The Maxim Vintage Car Shopper: 1965 Mercedes 600

Why not play Chairman Mao for $152,000? 
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Why not play Chairman Mao for $152,000? 

The Year: 1965

The Model: Mercedes 600 Limousine

The Drivetrain: The famous “M100” 6.3-liter V8 powers the rear wheels through a four-speed automatic. 300 horsepower.

Favorite Cool Things:

  1. Black over red is about the best combination for the 600: sumptuous and wild on the inside, serious and imperial on the outside.
  2. The top Mercedes 600 expert in the country, Karl Middlehauve, restored this particular car. He also restored Jay Leno’s 600 and added one very special feature: a supercharger.
  3. Incredibly powerful hydraulic windows and no safety detent means you could easily lose a hand.
  4. John Lennon owned a 600.
  5. The 600 has a two-tone “fanfare” horn that sounds like the Queen Mary’s docking signal.

Quirks:

When it debuted in 1963, the 600 was the most technologically advanced car on the road. Much of that technology, from the adjustable suspension to the sunroof to central locking, was powered by a central hydraulic system with a tendency to fail, though this car’s has been recently restored. Fuel economy is poor (what did you expect from a limousine?), and the roster of celebrity owners, in addition to the Beatle, includes infamous sweetheart Idi Amin.

Good Buy?

It ain’t cheap, but it’s a value. While you might find a $50,000 Mercedes 600 on eBay, that car might need $80,000 in work. If you’re truly interested in a fifty year-old Mercedes limousine, you want to buy the best one you can find and this is it. You’ll never make an entrance like you do in a jet-black Mercedes 600 Limousine, which is why the filmmakers of The Witches of Eastwick chose one for Jack Nicholson when he played Satan himself.