Mercedes-Benz 600

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Mercedes-Benz W100
600
Mercedes-Benz 600 vl silver TCE.jpg
Overview
ManufacturerMercedes-Benz
Production1963–1981
2,677 built[1]
SWB: 2,190
LWB: 428
Landaulet: 59
Body and chassis
ClassFull-size limousine
Chronology
PredecessorMercedes-Benz W112 (direct)
Mercedes-Benz W189 (ideological)
SuccessorNo Direct Successor
Mercedes-Benz W221 S600 Pullman (ideological)
 
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Mercedes-Benz W100
600
Mercedes-Benz 600 vl silver TCE.jpg
Overview
ManufacturerMercedes-Benz
Production1963–1981
2,677 built[1]
SWB: 2,190
LWB: 428
Landaulet: 59
Body and chassis
ClassFull-size limousine
Chronology
PredecessorMercedes-Benz W112 (direct)
Mercedes-Benz W189 (ideological)
SuccessorNo Direct Successor
Mercedes-Benz W221 S600 Pullman (ideological)
600 Pullman in Mercedes Museum, formerly transporting guests of the German Government
Mercedes 600 Landaulet
600 in Museum Sinsheim, sitting low until the air compressor re-supplies pressure to the suspension
See also Mercedes-Benz 600 (disambiguation) for other models called "600"

The Mercedes-Benz 600 was a large luxury automobile offered in several variants worldwide. Introduced in September 1963, it had very few competitors, these being certain models of Rolls-Royce and Bentley, Cadillac Fleetwood 75, the stretched Lehmann-Peterson Lincoln, and the Chrysler Imperial Crown Ghia. Generally, the long-wheel-base (LWB) 600 was intended as chauffeur-driven; many featured a central divider incorporating a powered window between front and rear compartments. Short-wheel-base (SWB) 600 models were designed to be owner-driven.

History[edit]

Production began in 1964 and almost 600 variants[citation needed] were built until 1972. The oil crisis, as well as the introduction of new S-Class models, slowed demand. Modest production continued until 1981. During this time, 2,677 vehicles were made.

Models[edit]

The 600 came in two main variants:

A single example of 4-door landaulet was built by Mercedes in 1967. The vehicle was commissioned by Count von Berckheim, the ex-racing driver. This car combined the handling qualities of a short-wheelbase design with the traditional virtues of the landaulet.

Mercedes also made two coupés, one of them was made by Mercedes as a gift for Dr. Rudolf Uhlenhaut when he retired. He had designed the car, together with Fritz Nallinger and Karl Wilfert. A third coupe was constructed from a 600 SWB by Karl Middelhauve and Associates.[citation needed]

A SWB car was also converted into a funeral coach (hearse). More recently, in the 2000s, two SWB cars (one a 1965 model and the other a 1966) were converted into Chevrolet El Camino-esque pick-up trucks. Both are virtually identical but with different paint schemes. The cars were created by Karl Middlehauve of Wausau, Wisconsin along with a handful of craftsmen.[2]

Mechanical[edit]

The 600 was so heavy that the largest engine of Mercedes at that time, the 6-cylinder 300, was inadequate. Instead, a new engine with more than twice the capacity was developed to move the vehicle and its hydraulically powered amenities, the 6.3 L V8 "M100" engine with single overhead camshafts (SOHC), and Bosch mechanical fuel injection.

The 600's "M-100" engine and hydraulics were fitted to the 300SEL 6.3 model in 1968, creating - at that time - the world's fastest four-door sedan. Upon the introduction of the "W116" chassis, a larger version of M-100 was installed in the Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9.

The 600 featured many luxury features, including a complex hydraulic 150-bar (2,176 psi) pressure system that powered everything from the windows and seats to the automatically closing doors, sun-roof, and boot lid. Rebuilding the hydraulic system costs around $20,000 at current rates. Adjustable air suspension gave the car a good ride quality and handling over any road surface.

