King’s Ransom: 1970 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman

King’s Ransom: 1970 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman

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?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1970 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman on Hemmings

Year: 1970
Model: 600 Pullman
Engine: 6.3 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 35,000 km (21,747 mi)
Price: $395,000

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.…

1972 Mercedes-Benz 600

1972 Mercedes-Benz 600

The Mercedes-Benz 600 is one of the few cars that I’d love to own but at the same time be absolutely terrified of actually owning it. There is no “faking” ownership of a 600. You need to be totally unfazed about the possibility of spending $8,000 for a minor service at any time. A set of factory brake pads alone will run you over $1,000, although most owners just use the thinner W109 6.3 pads as “affordable” alternatives. If a 600 needs chassis rubber replacement, it’s not out the question for it to be over $20,000 in parts alone. Suddenly, you become envious of Ferrari 348 and 355 owners that only spend $10,000 on engine-out services. So when a 600 comes up for sale like this one in Alabama, I dream of scooping this thing up, but then think maybe spending $12,000 to make sure a 600 can sit in my garage without the body touching the ground isn’t the best use of money.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1972 Mercedes-Benz 600 on eBay

Year: 1972
Model: 600
Engine: 6.3 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 66,081 mi
Price: Buy It Now $90,000

1972 Mercedes 600 4 door Automatic V8. Hydraulic windows & locks. Kept in air controlled shop.

This 1972 is car number 2109 out of the 2677 W100’s ever built and it is the last year for the 600 in the US making it quite rare. The Horizon Blue paint isn’t a color I see too often and the grey interior looks to be in fine shape outside of the random clothes hanger in the rear seats. Being a southern car with a little over 66,000 miles, I don’t see any obvious signs of wear outside of the fading wood that the seller mentions in the description.…

1978 Mercedes-Benz 600 SWB

1978 Mercedes-Benz 600 SWB

While we’re probably all familiar with the legendary Mercedes-Benz 600, one little fact of which enthusiasts may be unaware is that these behemoths were produced all the way up until 1981. It’s fairly amazing this über sedan that was introduced in 1963 outlasted the W116 S-class that was introduced in 1972 and lived on to see the birth of the W126 S-Class. In its time, this was quite possibly the best car money could buy, favored by dictators, celebrities and the well-to-do alike. The car wasn’t just a pretty face, however. It was also a technical tour de force, with a SOHC 6.3 liter V8 under the hood, a hydraulic pressure system that powered everything from the windows to the self closing doors and trunk as well as adjustable air suspension. This right-hand drive example for sale in London is not only rather uncommon due to its late build date, but has a rather muted cloth interior in place of the usual leather we see in these limousines.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 Mercedes-Benz 600 SWB on Classic Driver

Elvis Presley’s 1969 Mercedes-Benz 600

Elvis Presley’s 1969 Mercedes-Benz 600

(lights lift slowly over a sole figure on stage, the band strikes up the first notes to the familiar tune Jailhouse Rock. The singer breaks into verse…)

“Seller threw an auction up on eBay’s site
He was hopin’ that the listing got his price just right
He thought that the famous owner would take bidding far
‘Cause that giant Mercedes-Benz was Elvis’ car

Let’s bid, everybody let’s bid
Anyone who remembers who Elvis was
Will want to get in his old cars…”

I was going to make a concerted effort to write this entire post without referencing either a Twinkie or the signature catch phrase “Thank you, thank you very much”, but I’ve just failed. Look, I’m not here to give you a history lesson on Elvis or his importance. I’m not here to recount the leather jump-suited Vegas years, whether I like fat old Elvis or young vibrant Elvis, or even debate if he stole music from African Americans. I’m not going to give you a history lesson on the Mercedes-Benz 600, either. But let’s consider a few things about this car. The 600 was expensive. Really, really expensive. Arguably, in the late 1960s it was the nicest car that money could buy, and since it took a lot of money to buy, some really famous people owned them. Only about 2,600 were made, mostly in short wheel base variants like the one that Elvis bought. We learn he put $5,500 down and yet still had 36 monthly payments of $344. That equates to $17,844 in 1969; a figure which doesn’t seem particularly outrageous today and even inflation corrected it’s “only” about $116,000. But it was far more expensive than your average car, and it took near royalty to get into the 600. You needed to be someone like Elizabeth Taylor, John Lennon, or…well, Elvis to buy one.…

1967 Mercedes-Benz 600 SWB

1967 Mercedes-Benz 600 SWB

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For a car manufacturer with a history spanning over 100 years, it’s fairly impressive that historians and enthusiasts still regard the 600 as one of the most notable models from Mercedes-Benz. This was a landmark vehicle not just for the company but the whole automotive scene. It was one of the most expensive and complex vehicles of its day and as such, anyone who was anyone seemed to own one, from movie stars to dictators. These cars are highly valued today and many that come up for sale have been treated to lavish restorations costing thousands of dollars. This 600 SWB for sale in Illinois, however, is a driver quality car, showing the wrinkles of age as it closes in on 200,000 miles. But it wears its patina in a dignified manner in which only a Grosser Mercedes can.

Click for details: 1967 Mercedes-Benz 600 on eBay

1965 Mercedes-Benz 600 SWB

1965 Mercedes-Benz 600 SWB

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.

509

Year: 1965
Model: 600 SWB
Engine: 6.3 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 31,173 mi
Price: $215,000 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1965 Mercedes-Benz 600 SWB on eBay

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.