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?
Shortly after the E38 BMW 7 series was introduced, the company resurrected a name from the 1980s to grace one very special 7 series. The L7. The first L7 was based on the E23 7 series and appeared for but one model year in 1986. This 7 series featured leather upholstery throughout with a leather dashboard and door padding, a power glass moonroof and a driver’s side airbag.
For the E38 though, the L7 badge would mean something a little more special. First, one notices the extra length. Ten inches longer aft of the B-pillar, this car was designed with rear passenger comfort in mind. Leather upholstery throughout was standard, of course, as was the V12 engine. A full length console ran down the center of the rear seats, with electric adjustments for both rear seats and a refrigerator behind tucked away behind the folding armrest. Tray tables like what you would see in a Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas were on hand, as well. Just 899 of these long-wheelbase 7 series were produced, with the bulk being produced in 1997 – 265 examples. This particular L7 is on offer south of Stuttgart in the direction of the Swiss border.
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.
Year: 1965 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.
This is a unique opportunity to own a highly restored Mercedes 600. For more details call 631-283-8819
There are few other color combinations I enjoy more than this one on the 600. The red interior just looks lush and sets off well against the classic black paintwork, a color that lends itself well to pretty much any large Mercedes sedan. So the big question is whether the $200k plus asking price is worth it? Most well to do consumers eyeing the new S class or one of the very last Maybachs to be produced won’t be cross shopping a vintage machine like this. But if you must have one of the biggest crowning achievements of Mercedes-Benz this side of the 300SL and Silver Arrows, there are few better examples than the Grösser Mercedes.
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.
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.
The limos that have come through our pages before always attract a very specific type of buyer. They are a hard sell. The types that can afford a limo usually want a brand new one for status points. Old limos often show signs of abuse or have weak points if they were assembled poorly. We’ve seen old limos turned into campers, but really you have to want to be a chauffeur to buy one.
This Duchatelet customized Benz shows classic understated looks. Not nearly as ostentatious as a modern two tone Maybach or as crazy as many of the other 1980s Mercedes tuners. This style is something that Duchatelet was known for. The Belgian based company did extensive work on interiors of Mercedes vehicles, but their conversions we almost always done in a tasteful and functional manner. Though not their main job they did however offer gullwing door conversions.
The company, whose motto was “Nothing great was ever born of compromise,” worked on the full line of Benz cars. They would do security and interior packages for stretched W126 cars or interiors on W124 chassis cars. The only thing they didn’t do was performance modifications, instead they focused their energy on making some of the most exclusive and expensive interiors for very high end customers.
In looking at the pictures you can see that the fit and finish of the interior custom work looks like it came straight from the factory. The look is one of elegance and not cobbled together prom night limo. Custom touches extend to the door sills and gauge cluster. There is a lot of extra wood and leather and some extra electronics including a retractable divider. The car appears to have been updated with a more modern flat screen television screen which tells me that the car has been cared for. The ad states that several maintenance issues have been kept up so the car is ready to go. It does have the hydropneumatic suspension for a smoother ride, but look out for potential higher costs in terms of servicing if not maintained.
There are only 39,000 miles on the machine so it hasn’t been used much. When you think what this custom work cost new some owner had some very expensive dollars per mile with this car. The setup of the interior is designed for the business person, not the party wagon with limited seating.
The ad listing doesn’t provide much description about the car, it doesn’t even say what model it is, but a look under the hood shows this is a 560SEL based car. Which makes sense since that would have been the top of the line Benz sedan of the day. The 5.6 liter V8 should be providing plenty of power to move the car along at highway speed despite the extra weight.
Not a bad car, and at that mileage it should have plenty of life left. If you want to be carted around, but can’t let go of the 1980s this is your car. The price is a bit steep at $29,500. I doubt there will be any takers at that price. You could get yourself a really nice 750il or newer S class at that price. While they wouldn’t have as much leg room they might be more practical choices unless you really want to run a livery service.
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. Perhaps the market is a bit different in Europe right now, but with an economic crisis upon them, I tend to doubt it.
