After its post-war recovery was finally over, Mercedes found demand for an exclusive, high-end luxury limousine to take on the very best from Cadillac and Rolls-Royce. The resulting W100, known as the Mercedes-Benz 600-series, was one of the most technically sophisticated and meticulously engineered cars of its day, and even now many of its design features are thoroughly impressive and fascinating. It featured unibody construction, Bosch fuel injection for its powerful 6.3-liter V-8, self-leveling air suspension, and an options list that was as extensive as the imagination or the budget of the buyer. All of the 600’s power features, and there were many, were also controlled by a complex hydraulic system that ran on mineral oil. As a result, it was also one of the most expensive and exclusive cars on the road. The typical Mercedes-Benz 600 owner was a head of state, actor, famous musician or other person of importance. In fact, the very image of the car itself has become a symbol of prestige. Even though Mercedes-Benz built the 600 for almost two decades from 1963 to 1981, only just over 2,000 of them were produced, including short wheelbase sedans, long wheelbase Pullmans, six-door Pullman limousines and Landaulets. Due to their complexity, though, many 600s have either not survived or have needs that are both numerous and expensive. A sound, consistently maintained example is therefore ideal.
This 1969 Mercedes-Benz 600 is a short wheelbase model that is in the kind of fantastic, fastidiously maintained condition that is reassuring to current 600 owners. Finished in a distinctive red done at great expense over a black leather interior, it has a sunroof, new narrow whitewall tires, new battery, a Becker Grand Prix radio, blackout privacy curtains in the rear, and a mini bar in the center console that still contains a set of shot glasses and cocktail shaker. It also comes with its tool roll and a set of spare keys. The paint, chrome, upholstery, wood and carpets are all in gorgeous condition and the car is just as distinctive as it’s ever been, perhaps even more so with its bright red paint since most 600s are finished in more reserved grays or blacks.
Just as important as this car’s lovely presentation is its mechanical condition. Because of its extreme sophistication, more than a few 600s have suffered from the deferred maintenance and neglect of well-meaning owners who just couldn’t afford to service them. Not so with this car. All of the numerous hydraulics are in fine working condition, as is the advanced self-leveling suspension. Mechanically, it is sorted and ready to use. This is the kind of example that is ideal for someone who wants a 600 to use regularly out on the road and enjoy the comfort, performance and engineering grandeur for which these cars are legendary.
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