The 1963–1981 Mercedes-Benz 600 is the only cost-no-object production Mercedes ever built; MSRP when new was around $25,000. The most expensive car in the world at the time. It is the opinion of many Mercedes enthusiasts that it was not only the finest car of its time, but the finest car ever made, period. (There's nothing like die-hard Mercedes fans!)
Short-wheel-base (SWB) 600 models were designed to be owner-driven, while the Long-wheel-base (LWB) 600 was intended to be chauffeur-driven. They produced 2,677 of the 600 in total.
The 600 was so heavy that the largest engine of Mercedes at that time, the 6-cylinder 300, was inadequate. Instead, it was powered by 300 horsepower and 434 lb-ft of torque from the M-100 6.3 liter overhead camshaft fuel injected light alloy V-8 engine.
The 600's specially designed, engine-driven hydraulic system controls the windows, the front and rear power seats, the fresh-air ventilation system, door closure,trunk closure, the sunroof, and suspension damping. It runs on mineral oil and operates at a nominal 3200 psi. It was dreamed up as a way to provide the car with absolutely silent accessory operation.
Two horns. Tap the switch one way, you get a normal car horn. Tap it the other way, you get the Queen Mary's compressed-air monster hooter, a godlike bellow so loud it causes sidewalks to crumble and makes nearby squirrels explode.
Confirmed celebrity owners of this model include Elvis Presley, George Harrison, John Lennon, Hugh Hefner, Elizabeth Taylor, Aristotle Onassis, Coco Chaneland Jack Nicholson who purchased his after driving it in The Witches of Eastwick. Harrison even bought Lennon's old car when the latter moved to the United States from Britain, so he had two.
In Columbia, former drug dealer Pablo Escobar owned a LWB six door 600. This example was destroyed in an attack on Escobar in 1988 in Medellin.
The Mercedes 600 has also featured in the James Bond films, most notably in On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Diamonds are Forever. Kamil Khan is also seen leaving Sotheby's in a 600 in Octopussy.
This model is a 1972 600 SWB (short wheel base) and is luxuriously equipped with are frigerated compartment and shot glasses between the front seats, (a suggestion made by Jackie Gleason) a sunroof, beautiful tables in the front seat backs, additional radio controls behind the passenger's seat, and privacy shades for the rear windows. It has just over 71,000 actual miles.
The previous owner was a Forbes 400 member who took great care of the car. Under his ownership in 2012 it received new paint as well as servicing from Karl Middlehauve, the highly respected authority on the MB 600. In January 2015 it received a new full leather interior, carpet and headliner, as well as new leather in the trunk (although it was questionable if it was needed) by marque specialist David Latham of Bud's Benz. The wood was also just refinished (not re-veneered) by Madera Concepts in CA, as recommended by the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center.
I have a strong personal connection to the 600, since it was our family car when I was a kid and drove it on my 15th birthday back from the DMV after getting my learner's permit. (Unfortunately, my father went broke before my 16th birthday and he lost the car – hence, my desire to finally drive one on my own!). I just completed a 1,400 mile 5 day trip from NC to South Florida and it floated down the road like it was brand new, without a single hitch. My desire was to make this 600 the best available in North America.
Most information was gleaned from Wikipedia and miscellaneous articles on the internet!
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