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Unbeknownst to Mercedes-Benz in 1963, the release of their new, ultra-exclusive 600 models would ultimately herald the discontinuation of that extreme-level of luxury for the company many years later in 1981. The 600 was introduced to maintain a long-running precedent of meticulous attention to minute details, which to this day is difficult to rival. Produced in two variants, both short and long wheelbase 600s, the shorter version was designed to be driven by the owner instead of a chauffeur. Nevertheless, the 126” short wheelbase 600 is some 10” longer than contemporary Mercedes S-Class and consequently offers a comfortably sublime ride quality. As luck would have it, we are currently auctioning a 1965 example from this model line-up which set such high standards for craftsmanship that even modern Rolls Royce struggle to compete.
Initially painted in a medium grey, the current coating is a repaint applied by a previous owner. The paint shows many chips, blemishes, and a few areas on the roof have burst open creating small rust spots. Chrome brightwork adorns much of the exterior, and some sections have visible wear commensurate with the paintwork degradation. 15” stamped steel wheels have hubcaps color-matched to the bodywork and wear expired white-wall tires. Outback, the trunk’s closure assist is non-functional and below are dual chrome exhaust tips.
It only takes five minutes inside of a 600 to gain a firm appreciation for the sheer magnitude of exclusivity this Mercedes possesses. Hand-laid wooden inlays trim wholly around the crown and forward segment of the vinyl dashboard. The woodworking also wraps neatly around the cylindrical instrument gauges. The wood paneling continues throughout the interior, framing the door glass and underlines the armrests. Overall, the wood is in excellent condition but does have some lackluster discoloration. Both hydraulically-powered front seats have seemingly been reupholstered in black leather along with their respective armrests. However, the rear seats retain their original covers, which are slightly split open.
Adding to the luxurious appointments amongst the cabin is grey carpeting with integrated weather-proof areas made of rubber. In the rear, both footwells have carpeted footrests and passengers can conceal themselves with wind deflectors or cloth curtains. Above is a functional power sunroof, although the operation is slow, and the surrounding headliner has begun to fade. Power windows are also standard equipment. Still installed is the original Becker Grand Prix radio; however, despite that, the unit turns on it will not produce sound. Adjacent is an analog clock, 140 mph speedometer, a tachometer, and vertical auxiliary instrument cluster with notification lights.
Weighing in at well over 6,000 lbs, the 600 dictated a substantial powerplant to tote its heft around the city. As such, Mercedes developed an entirely new V8 engine, the M100, which displaced 6.3-liters and produced 300 horsepower when new. The motor features a Bosch mechanical fuel injection system and a single overhead camshaft. That M100 is connected to a four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. From the engine’s power, fifty horsepower is required to operate the hydraulic systems -including the suspension. The seller informs us that the suspension lift system functions as intended but that the front will begin to sag after some time raised. Elsewhere in the suspension is an unidentified noise, possibly in the driveline, that is noticeable when cresting road disturbances. Finally, some pinholes are present in the exhaust tubing.
As indicated on the five-digit odometer, in excess of 90,000 miles have been accrued on this majestic Mercedes since first purchased in California. It is stated that the original black license plates issued read RYP 600. At some point, this example was donated to the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The car remained in their collection until being sold and transported to Canada in 2002. Within the trunk are a full-size spare tire, a replacement item kit, and a red vinyl carrying case. Included are the first service and driver’s manuals, importation documents, and Petersen files held inside of a tan leather portfolio. Currently located in Long Island, New York, the 600 has a transferrable New York title, and the sale is now live!