Project Nightmare: 1967 Mercedes 600

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There are cars that many of us would agree are beautiful when completely restored, or even more so if they remain in preserved, survivor condition. Those same cars, however, can become literal nightmares of epic proportions when they are left to rot. Then, it becomes a question of whether rationality is going to kick in before visions of granduer empty your bank account and torpedo your marriage. This 1967 Mercedes-Benz 600 here on eBay may be a stunner when restored, but whether this example ever sees the road again is up for debate. 

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Now, let’s get this out of the way: the seller is not under any delusion that this is anything more than a parts car, and that this auction is more about the various mechanical systems and fittings still attached to the extremely rough body. This is important primarily because parts for the SWB 600 and the extended-body Pullmans are damn near impossible to find. Therefore, if you’re currently restoring one, this pricey parts car could save you time that would otherwise be spent searching the globe for NLA fittings and hardware – but be forewarned, the good stuff is long gone (more on that later). If this 600 strikes you as a potentially viable restoration candidate, it’s best that you look closely at the condition of the body.

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The seller notes that while the underside of the Mercedes and the unibody are in good condition, there are issues lurking elsewhere. There is rust in the roof and what looks like evidence of past repairs all over the exterior. Rust is pervasive in multiple areas, from the rear fenders to the sills along the bottom of the quarter panel. The car will come with doors on the right side only, and unfortunately, the interior is not hiding in a back room somewhere. No windshield will be included, either. What I can’t discern is if this 600 was used by another shop to restore an existing car, or if this example simply sat somewhere being pillaged for a variety of Mercedes vehicles once the rust deemed it unworthy of saving.

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Would we make that same decision today? Who knows. The 600 was just a used car at one point in its life, but my assumption has always been that they would be preserved like a modern-day Maybach given their reputation as the pinnacle of luxury transportation. The 6.3L M100 engine is included in the sale, which is one of the few high points to this example. Unfortunately, there’s not much other good news to report, aside from some of the harder-to-find parts that will be included: air suspension pump, lines and the left-side valve; fuel injection equipment; A/C evaporators and condensor; original air horn; brake parts; and finally, the rear quarter glass will be included. But what’s more significant to me is what’s not included, specifically the hydraulic and air suspension parts that are worth their weight in gold to anyone who owns one of these vehicles.

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The 600 was a vehicle known for its impressive ride quality and multitude of high-end features. It is typically most often recognized for its hydraulic pressure system that controlled the windows, seats, sunroof and trunk lid, and also powered the self-closing doors. Other stand-out qualities included the highly luxurious interiors with acres of wood trim and leather, not to mention conveniences like reading lights and writing tables, all of which are likely unobtanium bits at the moment. I never like to say never, but I’m not sure what this 600’s future holds. Full disclosure: I am not a connoisseur of this line of Mercedes, but I personally don’t see enough value in parts alone to justify having this paperweight in my garage. And to restore it completely would leave one with a stack of invoices that would rival the annual operating budgets of some municipalities. What would you do with this former bastion of luxury?

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Comments

  1. L.M.K. Member

    Ouch, that’s my reaction….Ouch……

  2. alan

    There are better uses for $7900.

  3. junkman Member

    Flush!!!!

  4. Van

    Don’t be silly
    “Hay Billy Bob what is the price per pound for scrap metal?”
    “Sounds low but come and haul it away.”

  5. Rock On Member

    Some municipalities? More like some small countries!

  6. Robert White

    Thanks for the migraine headache, Jeff.

  7. Fred W.

    Great Googly Moogly….now that’s a hot mess. Strip the useful parts and scrap the rest.

  8. Puhnto

    If you chose to restore that thing, you wouldn’t live long enough for it to ever be worth what you’d spent!

  9. CAR CRAZY

    looks like a job for peter kumar calling kumar, calling kumar. mercedes at 3 fathoms. lol

    • Horse Radish

      Or his rival at B H Car Club, Alex Manos,
      He will clean the heck out of it , take 60 photos from all angles and double his money, e a s i l y …………..

      • Horse Radish

        I take back the cleaning part…….
        .
        …except maybe the window glass

  10. Oldcarsarecool

    Restoring one of those requires deep pockets to begin with. That one looks like it can only be saved by a lottery winner . . .

  11. Bob Hess

    It’s going to take quite a while to find all four of the good parts on that car. Slick ride Robert!

  12. Dave Wright

    I would think the “Patina” guys would be all over this………..it would defiantly be a labor of love……and money. It would be tough to come out even with a nice one nearing the 100,000 mark. Maby it belonged to someone famous……Elvis had one.

