Finally. After so many times looking at aftermarket limousine conversions (with questionable build quality) on Mercedes I finally found a real factory Pullman. This is a 2001 S500 Pullman six seater with the AMG Advanced Mobile Media System. And here this whole time you thought AMG was just good at making cars that burn tires. This is a fully mobile office computers, desks, live televisions, DVD players and 43 kbps internet service. Well, maybe stick to your smartphones for the internet service. But this car is a great example how well a limo can be done with the right materials and planning. Lets check it out.
Last week I checked out a really cool short wheel base right hand drive G500 in the UK and explained that you can basically have a G-Wagen any way you want it. Well, today’s G is another way get your kicks and if you haven’t noticed, this one is quite a bit longer than the last G I checked out. This is a 2005 G55 AMG that has been stretched and of course, updated with the G63 bumpers, wheels and badges that seems to be all the rage now. The stretching sadly wasn’t a factory job and because of that I’m going to stop short of calling it a true Pullman and instead go with the more tradition term of limousine. Although this stretching job looks really well done, I do have a couple of questions and one big red flag.
Throughout last week I checked out a few custom creations from coach builders both really interesting and a little odd. I didn’t have plans to continue this streak until I ran across this creation. What we are looking at today is a 1990 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL limousine by Trasco. Trasco is a German company that has been producing both stretched and armored S-Class since the launch of the W126 chassis. To this day they still do conversions on not only the W222 but G-Wagons, 7-series, A8, Land Crusiers/LX as well as some other vehicles you typically see with protection. Of course with the majority of limos built in the 1980s, they reflect the times quiet well. This one is no different.
Engine: 5.0 liter V-8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 126,560 km (78,640 mi)
1990 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL, 45cm limo by TRASCO
Guessing off the seller’s description, this 500SEL was lengthened by almost 18 inches in the center of the car. This allowed room in the rear seating area for a small television and what looks like a VHS player. But to be honest, this whole car looks like a mess. The exterior of the car is pretty beat up with bumps and bruises everywhere on the bumpers. The rear badges are literally held on by a bunch of different style self-tapping screws drilled straight into the metal. Inside, it doesn’t get much better. The gauge cluster was modified with some of fake stones on the dials and the surrounding area of it looks like it was painted with a coarse paint brush. The privacy curtains are lace of all things and don’t offer much privacy at all. The entire car can be described as filthy as it looks like a good vacuuming wasn’t on the priority list before taking photos of the this poor thing.…
Last week I checked out at a 1972 Mercedes-Benz 600 that looked to be cared for by a wealthy stable owner in north Alabama. Today, we have another W100 to examine, but this one has quite a bit more history to sort through. This 1970 600 for sale in Portland, Oregon isn’t the normal standard wheelbase sedan you are used to seeing but rather it’s the rare Pullman version, which is one of 423 ever produced. Of course, those who ordered these cars usually weren’t your normal private citizens. So who was the original owner of this rolling symbol of power?
Model: 600 Pullman
Engine: 6.3 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 35,000 km (21,747 mi)
1970 Mercedes 600 Pullman
Ordered new by King Idris of Libya the same year he was overthrown by Muammar Gaddafi
Award winning restoration (fully documented)
All mechanicals are new or rebuilt
35,000 km’s (300 km since restoration)
Factory 040G black with bamboo leather
Complete set of factory spares kits and tool pouch
Price: $395,000 firm
The owner of this awesome 600 was King Idris of Libya who according to the build sheet, didn’t have possession of the car for too long. This Pullman was built in July of 1969 but unfortunately Idris was deposed a few months later in a coup d’etat by army officers led by a guy you might have heard of named Muammar Gaddafi. I’ve tracked down a photo of Idris getting out of the car attached below and even more amazingly, the Associated Press actually has video footage of Idris in Turkey on September 2nd, 1969 with the car that can be viewed here. That same day is when Libyan Army officers took control of the country.…
Limousine conversions can go either way. The way I enjoy them are the factory conversions which Mercedes-Benz calls the “Pullman”, a term carried over from railroad cars that were built to be relaxed in. Their fit and finish is totally perfect, which makes sense because these cars were usually built for heads of state like
Boris Yeltsin Vladimir Putin to be the ultimate in chauffeured transport. On the other end, companies have taken the standard production car, sliced them in half, lengthened them, stitched them back together then added their own interiors in the passenger compartment. These cars were mostly used as shuttles for kids to puke up their Jägermeister on the way to the prom. Today’s 500SEL for sale outside of Boston is one of those types of limousines. Yea?
