It was probably Clarkson on that stupid TV show of his who brought the 1963-1981 Mercedes Benz 600 back into the main stream media limelight. Since then the Mercedes Benz 600 has been popping up in all kinds of print and online automotive press. It is as if overnight people seemed to have developed an obsession about this early standard of opulence and power.
One of the common themes of each of those articles was the cost. Be it the purchase cost, the maintenance cost, or repair cost, all of the numbers vary from high to really astronomically high. Complex hydraulic system, limited parts supplies, general German over-engineering, and old age makes owning a 600 nearly impossible for anyone who is not Jay Leno or the like.
[Source: Beverly Hills Car Club]
This is where this 300-kilometer all-original* $13,750 short wheel base 600 comes in. It is a super rare right-hand-drive import currently for sale in Los Angeles. Unfortunately while it is all original, it is a few pieces short of complete. It also looks to have been poorly repainted at some point and then eaten away by rodents.
I called Beverly Hills Car Club, the dealer selling this 600, and ask about more details. The car came to them from Arizona where it was owned by the same person since the early 1970s. The salesperson said that it sat in a garage for a long time and it was sold as part of an estate sale.
Numerically, it is almost impossible to tell the origins of this car. With 2677 600s produced, 2190 were short wheel base, and about a third of them were right-hand drive. Over 1300 were sold outside of Germany, United States, and Canada, and it is likely that all of the right-hand-drives are included in that number. Most sales were to private owners and the sales to the dignitaries are rather well documented.
I can just image the stories this car could tell. Was it owned by the head of a “labour” union in the UK? Perhaps a crazy warlord in Africa? Maybe a ruthless head of the Yakuza? Or a German communications mogul with a taste for Benzes who moved to New Zeland? We will never know.
Based on my quick research, the price of a 600 in good condition seems to range from $70,000 to $200,000, depending on age, condition, chassis type, etc. Feel free to correct me on those prices. Based on the fact that everything for this car is super expensive, is it worth $13,750 in this condition?
But, as the infomercials say, there is more. Scroll to the last picture below. That looks to be a nearly complete engine with, supposedly, 367 miles on it.
Some part/service prices for Mercedes Benz 600 (these prices seem a few years old too):
- Service operation time guide (USA): $100
- 15″ rim sandblasted and powder coated black: $410
- Early style chrome hubcaps: $400 – $800
- Hydraulic repair kit for trunk: $4,200
- Spare parts kit for trunks wheel well: $4,500 – Now $3,100
- Emergency road kit in styrofoam container: $1,900
- Original thermos bottle: $1,400
- Starter – Bosch rebuilt (core $200): $1,250 (+ core)
- Water pump rebuilt – early (core $400): $2,300 (+ core)
- Water pump rebuilt – later (core $400): $2,500 (+ core)
- Fuel injection pump L17, L17W, L17X, L17Y, L27Y- Bosch rebuilt (core $400): $3,100 (+ core)
- Two Bosch rebuilt cold-start valves (core $100): $600 (+ core)
- Eight Bosch tested injectors (8 cores – $80): $260 (+ core)
- Left or Right used front fender: $1,200 each