Let’s have a look to the origins…..Dating back to the Hapsburg dynasty within imperial Austria, the open-topped limo was bestowed upon Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who was in place to take over the throne (which carried along with it some rather troubled baggage). His assassination took place while he was conducting a state visit to Sarajevo, which was then located in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The imperial court of Vienna, causing unrest among the people, had recently annexed the state.
On this particular event, Ferdinand brought along his wife, who rarely accompanied him on these visits. It was an anniversary gift for the pregnant Sophie. The driver of the car, General Potiorek of the Austrian army, as well as three other dignitaries were present.

          As they traveled down the road, an ambitious young nationalist by the name of Gavrilo Princip walked in front of the limo and shot the Archduke and his wife. Princip was responsible for creating the event which set World War I in motion. The cursed had begun ...

            The car was not put away or set on display; it became the property of one of the original riders on the assassination date: General Potiorek. As the war started, his armies suffered losses by members of the Serbian armies. Emperor Franz Josef I called for the General to return to Vienna.
When he returned, he was greeted by those who looked down upon his failures. This destroyed his reputation, causing him to go into a great state of depression and eventually died.

          At this point, no one looked at the car as being cursed. The next owner was a captain within Potiorek’s army. In less than ten days, while riding in the car, he was involved in a terrible accident. He killed two peasants while driving the vehicle, swerving upon contact. He then hit a tree, where he too, lost his life. Post-war, the governor of Yugoslavia became the new owner of the car. One after another, he encountered unfortunate accidents. It is said that he dealt with four accidents over four months. One of them caused the loss of his left arm. He finally decided to sold the car to a doctor, who was crushed to death when he overturned the limo in a ditch. He had only owned it for six months.

          A diamond dealer named Simon Mantharides took over possession of the car. He too dieddriving it with his own hands. The car then became the possession of a Swiss racing driver, who later died in an accident involving this same Limo. Some sources said that he died by being thrown over a stone wall. A Serbian farmer then paid a hefty amount of money to own the car because he admired the historical significance. He soon lost his life when an unusual accident involving the car, a horse and a cart.

          The next life taken by the car was …  a garage owner who was returning from a wedding. He tried to pass a long line of cars, but was killed when the car spun out of his control. Other sources state that he also killed a few of his friends in the car as well …

          This is the last time that the limo has been driven on the road…
It now resides within a Viennese museum.