Happy Birthday, Mercedes 600 Pullman! Luxury legend celebrates its 50th anniversary, five decades of sheer opulence and luxury greatness.
Launched in 1963 at the Frankfurt motor show, the original Mercedes-Benz Pullman 600 – codenamed W100, has become famous for its popularity with plutocrats, movie stars and dictators, with Uganda’s Idi Amin, Romania’s Nicolae Ceaucescu or Yugoslavia’s Josip Broz Tito, among its controversial owners. I
The Pullman had only one goal: becoming the most exclusive and the most expensive luxury limo of its era. Its price? 56.000 Marks.
Essentially the long-wheelbase version of the W100 Mercedes 600, the Pullman was the equivalent of today’s top-of-the-range S-Class sedan. The six-seater stretch limousine was 6,24 meters long and came in closed and open-top (Landaulet) versions with its wheelbase measuring 3,90 meters. The less popular shorter version still featured a respectable length of 5,45 meters.
Power came from a glorious, naturally aspirated, 6,3-liter V8, matted to a then state of the art 4-speed automatic gearbox. Clearly, there’s no replacement for displacement! With 250 HP and 510 Nm on tap the 2,6 tonne Pullman reached a top speed of 207 km/h (125 mph) and broke the 100 km/h barrier in less than 10 seconds. Its revolutionary hydraulic (air) suspension had one thing in mind: supreme confort. It allowed the Mercedes 600 Pullman to tackle bad quality roads easily even at high speeds, a difficult task considering it has weighted more than 3.4 tonnes in its armour-plated variant.
The unusually long carrier of the mighty Mercedes 600 W100 ended in 1981, after 2.677 examples built, 428 of which were Pullmans and 59, Landaulets.
Mercedes 600 Pullman lives on. Its legacy will be honored by the brand-new Pullman, launched at this year Geneva motor show, expected to cost up to $1 million in its armour-plated version.
Offered in V12-guise only at its debut, the new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class Pullman will measure 6,4 meters in length, a full one meter more than the long-wheelbase Mercedes-Maybach it is based on and only 5 centimeters less than its ancestor. Its wheelbase will also be one meter longer, the super-luxury being set to offer a 2+2+2 seats arrangement, with the middle bench sporting rear-facing seats.
Photo credits: Autobild.de