Mercedes-Benz 600

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  • Mercedes-Benz W100
  • 600
Mercedes-Benz 600 vl silver TCE.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Mercedes-Benz
Also called
  • Grand Mercedes
  • Der Große Mercedes
Production
  • 1963–1981
  • 2,677 built[1]
  • SWB: 2,190
  • LWB: 428
  • Landaulet: 59
Designer
Body and chassis
Class Full-size luxury car (F)
Body style
Layout FR layout
Powertrain
Engine 6.3 L M100 V8
Dimensions
Wheelbase SWB: 3,200 mm (126.0 in)
LWB: 3,900 mm (150 in)
Length SWB: 5,540 mm (218.1 in)
LWB: 6,240 mm (246 in)
Width 1,950 mm (76.8 in)
Height SWB: 1,500 mm (59.1 in)
LWB: 1,510 mm (59 in)
Curb weight 2,990–3,280 kg (6,590–7,230 lb)
Chronology
Predecessor
Successor
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

The Mercedes-Benz 600 is a high-end large luxury sedan and limousine produced by Mercedes-Benz from 1963 to 1981. Generally, the short-wheel-base (SWB) models were designed to be owner-driven, the long-wheel-base (LWB), often incorporating a central divider with power window, by a chauffeur.

The forerunner of the modern Maybach marque, the 600 "Grosser Mercedes" ("Grand Mercedes") succeeded the Type 300 "Adenauer" as the company's flagship and most expensive model. Positioned well above the 300-series Mercedes-Benz W112. Its few competitors included certain models of Rolls-Royce and Bentley, the Cadillac Fleetwood 75, stretched Lincoln Continental Lehmann-Peterson, and the Chrysler Imperial Crown Ghia.

The 600 marked the last super-luxury model the brand produced in an unbroken line with its demise in 1981 since the model 60 hp Simplex from 1903.[2] The company would return to this segment some 20 years later with the Maybach 57/62, however these cars ultimately failed to captivate customers in the same way as their British rivals therefore Daimler killed the Maybach brand in 2012 and would not return to this segment. The current Mercedes flagship is the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, which occupies a considerably lower price bracket and is not a successor to the 600 Grand and earlier models, however it is seen as a spiritual successor as it is the first luxury Mercedes since the 600 to feature some bespoke design touches not available on the standard S Class.

History

Production began in 1964 and continued through to 1981.[3] During this time, production totalled 2,677 units, comprising 2,190 Saloons, 304 Pullmans, 124 6-door Pullmans and 59 Landaulets.[3]

Models

The 600 came in two main variants:

  • A short wheelbase 4-door sedan, available with a power divider window separating the front seats from the rear bench seat, although most were built without this feature.
  • A long wheelbase 4-door Pullman limousine (with two additional rear-facing seats separated from the driver compartment by a power divider window, of which 304 were built), and a 6-door limousine (with two forward-facing jump-seats at the middle two doors and a rear bench-seat).

A number of the Pullman limousines were made as landaulets, with a convertible top over the rear passenger compartment. Two versions of the convertible roof were made- long roof, and short roof. Of them, the short roof, which opens only above the last, third row of seats, is the more common version. Rarer, especially by the 6 door Landaulets, is the long roof, called- Presidential Roof. In all, 59 Pullman Landaulets were produced, and of them, only 26 were 6 door landaulets. And of these 26, only very few- 9, were 6 doors Landaulets with the long Presidential type opening roof. One of these 9 cars was used by the former Yugoslavian president Josip Broz Tito, and was sold in 2017 in England, for 2.5 mln. Pounds.[4]

Landaulets like these were notably used also by the German government, as during the 1965 state visit of Queen Elizabeth II. Also the Vatican, in addition to an elongated Mercedes 300 type D, 4 door convertible, have used for the Pope, specially ordered 4 door Pullman Convertible, which now resides in the Mercedes benz Factory Museum. Production of the Landaulet versions of 600 model, ended in 1980.

Mercedes also made two coupés, one as a gift for retiring long-time Mercedes chief designer Rudolf Uhlenhaut, and the other to Fritz Nallinger. head of Research and development center of Mercedes in the 50s and 60s.[5][better source needed] These cars had a wheelbase 22 cm (8.6 inches) shorter than the SWB sedan.[citation needed] A third was much later constructed by 600 experts and restorers Karl Middelhauve & Associates of Wausau, Wisconsin from a SWB sedan.[6]

Karl Middelhauve has also created a pair of matching Chevrolet El Camino-style coupes from 600 SWB sedans. One of them has a Vortech supercharger. Some purists question the reason for modifying a classic such as an original 600 into a modified vehicle, while other purists think Karl is extending function in the true spirit of the "Grosser" Mercedes.[7]

A single example of a SWB 4-door landaulet, combining the handling of a short-wheelbase with the qualities of a landaulet, was built by Mercedes in 1967 for former racing driver Count von Berckheim.

