VILSECK, Germany — The parish church of St. Aegidius has been renovated many times since the 12th century, but no one has ever adorned it with an American muscle car — until this week.
A 20-year-old American was walking through construction sites near the market square in the small Bavarian village of Vilseck on Thursday when his navigation system led him down the wrong path, Vilseck police said on Wednesday. The police did not reveal the identity of the American.
Navigation guidance led the driver down the church steps, where the car got stuck, police said.
A towing company removed the car the same day. The staircase was undamaged and Vilseck police let the newly fired driver go with a warning.
Photos of the last Dodge Charger parked on the steps of the church quickly made their way to regional newspapers after police announced the incident last week.
These reports did not mention the nationality of the driver. But American soldiers in the city, home to part of the largest army training ground in Europe, have come to their own conclusions.
This make and model is rarely seen at dealerships in Europe other than those at US bases.
The photos quickly appeared on US Army WTF! Moments on social media sites under the headline “Nothing more American than parking your Dodge Charger at 17% interest on the steps of a German church #usausausa”.
The post drew more than 800 mostly sarcastic comments, some of whom thought 17% might be a good rate for a young soldier with little or no credit.
The 2022 Charger’s sticker price of $30,940 is a few thousand dollars more than the base annual salary of a private first class with less than three years of service.