Mercedes-Benz 600

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Mercedes-Benz W100
600
Mercedes-Benz 600 vl silver TCE.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Mercedes-Benz
Production 1963–1981
2,677 built[1]
SWB: 2,190
LWB: 428
Landaulet: 59
Designer Bruno Sacco
Friedrich Geiger
Paul Bracq
Body and chassis
Class Full-size luxury car
Body style short 4-door sedan
long 4-door sedan
6-door sedan
long 4-door landaulet
Chronology
Predecessor Mercedes-Benz W112 (direct)
Mercedes-Benz W189 and Mercedes-Benz 770 (ideological)
Successor Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 (direct)
Mercedes-Benz W140 600SEL/S600 Pullman (ideological)
Maybach 57 and 62 (spiritual)
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, its few competitors included certain models of Rolls-Royce and Bentley, the Cadillac Fleetwood 75, stretched Lehmann-Peterson Lincoln, and the Chrysler Imperial Crown Ghia.

Generally, the short-wheel-base (SWB) 600 models were designed to be owner-driven; the long-wheel-base (LWB) 600, often incorporating a central divider with power window, was intended as chauffeur-driven.

Analogous to today's S600, the 600 was the company's flagship and most expensive model of its time, surpassing both of its direct successors, the 300SEL 6.3 and 450SEL 6.9.

History[edit]

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

Models[edit]

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.
  • 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).[2]

A number of the limousines were made as landaulets, with a convertible top over the rear passenger compartment.[2] These were notably used by the Pope and the German government, as during the 1965 state visit of Queen Elizabeth II, when she was accompanied by Kurt Georg Kiesinger during an open-top tour in Baden-Württemberg. Production of this model ended in 1980.

Mercedes also made two coupés, one as a gift retirement for Dr. Rudolf Uhlenhaut, one of the model's three designers.[citation needed] A third was constructed from a 600 SWB by Karl Middelhauve and Associates.[3]

A single example of a short wheelbase 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[edit]

The 600's great size, weight, and numerous hydraulically driven amenities required more power than Mercedes' largest engine at that time, the 6-cylinder 300, 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.

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.[4]

In 1967 the M-100 engine and hydraulics were fitted to the much smaller but still substantial 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.

Owners[edit]

Famous owners of the 600 have included the Pope and celebrities such as Coco Chanel, Hugh Hefner, Elizabeth Taylor, John Lennon, George Harrison, Karen Carpenter, Jay Kay,[5] Aristotle Onassis, Jack Nicholson, Simon Spies, Ronnie Wood, Bob Jane, Frank Packer, Elvis Presley, Rowan Atkinson, Jay Leno and Jeremy Clarkson.[6][7] Jay Leno had his 600 (a 1972 SWB) fitted with a supercharger by Karl Middelhauve and Associates, making it the only 600 Kompressor in existence.

Notable heads of state included Park Chung-hee, Josip Broz Tito, Nicolae Ceaușescu, Pol Pot, Enver Hoxha, Francois (Papa Doc) Duvalier, Jean-Bédel Bokassa, Emperor Hirohito,[citation needed] F. W. de Klerk, Leonid Brezhnev, Idi Amin, Fidel Castro, Robert Mugabe,[citation needed]Jomo Kenyatta,Daniel Moi, Ferdinand Marcos (who owned four, including a Landaulet, a 1981 bulletproof and a six-door version.),[8] Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il also owned a landaulet (both seen in the 65th anniversary parade in Pyongyang on October 10, 2010), and Saddam Hussein, who owned a long roof landaulet that was recovered after the fall of Baghdad today owned by the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles.[9] Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and the royal court owned multiple 600 models.[citation needed] Chinese revolutionary Mao Zedong, 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, all used the 600.[10] The first Senegalese regime (1960–1980) under president Léopold Sédar Senghor had three 600s, a short wheel base, a long wheel base, and a Landaulet, later replaced by the W126-based Carat Limousine.[citation needed]

Religious leader Guru Maharaj Ji owned one, as did Colombian, drug dealer Pablo Escobar, a LWB six-door 600.[citation needed] destroyed in an attack on Escobar in 1988 in Medellín.[citation needed]

In cinema the Mercedes 600 was 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. In television, a Mercedes Benz 600 limousine 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.

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. ^ a b c d Mercedes-Benz 600 ‘Super Mercedes’ (W 100), 1964 up to 1981, media.daimler.com Retrieved on 30 December 2014
  3. ^ "De legendarische Mercedes-Benz 600 (W100) aka Grosser is natuurlijk bij iedereen bekend, maar wist je ook dat er naast de reguliere variant, Pullman en Landaulet ook nog een 2-deurs Coupé bestond?". autoblog.nl. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  4. ^ http://600airsuspension.com/resources/article-on-mercedes-air-suspension-by-martin-werminghausen.pdf
  5. ^ 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 
  6. ^ J Clarkson (January 13, 2008). "Mazda MX-5: It’s far too cool for you, Mr Footballer". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2008-01-13. 
  7. ^ 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
  8. ^ http://www.classiccars-forsale.com/mercedes-benz-600-pullman-1967/
  9. ^ "10 Strange and Notorious Cars From the Petersen Museum Vault". Retrieved 2013-02-06. 
  10. ^ 诗香雅韵 (29 July 2007). "二十世纪豪车极品-奔驰600系列". 
  11. ^ Oswald, Werner (2001). Deutsche Autos 1945-1990, Band 4 (in German). Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 3-613-02131-5. 
  12. ^ 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]