1968 Mercedes-Benz 600 SedanSOLD
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Engine Type: 6.3 Litre V8
Color:Ivory / Blue Leather

Reference Number 46978

as of 7/15/2009

Overview
Car 1968 Mercedes-Benz 600 Sedan
VIN 100.12-12-001034 
Mileage 28,045 miles 
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Known History

 

1968 Mercedes-Benz 600 Sedan

s/n 100.12-12-001034

Beigegrau with Blue Leather

 

Created in Mercedes’ greatest tradition of the highest caliber über luxury limousines, the 600 was a technological tour-de force. In the same vein as the 770 ‘Großer’ and 300 Adenauer that preceded it, the 600 was a world-class limousine that successfully incorporated a blend of opulence, exclusivity, irreproachable build quality, sophisticated technological features, and surprising performance. They brought incredible presence, yet were also quite understated, especially when compared to the more ostentatious offerings from Rolls-Royce and Cadillac. Massively expensive and chock full of innovative technological features, the cars were good for a genuine 120mph. Having no engine sufficiently large for the car, Mercedes created one of its most legendary engines, the 6.3 liter M100 (which would later be used in the 300SEL 6.3 and 450SEL 6.9), an overhead camshaft and valve unit with mechanical fuel injection and dry sump lubrication. The car had disc brakes and independent suspension all around, and a now famous massive hydraulic system that powered the suspension, power seats, windows, door locks, and self closing trunk.

 

Beautifully engineered and constructed, the 600 was highly exclusive and astronomically expensive (the most expensive car in the world when new at well over $22,000 in 1965), and found a distinguished clientele that included diplomats, captains of industry, and stars. Many famous individuals have owned 600’s including Coco Chanel, Elvis Presley, Elizabeth Taylor, John Lennon, Aristotle Onassis, Jack Nicholson, and Bob Jane. The cars’ diplomatic bent has also meant that many political figures, many of them communist ironically enough, have owned 600’s over the years. Included among these are Hirohito, Idi Amin, Jomo Kenyatta, Nicolae Ceau?escu, Leonid Brezhnev, Enver Hoxha, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro, Josip Broz Tito, Saddam Hussein, and Kim Il Sung.

 

This particular car’s history includes some rather famous individuals, and was purchased new by Daniel Gainey Sr., whose name will be familiar to equestrians thanks to his breed of Gainey Arabian horses. While he owned the car, his chauffeur drove several famous passengers, including Golden Globe winning actress Sue Ane Langdon in June of 1972, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger in September of 1973, singer/actor John Davidson in August of 1974, baseball hall of famer Ted Williams in June of 1975, and Richard Nixon in November of 1975. The car comes with a letter from Nixon in which he mentions the 600, as well as the fact that Gainey was one of his closest friends and advisors.

 

The car itself is a beautifully preserved example that is in excellent mechanical condition, including the hydraulic system. It is a well equipped example with all of the standard 600 equipment such as foot rests, air conditioning and rear curtains, as well as some interesting options such as the refrigerated refreshment bar located between the front seats, the Becker Grand Prix radio, and headrests on all four seats. The car was under the care of Mr. Gainey until about 1981, when its second owner (in Minnesota) acquired it. The car was under the care of the same mechanic from 1968 until 1989. The car was never used in the winter, and the second owner sold the car in September of 1989 to its new Californian owner. He drove the car back to California and fastidiously maintained the car until he sold it in 2007. Under his care, the car received much attention and mechanical work, including rebuilt front suspension in 1992 (center link, steering shock, inner and outer tie rod ends), some refinishing of the wood, and rebuilding of the fuel injection pump at Pacifi Fuel Injection in 1993. The water pump was done in 1996, and the rear brakes were done, including the calipers, discs, pads, and hoses. The shock absorbers were replaced in 2001, and the hydraulic pump, trunk closing unit strut and hydraulic accumulator were also replaced, at a cost exceeding $5000. The car received a major service in July of 2006 at a cost of over $9500, to address oil leaks (requiring significant teardown including the removal of the hydraulic and water pumps), various small items, brake hoses, belts, and complete rebuild of the climate control unit. The car received a major service in March of 2007 including valve adjustment, oil change, fuel filter, distributor rotor, points, transmission fluid and filter, power steering fluid and filter, and air filter. In July of 2007, the flex disc, center support and transmission moutn were replaced, and in December of 2007, more maintenance work was performed including the replacement of power steering hoses, hydraulic hoses, spark plug wires, and correcting a transmission leak.

 

Cosmetically, the car is very nice. It has an older repaint that is holding up well, with only a handful of small blemishes visible upon close inspection. The large amounts of chrome trim are extremely nice, with only light aging on the bumpers, and one dent in the rear bumper. The remaining chrome is very nice, including the wheel covers. The glass and lamps are very good throughout, with a small chip and a small area of delamination to the windscreen. The remaining glass is excellent, including the wind deflectors mounted in the rear windows.

 

The interior is an impressive place and is in beautiful shape. It is extremely spacious and the leather upholstery is excellent, particularly considering its originality. There is a great deal of wood, on the door panels, dashboard, rear parcel shelf, and around the windows, and it is excellent throughout. Close inspection reveals hairline cracks on the wood on top of the dashboard, and a crack in one of the door fillets, but the remaining wood is excellent and appears to be original. The carpets are also in very nice shape. The headliner is excellent, as are the instruments and switches. There are a great many switches that operate the various accessories such as the power operated front and rear seats, windows, and suspension. All of these items are hydraulic and operate rapidly and silently in a way that is impressive even today, and must have been downright magical forty years ago. Even the cowl vent is hydraulically operated by a switch on the dashboard.

 

The trunk is in very good condition. The hydraulically operated lid works swiftly and properly, and the hydraulic service kit is still present in its individual compartment. The spare lives in its own compartment and the spare tag is still attached. The engine compartment is unrestored but is extremely clean, correct, and honest throughout. It is consistent with the look and feel of the rest of the car, which is that of a largely original car that has been so well cared for that it has never needed restoration.

 

The car’s road performance also reflects this. It is extremely solid throughout. The major mechanical systems work as they should, from the brakes and suspension to the engine and gearbox. The car accelerates authoritatively, and indeed, Road & Track noted in their 1965 road test that the 600 was faster through the quarter mile than a TR4A, MGB, Sunbeam Alpine, Alfa Romeo Giulia Spyder, Porsche 356C, or Volvo P1800. The car is impressively comfortable and capable even by modern standards, while the air horns have been noted to be among the loudest ever fitted to a production car and would be equally at home in railway applications.

 

This is an outstanding opportunity to acquire a superb unmolested example of one of Mercedes’ great limited production models, with terrific history. This particular car has been properly looked after and works marvelously. It is also well-optioned and has an illustrious and well-documented history.