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Mercedes-Benz 600

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mercedes-Benz 600 (W100)
Mercedes-Benz 600 vl silver TCE.jpg
Overview
ManufacturerMercedes-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
ClassUltra-luxury car (F)
Limousine
Body style
LayoutFR layout
Powertrain
Engine6.3 L M100 V8
Dimensions
WheelbaseSWB: 3,200 mm (126.0 in)
LWB: 3,900 mm (150 in)
LengthSWB: 5,540 mm (218.1 in)
LWB: 6,240 mm (246 in)
Width1,950 mm (76.8 in)
HeightSWB: 1,500 mm (59.1 in)
LWB: 1,510 mm (59 in)
Curb weight2,990–3,280 kg (6,590–7,230 lb)
Chronology
Predecessor
SuccessorMaybach 57 and 62
(2002-2012)
600 Pullman in Mercedes Museum, formerly transporting guests of the German Government
600 Pullman in Mercedes Museum, formerly transporting guests of the German Government
Mercedes 600 Landaulet
Mercedes 600 Landaulet
600 in Museum Sinsheim, sitting low until the air compressor re-supplies pressure to the suspension
600 in Museum Sinsheim, sitting low until the air compressor re-supplies pressure to the suspension

The Mercedes-Benz 600 (W100) is a line of ultra-luxury cars produced by Mercedes-Benz from 1963 to 1981. The forerunner of the modern Maybach marque, the 600 Grosse Mercedes ("Grand Mercedes") succeeded the Type 300d "Adenauer" as the company's flagship model. It was positioned well above the 300-series Mercedes-Benz W112 in price, amenities, and status. Its few competitors include British and American equivalents, such as Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III, Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, Rolls-Royce Phantom V, Bentley S3, Lincoln Continental Lehmann-Peterson, Cadillac Series 70, and Imperial Crown Ghia.

Generally, the short-wheelbase (SWB) models were designed to be owner-driven, whereas the long-wheelbase (LWB) and limousine models, often incorporating a central divider with power window, were intended for chauffeur operation.

History

The 600 replaced the Mercedes-Benz W189 limousine, which was nicknamed the Adenauer, after Konrad Adenauer, who employed several of these during his term as the first West German chancellor.

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]

The 600 succeeded the 1961 Mercedes-Benz W112 in using a pneumatic self-levelling suspension,[3][4] an enhancement of the Mercedes-Benz 300d Adenauer's dashboard activated mechanical torsion bar based system. A version is incorporated in Mercedes' current Active Body Control.[citation needed]

With its demise in 1981, the 600 marked the last ultra-luxury model that the brand produced in an unbroken line since the model 60 hp Simplex from 1903.[5] The company would return to this segment some 20 years later with the Maybach 57/62 (but the Maybach was extremely expensive), but these cars ultimately failed to captivate customers in the same way as their British rivals. As a result, Daimler ended production of the Maybach brand in 2012 and has not returned to this segment. As of 2019, the Mercedes flagship is the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, which occupies a considerably lower price bracket and is not a true successor to the 600 and earlier models. However, it is seen as a spiritual successor, since it is the first luxury Mercedes since the 600 to feature some bespoke design touches not available on the standard S-Class.

Models

The 600 came in two main variants:

  • A short wheelbase 4-door saloon, 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 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 with the 6-door landaulets, is the long roof, called the Presidential roof. In all, 59 landaulets were produced, and of them, only 26 were 6-door landaulets. Of these 26, only nine were 6-doors landaulets with the long Presidential-type roof. One of these nine cars was used by the former Yugoslavian president Josip Broz Tito, and it was sold in 2017 in England, for £2.5 million.[6]

Landaulets like these were also notably used by the German government, as during the 1965 state visit of Queen Elizabeth II. The Vatican, in addition to an elongated Mercedes 300d 4-door landaulet, used for the Pope a specially designed Mercedes 600 4-door landaulet, which now resides at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. Production of the landaulet versions of the 600 ended in 1980.

Mercedes also made two special 600 coupés: one as a gift for retiring long-time Mercedes chief designer Rudolf Uhlenhaut, and the other for Fritz Nallinger, head of the Mercedes research and development centre in the 1950s and 60s.[7][circular reference] These cars had a wheelbase 22 cm (8.6 inches) shorter than the SWB saloon.[citation needed] A third coupé was much later constructed by 600 enthusiast Karl Middelhauve Wausau, Wisconsin, from a SWB saloon.[8]

Karl Middelhauve also created a questionable pair of matching Chevrolet El Camino-style coupes from 600 SWB saloons. One of them with a Vortech supercharger. The majority of purists question the reason for destroying a classic such as an original 600 into a modified vehicle, while a handful of purists think Karl is extending function in the true spirit of the Grosse Mercedes.[9]

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 M-189 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 250 hp (186 kW).

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.[10]

In 1968 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 saloon. In 1975 a larger 6.9 litre version of M-100 was installed in the W116 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 and air suspension was replaced with a hydraulic suspension.

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
Habib Bourguiba's 600 Pullman
Papal landaulet
Papal landaulet

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. Near the beginning of 1978's "Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe," the character played by Jacqueline Bisset is abducted from Heathrow Airport in a 600 Pullman.[59]

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.

The limousine and landaulet versions of the 600 is favored by various heads of state, particularly dictators and monarchs during the 1960s and 1970s. This is similar to how its predecessor, the 770 limousine, was associated with Nazi Germany, being used as the official state car of Adolf Hitler.

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

A red 1972 Pullman was seen in The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.[60]

Prince Ital Joe featuring Marky Mark in "United" are driving in an Mercedes-Benz 600. The song was released in April 1994

600s are seen in several episodes of Amazon's original series The Man in the High Castle transporting Nazi officials.

Jack Nicholson's character drives a red 600 in the "Witches of Eastwick"

Technical data

Technical data Mercedes-Benz 600 (W100)[61] (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 transmission K4B 050 · gear ratio · (1) 3.9789 · (2) 2.4589 · (3) 1.5789 · (4) 1.0000 · (R) - 4.1455
rear wheel drive · axle ratio 3.2307 (42:13)
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 144,368 (1979)
$ 22,000 (1965)[62]
DM 63,500 (1964) − DM 165,760 (1979)
$ 24,000 (1965)

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External links

This page was last edited on 14 January 2021, at 10:30
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