1965 Mercedes-Benz 600
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This beautiful ‘Grand 600’ is a rare UK-supplied, right-hand drive example from the first years of production, and a car that is well known in the Mercedes Club.
At the end of the 1950s, Mercedes-Benz conceived the notion to build, without compromise, the best car in the world. Named “Grosser” after the magnificent 1930s 770K, the 600 (model code W100) was launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1963 and deliveries began at the very end of that year. In a production run lasting 18 years until 1981, a total of 2,677 Grand 600s were built, in two chassis lengths: standard SWB (2,190 examples) and “Pullman” (70 cm longer: 487 examples). Just 273 were built in right-hand drive of all types.
The car was a technical tour de force. The engine was all new (MB’s first V8) and fuel injected, the car was supported by air suspension and famously, an aircraft derived hydraulic system took care of the car’s many power functions silently and effortlessly. Even the boot lid was power operated. Options were almost limitless, including drinks cabinets, divisions, televisions, telephones, sunroofs and so on.
The list of buyers of 600s included the great and the good, and infamously the not so good, of the twentieth century, from Coco Chanel to Idi Amin.
This car, chassis number 164, was built in July 1965 and first supplied by Mercedes Great West Road to Gordon Mills, a well-known manager and songwriter in the pop music industry. He managed the careers of Tom Jones, Gilbert O’Sullivan and Engelbert Humperdinck along with writing numerous songs for Tom Jones (including “It’s Not Unusual”) and Cliff Richard.
Following Mills’ untimely death in 1986, the car was sold to a collector in Northern Germany where it remained, lightly used, until 2006 when the current owner acquired it.
As an active member of the Mercedes Club, the new owner regularly participated in Club events across UK and Europe. In total he covered 12k miles in his ownership, making this possibly one of the most regularly used 600s. The car has regularly been exhibited at the major classic car shows including the NEC and London Concours.
Finished, unusually, in Moss Green metallic with cream leather it has air conditioning, no division and no armour plating, which was common on these cars. This specification in short wheel-base is perhaps the nicest available for a car that is to be owner driven.
Over the years the car has been thoroughly maintained with considerable records from the last owner. In 2017 the car received a bare metal repaint by a 600 specialist, which revealed an excellent body just needing the paintwork refreshing. At the same time the carpets were replaced and much of the woodwork was refurbished. Most recently the car has received a full check over, service, MoT and refurbished brake calipers.
This 600 is in beautiful condition with exceptional paint and bright work. The interior is original bar the recent renovations and retains its original leather, which has a lovely patina. The car drives with a verve that belies its size and is a truly magnificent way to travel.
The current registration number ‘600MB’ is available to the buyer by separate negotiation.
This is certainly a very exciting opportunity to acquire on of the 126 right-hand drive 600s sold new in the UK (it is thought that perhaps 26 remain), with excellent provenance, just three owners. A very special example of one of Mercedes’ most important cars.