Mechanical

The 600's great size, weight, and numerous hydraulically driven amenities required more power than Mercedes' largest engine at that time, the 3-litre 6-cylinder M189, could produce. A new V8 with more than twice the capacity was developed, the 6.3 L M100. It featured single overhead camshafts (SOHC) and Bosch mechanical fuel injection. It developed 300 hp (224 kW), however, the total usable output was 250 hp (186 kW) as 50 hp (37 kW) was used to power the hydraulic convenience system.[citation needed]

The 600's complex 150-bar (2,176 psi) hydraulic pressure system powered the automobile's windows, seats, sun-roof, boot lid, and automatically closing doors. Adjustable air suspension delivered excellent ride quality and sure handling over any road surface.[8]

In 1967 the M-100 engine and pneumatic suspension were fitted to the much smaller but still substantial W109 300SEL 6.3, creating the world's fastest four-door sedan. Upon the introduction of the W116 chassis, a larger 6.9 liter version of M-100 was installed in the Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 and pneumatic suspension was replaced with hydraulic.

Notable owners

Famous owners of the Mercedes-Benz 600 have included the following people.

Celebrities and tycoons

Political leaders and royalty

Habib Bourguiba's 600 Pullman

In popular culture

In cinema, the Mercedes 600 was featured in several James Bond films, most notably as transport of the villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld in On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Diamonds Are Forever. In Octopussy, the villain Kamal Khan is seen leaving Sotheby's London auction house in a 600 Pullman.

In television, a 600 was used by fictional Channing/Gioberti family matriarch Angela Channing 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. It was also prominently featured in the television show Friday the 13th.

In popular political context, the 600 has long been associated with totalitarianism, dictatorships and to a lesser extent Communism due to its use by dictators, authoritarian rulers, and Communist/socialist leaders during the 1960s and 1970s. This is similar to how its predecessor, the 770, was associated with Axis leaders.

There was also a Pullman version used in the Movie High Anxiety by Mel Brooks.

The 600 appears on the original cover art of Kraftwerk's Autobahn (album), alongside a Käfer.

Technical data

Technical data Mercedes-Benz 600 (W100)[53] (Manufacturer's figures except where stated)

Mercedes-Benz 600 600 Pullman
Produced:  1963–1981
Engine:  6.3 l V8, front-mounted
Bore x Stroke:  103 mm x 95 mm
Displacement:  6332 cc
Max. Power @ rpm:  250 PS (184 kW; 247 hp) @ 4000
Max. Torque @ rpm:  500 N⋅m (369 lb⋅ft) @ 2800
Compression Ratio:  9.00: 1
Fuel feed:  Sequential fuel injection, Bosch injection pump
Fuel tank capacity:  112 l (29.6 US gal; 24.6 imp gal)
Valvetrain:  SOHC, duplex chains
Cooling:  Water
Gearbox:  4-speed automatic
rear wheel drive, axle ratio 3.23:1
Electrical system:  12 volt
Front suspension:  Double wishbones, air suspension, rubber springs, stabilizing bar
Rear suspension::  Low-pivot swing axle, radius arms, self-leveling air suspension, rubber springs, stabilizing bar
Brakes:  Disc brakes (Ø 291 mm two-caliper front, 294.5 mm rear), power assisted
Steering:  Recirculating ball steering, power assisted
Body structure:  Sheet steel, unibody construction
Dry weight:  2,600 kg (5,732 lb) 2,770 kg (6,107 lb)
Loaded weight:  3,050 kg (6,724 lb) 3,340 kg (7,363 lb)
Track front/
rear: 
1,587 mm (62.5 in) 1,581 mm (62.2 in)
Wheelbase:  3,200 mm (126.0 in) 3,900 mm (153.5 in)
Length:  5,450 mm (214.6 in) 6,240 mm (245.7 in)
Width:  1,950 mm (76.8 in) 1,950 mm (76.8 in)
Height:  1,500 mm (59.1 in) 1,510 mm (59.4 in)
Tyre/Tire sizes:  9.00H15 Supersport (6PR)
Top speed:  204.8 km/h (127.3 mph) 200 km/h (124 mph)
Fuel Consumption (estimates):  24.0 litres per 100 kilometres (11.8 mpg‑imp; 9.8 mpg‑US) 26.0 litres per 100 kilometres (10.9 mpg‑imp; 9.0 mpg‑US)
Price Germany
USA: 
DM 56,500 (1964)− DM 144,100 (1978)
$22,000 (1965)[54]
DM 63,500 (1964)− DM 165,500 (1978)
$ 24,000 (1965)

References

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External links

  • Mercedes-Benz 600 – historical information at Daimler.com
  • The International M-100 Group (with a car registry by serial number)
  • Photos of the 1965 papal landaulet at Conceptcarz.com
  • Presentation of the 600 SWB at Amelia Island, Florida - video
  • Jay Leno's Garage – 1972 Mercedes-Benz 600 - video
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