Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman Limousine

In 1957, the W186’s wheelbase was stretched four inches to create the W189. This gave greater legroom and made the car a true limousine. The W189 remained in production through 1960, after which it was nominally succeeded by the W112 300SE. A true flagship Mercedes did not reappear until the advent of the 600 three years later, in 1963.

A full generation after it was built, the Mercedes-Benz 600 remains an engineering and stylistic masterpiece, as exclusive and visually imposing as ever. In its day, it was a favourite of the world’s wealthy and well-connected, used by everyone from Elvis Presley to the Pope. The new 600 was more than a match for its predecessor’s six-cylinder engine, so a new powerplant, a 6,332-cubic centimetre overhead cam V-8, was developed. It was a dry-sump design with Bosch mechanical fuel injection and it developed 250 brake-horsepower. Air suspension gave the car a boulevard ride, and a high-pressure hydraulic system provided every power assist imaginable. The comprehensive hydraulic and pneumatic system powered the self-levelling suspension, assisted the brakes, helped open the massive doors, and smoothly and silently operated the windows, trunk, seats, and sunroof. With characteristic attention to detail, each Mercedes-Benz 600 was to all intents and purposes custom-built.

There were two wheelbases, 126 and 153½ inches. Most 600s, 2,190 of them, were on the short wheelbase. The long-wheelbase cars were called “Pullman” and included a four-door limousine, a landaulet with folding rear top, and a six-door limousine with additional jump seats. Pullmans numbered just 428, many being the four-door limousine, as offered today. The 600 line remained in production until 1981, although only a few were built after 1972.

250 hp 6,332 cc SOHC V-8 engine, Bosch mechanical fuel injection, four-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with compressor-fed air units, auxiliary rubber springs and telescopic dampers, low-pivot swing-axle rear suspension with compressor fed air units, auxiliary rubber springs and telescopic dampers, driver adjustable hydraulic self-levelling, ride softness and ground clearance, and four-wheel servo-assisted hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 153.5 in.

Part of the RM Auctions event in London in October, 2012.

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Remco Pronk

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