  13. Maurice Mentens

    I think all of you guys have the right idea with this one, unfortunately this example might be lost for the future. However, there are some seriously rare parts mentioned and with the acceptance of a decent offer there might be a few people who can buy this one for parts and come out great. Overall it’s a shame someone had it go down like this, these are fantastic cars to drive.

  14. Dave Wright

    After some thought……I could see some small Mercedes restoration shop in Eastern Europe taking this on. There are lots of parts there and these are the top of the market in Europe. I have seen some European dealers asking over 200,000 euros for a nice one.,

  15. Dolphin Member

    Some of the German carmakers, BMW for example, now have a division for supplying new and newly manufactured parts for vintage / obsolete BMWs. I think BMW calls theirs “BMW Classic”.

    I think Mercedes also has a similar division or service. I don’t know how many new parts Mercedes might have for a 600 from the 1960s, but I would look there before buying this car for parts, especially given the missing parts and bad condition of the car.

    Unless you needed most of the remaining parts on this car and knew that they would be worth putting money into to restore, as opposed to buying new from M-B even at high prices, I would hesitate to buy this car just for the parts.

  16. Dave Wright

    I didn’t know BMW supported there old cars…….when I had BMW’s they didn’t but Mercedes always has. Off course there are a lot more classic Mercedes than BMW’s. The US classic center is in Irvine California. They not only supply parts but do complete restorations and sell classic cars. There were many classics for sale at the Factory when I was there last fall and they are actively advertising to buy cars back.

    • Horse Radish

      They don’t ( BMW supporting their old cars ).
      It’s just a marketing / image move they had to do because Mercedes did it.
      And Mercedes only does it for the money.
      As a matter of fact : all of what they do now is for money.

  17. john C

    My wife said if I bid on this, and pay to have it shipped, she’s ‘out of here’…. I’m still looking…….Ha !! Happy Fathers Day

  18. pauline

    that should buff right out

  19. Bill McCoskey

    For many years one of my wealthy clients on the other side of the world had a collection of 18 [yes 18] M-B 600 cars, even a landaulet. His “regular” car collection was several hundred pristine & original vehicles, many from the 50s & 60s with only delivery mileage on them.

    I do have a near mint outer grill shell for a 600, if someone needs it, let me know, it’s a fraction of what M-B Classic wants for one.

    • Glen

      Does this guy allow the public to view his collection?, is there a website?

  20. Horse Radish

    I think he is talking about the Sultan of Johor, one of many Malaysian Royalty.
    I have no idea where they got or get their money, but the population obviously doesn’t mind them flaunting their wealth……
    He give media tours and takes individual cars out to show to the proletariat, every once in a while….
    There is a You tube video of him showing some cars and explaining the “collection”…

  21. Bill McCoskey

    No, it’s not the Sultan of Johor. This collection is far better. I’ve been “asked” not to divulge who or where. Even though he died about 20 years ago, the family still has ALL the vehicles, they will never sell anything. The collection is virtually unknown to the local population, and workers are expected to never talk about the collection.

    As far as I know, I’m still the only “outsider” who was ever permitted to take photos of the collection. It is unknown to the world. I have had several antique car magazines beg me to provide the photos and the story, but I’ve not been granted permission to do so.

    I will however tantalize you with a few examples of the collection:

    1. Several black 1958 Cadillac Fleetwood 60S sedans, sequential serial numbers, all with only about a dozen miles showing.

    2. A full set of Cadillac Eldorado convertibles, red in color, all with virtually no mileage at all.

    3. 1968 Chrysler Town & Country wagon, factory made with a Dodge 4WD chassis & 16″ wheels. The entire roof from the center post on back rolls forward, much like the roll-up doors found in storage facilities, storing just behind the driver’s head. Where the back seat would be are 2 captain’s chairs, that hydraulically raise up until the occupant is above the roof line. The purpose? Tiger hunting!

    4. 1958 Buick Limited 4-door hardtop station wagon. Yes, I know Buick didn’t offer a Limited wagon in ’58. But they did make one. [Back in 1958 If you had the money & influence this man had, GM would build it!] In looking at the data plate on the firewall, the body style number is blank, and the body production number is 1.

    5. 1954 Packard Convertible, red with red/black leather interior, KPH speedometer with the odometer showing about 4,000 km [about 2,500 miles]. Car is mint, & for some reason it was ordered without the following items that were standard equipment on the car: Radio, heater, power steering & brakes, automatic transmission [it’s 3-speed on the column]

  22. Bill McCoskey

    And I should also point out it’s not the Sultan of Brunei, or his Brother Jeffre. The Sultan does collect cars, about 5,000 at last count. Like the Sultan of Johore, almost all are modern exotics, while his brother’s collection is far more unusual – a large Hareem of beautiful young ladies!

    And I should probably stop now, lest you all figure out who it is by the process of elimination!

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