Former Petersen Museum Car: 1965 Mercedes 600 SWB

When it comes to cars that require seemingly endless sacrifice (and bank accounts), the Mercedes 600 stands alone. This is the short wheelbase model, and it’s led an interesting life: it previously resided in the Petersen Museum collection, before migrating to Canada to live in a private collection up north. From there, it returned to the U.S. with its current seller, who is fittingly based in the Hamptons. This is a breathtaking car, but it takes lots of love to stay that way. Find it here on eBay with bidding over $45K and the reserve unmet.

With so many of the vehicles systems hydraulically-based, it’s inevitable that they fail over time. Lack of use is a killer for these vehicles, as the suspensions can start to sag (and not ever come up) and other systems recede into an inoperative state. And those systems are pretty important, including the windows, trunk lid, sunroof, and more. The seller notes one repaint in the early 90s, and notes minor paintwork might be needed for it to be a class winner at shows.

The wood trim remains in a good state, and the interior highly original throughout. These shorter wheelbase cars were not intended for use by chauffeurs unlike the long wheelbase cars, complete with a divider in between. I actually like the SWBs better, as the proportions just seem tighter and more sporting, despite this car’s obvious purpose as a comfortable cruiser. The seller notes that while most functions work, the windshield wipers do not – no big deal for him as it wasn’t driven in the rain.

While a busted windshield wiper motor is a buzzkill, there’s so many other features that are still working that it’s possible to forgive the inop wipers. The Becker radio, temperature gauge and clock, globebox light, and power antenna all still function as intended – which is, frankly, amazing for a vehicle with numerous systems ready to fail at a moment’s notice. New brakes, plugs, and cap and rotor have recently been installed, but those are probably the cheapest parts you’ll ever buy.


  1. Tony Primo

    Globebox light Jeff?

    Like 5
  2. Fred W

    Destined for another collection and more neglect from non driving. This car belongs on the road, with Jeeves in the front seat and the Ambassador of Muldavia in the back, insulated from the road by well functioning air springs.

    Like 5
    • LARRY

      Heh heh…globebox… heh heh heh

      Like 3
  3. jcs

    The written description of the leather upholstery (“soft supple leather, not dry. No tears or rips”) doesn’t seem to match the picture of the rear seat.

    Like 10

      Then stay home and buy within your budget

      • Ralph

        Is that factory red on red? Cool…..

        Like 2
    • Sam61

      Beautiful car! Now the joke…only wannabe dictators and liberal elite drive the swb. True dictators and cult leaders drive the lwb/Pullman/grosser.

      Like 2
      • RICK BALL

        No. Actually, true dictators lust after the lwb Landaulet with bullet-proof glass bubble. We mere mortals simply rally over the Alps.

        Like 1
  4. Ted

    “Function as intended.” Like they’re not supposed to? What are they not supposed to do as intended? Guide in nuclear missles when you turn away from them?

    I’m coming up with a new phrase for our world, Carmentia. Afflicts those who continually flip cars and phrase up adverts while attempting to come across as not being infected the with the Dunning Krueger Effect.

    Like 9
    • Mountainwoodie

      Ah yes……….illusory superiority…………..I too am so afflicted which is why I love reading seller’s car adverts.

      By the by, if I was selling this beautiful automobile I’d fix the wipers first……..all part of my sense of superiority.

      Like 3
      • Jon Rappuhn

        Wonder how many thousands of $ it would cost fix them, lol.

        Like 1
  5. Stevee

    This just went through BaT auction, ‘sold’ for about $42,000. What is “the rest of the story” as Paul Harvey used to say?

    Like 3
    • Rodney - GSM

      Jeez…A Paul Harvey reference. Let me just tie up the horses and fill the kerosene lamps and I’ll get back to you….

      Like 9
      • RICK BALL

        Yes… Odd we never see more Corvairs here?! Affordable, no doubt?!

        Like 1
      • Mountainwoodie

        That was a great crack. I just laughed out loud!

    • Scott Keller

      No, it did not sell. It was bid up to $42,250 but the reserve was not met.

  6. Rick Ball

    Post prod 09/1993 AMG installed Sportline/Recaro signal red leather per Daimler legacy customer order request. Delivered 11/18/93 Lucerne, Switzerland. Also ordered with 5 spd A/T and ASR. Yes, very. One of one.

    Like 2
    • Ralph

      I had never seen one with red guts before. cool.

  7. Gene

    Me Likey

  8. LB1

    You drive it, it costs you money. You don’t drive it, it costs you money. Like some women, costs you money no matter what you do or don’t do with them.

    Like 2
    • PAW

      LB1 – you hang around with wrong kind of women.

      Or maybe I just got exceptionally lucky with the one living under this roof. During summer she daily drives to her office either her Aprilia or a car with power to weight ratio to original Bugatti Veyron – except no driving aids like ABS & ESC here. Of course she pays all insurance invoices of the household (including our ~10 cars + 7 bikes) etc, etc.

      Of course in family of five there is a share for me to carry, but she definitely carries her share of the load!

      Learning: I guess you just need to choose your spouse right ;-)

  9. Howard A Member

    These cars always make me nervous, usually pictured with some 3rd world nut job dictator with orange flags on the front bumper. A shame, such nice cars, but seen too many movies, just couldn’t be seen in it.

    Like 1
    • Mountainwoodie

      Hmmm…..I wonder if there’s one in the White House motor pool?

      I had a Pullman version a long time ago.ah those were the days

      Like 1
      • K F van der Bijl

        Operating windscreen wipers …… Good selling point .

      • Bobinott

        I still have my Corgi Mercedes 600 Pullman from back in the 1960s. That’s as close as I am ever likely to get to owning one. I guess I peaked way too early…

        Like 1
  10. Bob McK Member

    RUN!!! The other way.

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