Owners[edit]

Apart from the Pope and governments, famous owners of the 600 have included celebrities such as Coco Chanel, Hugh Hefner, Elizabeth Taylor, John Lennon, George Harrison, Karen Carpenter, Jay Kay,[3] Aristotle Onassis, Jack Nicholson, Simon Spies, Ronnie Wood, Bob Jane, Frank Packer, Elvis Presley, Rowan Atkinson and Jeremy Clarkson.[4][5] Notable dictators including Park Chung-hee, Josip Broz Tito, Nicolae Ceauşescu, Pol Pot, Enver Hoxha, Ferdinand Marcos (who owned four, including a Landaulet, a 1981 bulletproof and a six-door version.),[6] Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-Il also owned a landaulet (both seen in the 65th anniversary parade in Pyongyang on October 10, 2010) and religious leader Guru Maharaj Ji.[citation needed] Sadaam Hussein owned a long roof landaulet that was recovered after fall of Baghdad that's now owned by the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles.[7]

In Senegal, the first regime (1960–1980) under president Leopold Sedar Senghor had in its fleet three 600s, a short wheel base, a long wheel base and a Landaulet. These were later 'replaced' by the W126 based Carat Limousine.[citation needed]

In Colombia, former drug dealer Pablo Escobar owned a LWB six door 600.[citation needed] This example was destroyed in an attack on Escobar in 1988 in Medellin.[citation needed] Another private collector[who?] has a 600 in Bogota, Colombia.

Iran royal court and Iran's Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi owned multiple 600 models that were used for official and personal use of the late Shah and his court.[citation needed]

Former Chinese Foreign Minister Chen Yi, Deng Xiaoping, wife of the first Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai - Deng Yingchao, and the former King of Cambodia Norodom Sihanouk when he fled to Beijing after the Cambodian coup of 1970 all used the 600.[8]

In television, a Mercedes Benz 600 limousine was used by Angela Channing, matriarch of the fictional Channing/Gioberti family, in the American television series Falcon Crest. Images of the car driving from San Francisco over the Golden Gate Bridge to the Falcon Crest vineyard were featured in the opening credits of the first four seasons.

The Mercedes 600 has also featured in the James Bond films, most notably as transport of the villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld in On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Diamonds Are Forever. Kamal Khan is also seen leaving Sotheby's in a 600 in Octopussy.

Technical data[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oswald, Werner (2001). Deutsche Autos 1945-1990, volume 5 (in German). Motorbuch Verlag. p. 54. ISBN 3-613-02131-5. 
  2. ^ http://www.mbgrand600.com/Page6.html A pair of one-off Mercedes-Benz 600 trucks for sale
  3. ^ Pattni, Vijay (2 January 2009). "Jay Kay's multi-million pound car collection". Autotrader. Retrieved 9 July 2012. "Jay's Merc 600 boasts a history as impressive as the car’s looks – it was previously owned by none other than Coco Chanel" 
  4. ^ J Clarkson (January 13, 2008). "Mazda MX-5: It’s far too cool for you, Mr Footballer". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2008-01-13. 
  5. ^ Top Gear: Grosser vs. Corniche old car challenge part 1 - Top Gear - BBC & Top Gear: Grosser vs. Corniche old car challenge part 2 - Top Gear - BBC Uploaded by TopGear on Aug 28, 2009
  6. ^ http://www.classiccars-forsale.com/mercedes-benz-600-pullman-1967/
  7. ^ "10 Strange and Notorious Cars From the Petersen Museum Vault". Retrieved 2013-02-06. 
  8. ^ 诗香雅韵 (29 July 2007). "二十世纪豪车极品-奔驰600系列". 
  9. ^ Oswald, Werner (2001). Deutsche Autos 1945-1990, Band 4 (in German). Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3-613-02131-5. 
  10. ^ US prices: Mike Covello: Standard Catalog of Imported Cars 1946-2002, Krause Publication, Iola 2002, ISBN 0-87341-605-8, p. 533

External links[edit]