The Mercedes 600 has always been an icon. The 365 page “SL Experience” book’s main resource was nonperishable facts that appeared first in SL Market Letters. Likewise, very little about the “Grand Mercedes 600” …das Grosser Mercedes, has changed from SLML’s past reports except prices. Here’s a synopsis of the allure (and burdens) of these over-the-top motorcars. (Mercedes 600 Price Guide below)
– “Most sedans start life with a handicap; 4 door cars are harder to make stylish.”
This leads to slower appreciation of older sedans than convertibles & roadsters.
– “Flagship and limited editions, such as the 600, 6.3 & 6.9 help sedan appeal”
– “Nothing rivals the ‘Big Car Experience’ of a 600 Grand Mercedes.” Its ‘larger- than-life’ physical presence and technical tour de force, still turn every head 50 years later. Other prominent marques match its coachwork (Rolls Royce), sophistication (Cadillac’s Brougham), but Mercedes-Benz put it all in one car which has even been described as the world’s largest sports car, astonishingly agile for it’s size.
– The 600’s 18 year international availability brought public awareness rivaling Gullwings.
– With complexity of a jet aircraft, only a few dozen specialists in the whole world really know their way around these cars, plus a few dozen long-term owners. The learning curve is measured in years, not months; The 600 is one of the pinnacle challenges for the car enthusiast that’s done everything else. SLML considers happy custodianship of a 600 to be Ph.D. worthy. There are rewards. They are unique traveling devises: Quiet (voluminous insulation). Smooth (air suspension). Stable (riding “inside” gives the sense of being in a railroad Pullman… the scenery seems to pass by you instead of the reverse!). 400+ lb. ft. of torque at 1,600 RPM comes on like, or dare I say it, electric power. It is a strange feeling to cruise an Expressway at 70 (or 120) mph in a 50 year old car and know, along with everyone else in eyesight, that you own that road.
– Replacement Parts: Often justifying the sluggish price climb of Condition 3 (average) cars is their equally lax maintenance, while labor and especially original MB parts costs far exceed inflation. Fortunately, highly skilled painters, upholsterers and 3D reproduction parts will keep our favorite old timers, including the 600, rolling and appreciating retirement assets.
This article reprinted here from the September / October 2015 issue of the printed SL Market Letter. Visit our subscription page to download a PDF sample issue and sign up and receive the printed SL Market Letter in your home mailbox 6 times a year.