1965 Mercedes-Benz 600

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.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1965 Mercedes-Benz 600 on eBay

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1977 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 Euro-Spec

While the M5 may have the notoriety of being the first serious super performance sedan, it’s easy to forget that Mercedes-Benz really started the trend. As early as the 1930s, Mercedes-Benz was building some of the fastest large cars in the marketplace. They were expensive, complicated, and beautiful works of engineering. It took a while post-war for both the marketplace and the company to come back to full strength, but two cars created in the midst of an international oil crisis I really think point towards the character of their respective companies. First was BMW’s hard-edged, barely disguised racer for the road, the 3.0CSL – which we sort of just looked at. It was expensive, relatively lightweight, stunning to look at and pretty quick to boot – a sporting nature that would carry through to the current generation of BMWs, still considered the benchmark in sporting sedans. On the other side of the fence was the 450SEL 6.9; who else but Mercedes-Benz would put the largest production V8 into a sedan when there was a gas crisis? If the 3.0 shouted about it’s racing prowess, the Mercedes was subtle and understated. Indeed, option number 261 even removed the displacement badge on the rear, and outside of that you’d only see hints of the car’s performance by the bulging tires and slightly more showy exhaust. But stomp on the loud pedal and the best part of 290 horsepower was on tap for you – and this was 1975. Remember 1975? It was when the base Corvette had 165 horsepower and if you wanted to just break 200, the L-82 was your only option at 205 horsepower. A full 40% more powerful, the Benz was the match for sports cars of the day in a straight line but offered extreme luxury at the same time:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 on eBay

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King’s Ransom: 1970 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman – REVISIT

Probably one of my most interesting and joyful cars to write about in my handful of years was this 1970 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman. The short history was it was delivered new to King Idris of Libya shortly before a coup d’etat by the infamous Muammar Gaddafi. Somehow the car made it out of Libya and spent time in Japan and later came to California where it was acquired by the seller in 2011. It underwent over a $150,000 worth of work to get it into condition it is, and that is the last I heard of it in 2018.

Well, it looks like the car didn’t go into hiding as it was featured in Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle, then recently went up for bid on Bring a Trailer as a premium listing from the same seller. After the dust settled, someone named MalibuScott became the new owner for $300,000 all in. Truth be told, I thought that was a very nice price for the new owner. Looking at the amount of time and money that went into this car, I don’t see a big profit for the seller unless he got this for a song when it was sitting. Fun to see this one come up again, and maybe not the last we’ve heard from it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1970 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman on Bring a Trailer

The below post originally appeared on our site October 31, 2018:

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The Aquarium: 1966 Mercedes-Benz 600 by Chapron

Its hard to imagine a car that was more sought after and requested by the truly elite of the world than the Mercedes-Benz 600. I don’t need to regurgitate over and over again all the well-known individuals who owned these cars as I’ve done that in the past, but if you want to read about some of them, go nuts. Naturally, with great power and wealth comes with certain expectations and certain requests made to their favorite luxury car maker. I’ve seen some pretty crazy stuff that the Mercedes factory honored the request of, but today’s modification was so nuts that the Mercedes factory flat out said no to.

Nubar Gulbenkian, an Armenian oil tycoon, had a taste for eccentric luxury cars to say the least. He commissioned Rolls-Royce to build him some truly wild stuff and naturally asked Mercedes to do the same with their 600. The thing is, Mercedes said no. Why? Well, Gulbenkian had a thing for cars with fully transparent roofs. He had a 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith with a transparent Perspex roof, among other body modifications, that is truly a one-off. The story goes, Mercedes wouldn’t do it on the 600 because the structure of the roof isn’t entirely flat. So bending a giant sheet of glass on a car that is constantly flexing and experiences temperature swings isn’t something they wanted to dive into nor stand behind when it breaks. Tycoons usually don’t take no for an answer, so Gulbenkian ordered a standard 600 through a fake name and asked coach builder Henri Chapron in Paris to do the work. In additional to adding the roof, they covered the entire interior in leather and added other little touches like tobacco pipe holders on the front seat backs. I told you this guy was eccentric.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1966 Mercedes-Benz 600 at RM Soethby’s

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1977 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9

The holy trinity of M100-powered Mercedes-Benz cars, the 600, 300SEL 6.3, and 450SEL 6.9, are not for the causal or faint of heart owners. The buy-in is expensive, the parts are expensive, the labor is expensive, everything is expensive. These are not cars you can stick in the corner of the garage under a cover with a battery tender hooked up only to drive it once a month, if that. They all use extremely complicated suspension systems that will leave you weeping if you walk out in the garage and see the car suddenly resting on its rocker panels. Despite support from the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center, lots of parts have been no longer available for many years and aren’t coming back, so your only hope it to pray that it doesn’t break and if it does, hope it can be rebuilt. There is a very small, but passionate group of owners of these cars in the M100 club, but their membership is decreasing as the years going on as younger generations aren’t interested in spending sometimes five-figures for routine repairs on these cars.

If you are brave enough to dip your toe into the world of dry-sump engine lubrication and doors heavy enough to slice your fingers clean off if they get caught in them, then the 450SEL 6.9 is where you want to start. Full disclosure, I own a W116 chassis, in non-6.9 trim, so I am a bit biased on these, but also extremely realistic as I’ve worked on a 6.9 extensively and lived to tell about. The hydraulic suspension system is sturdy, but again, very pricey if something goes wrong, and the same can be said for the 6.9 engine itself. The non-6.9 bits are some of the best materials you could ever ask for in a car, sans the god-forsaken US-spec HVAC, so it is for sure a give and take situation. Buy a well-sorted example and stay diligent with the maintenance, it won’t be so bad. However, buy a project and have fun explaining to your wife and kids why Santa won’t be visiting your house this year. Thankfully the car I’m looking at today, a rare European-spec 1977, looks to have all the major things looked after and is it relatively good health. The thing is, I don’t think the owner wants to let go of it. At least for not what I think it is worth.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 on eBay

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1964 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman

There are few cars I geek out over more than the Mercedes-Benz 600 and all of its crazy variations. There is just something about the ”money is no object” philosophy with these cars and the seemingly endless options that were offered. One of those options was the factory Pullman body that turned this sedan into a limousine. Wildly popular with celebrities, industrialists and heads of state, these offered the best the automotive world had to offer with seating for six. Today’s car, a 1964 Pullman for sale in Germany, was built for and used by the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe: Siemens AG.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1964 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman at Hemmings

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1970 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.6

No, your eyes aren’t mistaken and my finger didn’t slip up one digit on the number pad. I meant to type 6.6. Let me explain.

What we are looking at today is a 1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3, a legendary car on its own, that had the M100 engine block opened up to increase the displacement 6.6 liters. Who is responsible for such a thing? Karl Middelhauve, of course. If you aren’t familiar with Karl, he is a man world-renowned for his expertise on M100-powered Mercedes and especially his work on the W100 600. If something can be done with a M100 Mercedes, Karl can do it and probably has already done it. This is just one of his examples. This 1969 up for sale in San Francisco is one of the few ”6.6” W109s in existence and now you can own it for a price. A very high price.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.6 on eBay

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King’s Ransom: 1970 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman

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?

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

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1971 Mercedes-Benz 600

The Mercedes-Benz 600 falls into the category of a cars that I totally love, but have zero interest in owning. Maybe if I won the Powerball for 2.2 billion I could swing buying one and the maintenance on it, but even then it might be pushing it. I’ve gone in pretty deep about what it is like to own a 600 and I honestly think it is cheaper in the long run to bring home triplets from the hospital vs. bringing home a 600. At least there is a chance the babies can take care of you when you are old while the needs of a 600 never stop.

Naturally, that brings me to check out this 1971 up for sale in California. It doesn’t have a famous owner or an interesting story (that I could find) nor does it have any crazy options that makes it stand out. It is a straight-forward 600 in average condition. The best part about it? The price is pretty attractive considering what these usually are listed for.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1971 Mercedes-Benz 600 on eBay

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1967 Mercedes-Benz 600

The last Mercedes-Benz 600 I looked at was a wonderful example that was originally owned by NBC Orchestra conductor Don Ricardo. It was a cool little story that was mostly complete and ready to keep being enjoyed by a new owner — as long as you had a big enough bank account. Today, I have another 600 but this has little information and being sold by the source themselves. Who is that source? None other than the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center. Sounds like a perfect situation to buy a car, right?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1967 Mercedes-Benz 600 at Mercedes-Benz Classics

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