Earlier this month, Carter looked at a 1979 BMW 733i Limousine that was an interesting car to say the least. Like he mentioned, it is really tough to top Mercedes-Benz when it comes to limousines, both aftermarket and factory. I personally think a factory Mercedes Pullman is without question the best limousine in the world, but some aftermarket companies have figured out how to make a nice product as well. Today’s car originally passed muster, but like all things, didn’t age all that well.
This 1987 560SEL up for sale in The Hamptons was converted to a limousine by Carat Duchatelet. Carat Duchatelet was a French company (now Belgian) that converted Mercedes S-Class into limos and other armored vehicles while adding their own special touches. This car was stretched to add a center divider as well as changed out the interior color to something a little more creamy. The entire car screams 1980s and I have come to find out that this car has an option I have never seen before on a Mercedes limousine: a calculator holder!
Update 1/17/19: After failing to sell at $14,999, this oddball limo has been relisted at $9,999.
In terms of German marque limos, it’s safe to say that Mercedes-Benz pretty much has the segment cornered. Andrew has recently covered a crazy supercharged stretched E-Class, a classic if poorly executed W126 S-Class, and of course the market-defining Pullman. Even an unlikely G-Class made the ranks of stretched Benzs.
So it would appear that few are looking for “The Ultimate Driving Machine” for a vomit-inducing ride to the altar, the prom, or some Garth Brooks tour date with six of their closest college buddies. Yet that hasn’t stopped someone from trying. But to me, if the marque was unusual, the model which they chose is even more strange:
After looking at my favorite Pullman ever, I thought I’d circle back and check out another one of my favorite Pullmans that is still for sale. This W220 has a new price of $46,888, which is a $13,000 reduction from the price a year ago. Find it here.
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.
Checking back in with my favorite cars ever. This 600 Pullman is still for sale with a new price of $495,000. That is $100,000 more than the original price. An interesting sales tactic to say the least.
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?
I check out a fair share of limousines with some of them being pretty cool and some being done maybe not so well. For better or worse, each one of them has their own unique features and characteristics. Today’s limo, a 2000 Mercedes-Benz E320 built by Binz, has its own setup that I haven’t seen before and even has a little surprise under the hood. Although the title might have given away the surprise though.
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. At least one redeeming quality is that the wood looks to be in fine shape and hasn’t cracked yet.
This Trasco creation for sale in Japan is listed $22,000, which I don’t need to tell you that is insane. I’ve seen other Trasco W126 limos sell for a third of this price and they weren’t in nearly as bad a shape. I guess maybe this might appeal to Japanese buyers who want to pony up this kind of cash. I just hope they like 1980s nostalgia and a giant coat of arms in the middle of their limousine.
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: