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Project cars are a very slippery slope. I’d say for every 100 projects that someone buys, maybe only a handful actually see the end of the line as “completed.” People love to get in over their heads in terms of what it will cost or the amount of skill it requires, with most of the time being a solid combination of both. Most of the time it is cheaper, easier, and much less painful just to buy the example you want totally original or already finished, then leave the projects for the professionals and retired folks with unlimited money.
However, there is one car that will bring anyone to it’s knees if you aren’t totally flush with cash and have a very specific set of knowledge: the Mercedes-Benz 600. I don’t need to go over the reasons why, but rather what it would take to get this 1965 up for sale in California back to its glory days. Also, this one has another little surprise.
Prior to the R107 generation Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, your thirst for a V8 couldn’t be quenched. Your only options in prior generations 300SL and W113 Pagoda were inline-six powerplants in various guise. Don’t get me wrong, they were very sweet engines, especially that in the Gullwing, but V8s they were not. However, it looks like there was someone who wasn’t going to accept that. Leave it to the sneaky Germans to pull this one off.
Here’s one you don’t see every day! The Opel Kadett B launched in 1965, but was actually the third generation of the Kadett nameplate if you counted the pre-War models. It introduced no less than eight body-style variants on the chassis, including two- and four-door sedans, two- and four-door fastbacks, two-door coupes, and two- and four-door ‘kombi’ wagon models that were dubbed the Caravan.
Produced at the Rüsselsheim factory (about 200km north of Stuttgart, near Frankfurt), the Opels were sold through Buick dealers with little success in the heyday of the 1960s. Part this wagon next to one of the General’s other creations from the period – I’m looking at you, Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado – and you being to understand the vast gulf that marketing just couldn’t make up for. Under the hood lay not a 7.0 liter V8, but a 1.0 liter inline four powering the rear wheels through a manual transmission. Luxury? Yeah, it had….carpet….and…..windows. This one even has a radio! But it’s still really neat to see a survivor Opel on the market today:
The W113 Mercedes-Benz Pagoda is one of those cars you can buy an example for $40,000 all the way up to $240,000 and no one would bat an eye at you for doing so. Condition and spec can vary widely, so naturally prices do as well. Outside of the wheel choices, they all have the same general look and the only major factor in determining price is the engine choice. You can chose between the 230, 250, or 280 spec with generally the 280 and manuals demanding the greatest dollar amount. Are the other two choices bad? Not at all. You aren’t exactly competing in vintage road racing in a Pagoda, so while the upgraded power from the 280 is surely nice, the main goal of this car is to cruise and look good. So if a 230SL came up for sale for a reasonable price with the right transmission, like we have today, would you say no?
Lately, I’ve been looking at a lot of modern 911s and others with supercar performance, but let’s take a moment to turn the clock back to the 911’s early years. Here we have a fully restored Aga Blue 1965 Porsche 911, located in South Carolina, with a reported 78,901 miles on it. Aga Blue is not a color I can recall seeing previously. It’s a dark, non-metallic, shade of blue only available during the mid-60s. I’ve never seen it chosen as a paint-to-sample option either. It reminds me a lot of Albert Blue and that is a color I’ve seen come around again on PTS 911s. That doesn’t necessarily tell us much about Aga Blue and its desirability I’m just always curious about which colors we tend to see reappear throughout the Porsche catalog. It is entirely possible Porsche simply has not made it available since its original release.
Enough of that: whether still available or not this is a very attractive early 911 and it looks well restored. It apparently spent quite a long time in storage though given the amount of original panels, glass, and other equipment still with the car it doesn’t appear it suffered too much during those years. That’s good because it has left us with a very fine-looking example of where the iconic 911 began.