The Volkswagen Type 2 “Bus” is one of the most iconic vehicles of all time, perhaps second only to the Type 1 Beetle. They draw smiles everywhere they go, and are perfectly acceptable as rusty survivors and perfect, climate-controlled-storage classics. The one my brother drove for a while was of the no-muffler beater variety, but today’s examples are gorgeous, show-quality items that will blow minds with both their looks and their prices. Both are modified to take on the look of the desirable “21-window” bus, but the first one has significantly more than that…
So often with modified cars we decry the loss of a prime example of a highly desirable car in stock form. Of course, there are exceptions; original Ruf and AMG cars, Alpina and Hartge BMWs and even the occasional Treser is pretty neat. But generally outside of that the modifications don’t do much in terms of desirability to the market at large; people really seem to prefer stock examples. Despite that, when it comes to a generally unloved model, I’m willing to bet that no one will cry much for the loss – witness today’s 2008 Porsche Cayenne. While the facelift generation Cayenne is generally perceived as a visual improvement over the original design, I can’t say that there are a tremendous amount of enthusiasts that really get super excited about them. That’s especially true of the entry level 3.2 VR6 model; whether it’s true or not, it feels like it’s a lot more Volkswagen than Porsche, and I for one think the Touareg is better looking. Consequently, I let out an audible laugh and cheer when I stumbled across this 185″ stretched limousine version of a 2008 Cayenne:
If you think back over the last century, what are some of the greatest cars to have ever roamed the streets? Sure, vehicles such as the original Volkswagen Beetle, Porsche 911 and Alfa Romeo Spider come to mind, but all of these cars had a multitude of variations and generations that it is hard to point to one single model of each that you would classify as significant. If I had to pick one single model that moved the chains, it’s this car: the Mercedes 600. While there were short and long wheelbase versions and an open roofed Landaulet version on offer, the 600 was relatively unchanged over its 18 year production cycle.
In that time, this became the de facto car for celebrities, heads of state and executives that wanted the most advanced, luxurious car money could buy. Advanced it was for its 1963 introduction, with a fuel-injected V8, hydraulic actuation for everything from the seats to the trunk lid and a host of other options available which would allow owners to customize their chariots to their every want and need. This restored 600 short wheelbase model for sale in New York allows the discerning collector to strike a decided chairman of the board pose.
Model: 600 SWB
Engine: 6.3 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 31,173 mi
Price: $215,000 Buy It Now
This is a 1965 Mercedes 600 SWB in stunning restored condition. This car, VIN# 100012-12-000312, is an original #040 Black car and has been extensively restored by Classic Car Restoration LLC of Wausau, WI, perhaps the leading restorers of 600’s in the country. This car was repainted in its original Glasurit Black ( #040) and the finish is stunning. In addition the following work was performed:
full engine rebuild
full transmission rebuild
full rebuild of front and rear axle and brake system
new red leather interior and refinished Makassar wood
all hydraulic switches serviced and replaced as necessary
re chromed front and rear bumpers
all rebuilt air suspension components
and much more.
Limousines seem much rarer now than when I was a wee lad, when I remember being awestruck by giant Mercedes rolling through downtown Seattle with weird boomerangs on top of their trunks. Perhaps it’s another social change attributable to “THE ECONOMY” or maybe the advent of Hummer limos finally jumped the shark, or maybe it just happens that I live in a place where the rich drive themselves; whatever it is, the limo is a hilarious exercise in automobile modification and excess. In the late 80s, BMW stepped up their excess-game with the introduction of the V12-powered 750, an already long car. While some readers are probably already angrily typing that this car is not worth posting, the fun ones are imagining what they would do with a giant ferret of a car. Top Gear-type challenges? The most comfortable road trips ever? The acres of leather in the interior leave me inclined towards the latter. Low miles and overall cleanliness give a few points to practicality, but there’s nothing practical about getting that massive wheelbase around corners. No wonder it’s for sale in Texas.
Model: 750iL limousine
Engine: 5.0L V12
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 29,000 mi
If this were a normal 750iL, the price would probably be even higher. The limo-factor makes it hard to value (as if anyone needs a pragmatic assessment of this car anyway). I just find it funny to know that there was a 25 year-old limo that is still this clean and ready to party.
When someone uses the phrase “the best,” you tend to take it with a grain of salt, right? We’ve featured a lot of cars on GCFSB this week that might come close to living up to that phrase, but for me, there will always be one car in history that is head and shoulders above the rest: the Mercedes-Benz 600.
The 600 was designed as an prestige vehicle for heads of state and VIPs that would offer little compromise in a money no object package. Unveiled in 1963 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, this car cost a hair over $20,000, making it the most expensive new car on the market. This new car packed a new engine, the M100, 6.3 liter V8 with 300 horsepower and 434 lb ft of torque, enough to launch this behemoth at a rapid pace and cover a quarter mile in 17.2 seconds, faster than some small sports cars of the period. Whether you opted for the short wheelbase (SWB) model you see here or the longer Pullman variant, passengers were treated to a high level of luxury, with beautiful wood veneers throughout, rear curtains, an available rear compartment divider and a choice of leather or this car’s plush velour.
This 600 SWB for sale north of Stuttgart looks the business in dark blue over gray cloth.
Two rear curtains, console bar with freezer. The mechanicals and hydraulics are fully functional, interior is in excellent condition. Recent service. Vehicle was completely repainted in the original color. No non-standard modifications.
A 600 SWB in good condition that has been used as intended will run you around $70,000 to $100,000, with examples that are near concours or with exceptional provenance pulling into the $100,000 to $150,000 range. This car is in good shape and sorted, but it is a bit of a hard sell at close to $200,000 with almost 100,000 miles and a repaint.…