If I was part of the 1% and needed a car in which to be drive, this would be my ultimate choice for transportation. It’s not a logical choice and it would certainly be more cantankerous to maintain than a modern day machine. It would be worth it, though, to see people stop and stare at this car’s sheer presence. So big was this car that it was nicknamed the Grosser Mercedes, or “larger” Mercedes. Is it any wonder, then, that this car was popular with dictators the world over?
The 600 was a legend in its time, but a lot of real life legends selected this limousine for their personal transport. This particular 600 SWB featured in the following clip from Mercedes-Benz was owned by Elvis Presley.
The Mercedes-Benz 600, or Grosser Mercedes as it is sometimes called, is one of those vehicles where I find myself reaching for words to describe it. This awesome car set the bar extremely high not only for luxury vehicles but for automotive technology itself when it was introduced in 1963. Available as a short wheelbase sedan, a long wheelbase limo with four or six doors, such as the Pullman you see here, or as a special order Landaulet convertible, these imposing rigs debuted the M100 SOHC V8 engine. With Bosch fuel injection, this unit produced 250 horsepower and 370 lb. ft. of torque. Even though this car was in production from 1964 through 1981, only 2,677 600 models were manufactured, and under 500 were the Pullman version. That makes our feature a rare car, one which had an overarching affect on many Mercedes-Benz model generations to come.
1964 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman. As a Pullman model only 487 were made over an 18 year production. These are very rare and highly collectable. With just over 99,000 original miles this will be a great addition to any collection. Starts right up, very smooth driving and engine. No knocking or engine noises. All options are in excellent working order including the very important ones: air suspension, windows, power rear seats, window divider, A/C system, and power closing truck. This well maintained example has beautiful wood trimmed veneers that are in excellent condition. The interior as you can see is also in very good condition. Paint, body, and chrome over all show beautifully.
Almost $100,000 is about standard fare for a well sorted Pullman these days; vehicles with celebrity ownership tied to them can bring more money at times. To get more of a sense for just how monumental of a vehicle this was, here is a video from Mercedes-Benz’s Fascination series illustrating the 600:
The Mercedes-Benz 600, or Grosser Mercedes, is one of those timeless vehicles that needs no explanation. Favored by heads of state, celebrities and well-heeled businesspersons, some 600s are still regularly used to this day, as many believe that even a Maybach can’t stand up to what this car has to offer. Here we have a VERY original, one owner short wheelbase 600 in need of another caretaker for the next 40 years.
The seller states:
Purchased new 11/28/1968. The only 600 ever sold new in Columbus, Ohio. Owned by local attorney since day 1. Always maintained and preserved at the local Mercedes dealership where it always received everything it needed and more as can be attested to by the extensive service file which comes with the car.
Car was recently driven 500 miles to the M100 clubs annual meet where it was recognized as one of the best original cars in existence. Silver with black leather. Paint is mostly original although it has had some touch-ups over the years and an extra door protection strip added. The original black leather is still soft and supple. It has a factory optional sunroof and beverage cooler. It comes complete with all the books and records, the toolkit with all the tools, the hydraulic kit with all the parts, the air suspension kit inside the spare wheel with all the parts, and the spare parts kit in the styrofoam box stored in the left trunk compartment. The tires are almost new Michelins with less than 1000 miles, 205/75/15XL. Everything operates as intended in every system. There are no mickey mouse parts on this car. It has factory original exhaust system in good condition. The chrome is bright and shiny with just a few minor imperfections. The car has absolutely no rust ever.
Being sold to settle estate. You won’t find too many left like this one. SL Market Letter lists this car in #2 condition at $150,000. We are offering the car at 1/3 off for quick sale. Enjoy it while it appreciates! This car is 100% handmade and is the 540K of the future. It is the finest automobile ever made by any company and soon will be recognized in the 1 million dollar range.
While $100,000 may seem a bit steep for what is essentially a used vehicle, consider how much it would cost to put everything right on a vehicle like this. What we see here is a rare instance of a well cared for classic, one that is sure to appreciate in the future.
And if you weren’t aware, famed motoring journalist Jeremy Clarkson owns one:
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