There are luxury cars, and then there are LUXURY CARS. What we are talking about here is not a Cadillac Escalade or a Lexus LX or even a Range Rover. The Mercedes 600 was no luxury SUV found shuttling kids to and from school in upscale neighborhoods. This was a full-on limousine for the ultra-wealthy. The "Grand Mercedes" or "Grosser" was only rivaled by such elite names as Bentley and Rolls-Royce. The Mercedes 600 was first introduced in 1964 and continued in production until 1981. Production numbers were, of course, extremely low, and only 2,677 total 600's were ever built. Successors to the 600 evolved into Mercedes' modern-day Maybach luxury brand.

But even among the Grand Mercedes, some were more Grand than others. It was available in short wheelbase, long wheelbase, and the top of the top of the line 600 Pullman limousine that was available with either four or six doors, of which only 124 were ever made. These cars were not just for the rich, they were for the powerful.

The Pullman has a somewhat sinistar reputation as the vehicle of choice for dictators of the period. Notable owners include such infamous names as F. W. de Klerk of apartheid South Africa, Kim Il-sung of North Korea, Mao Zedong of China, and Nicolae Ceaușescu of Romania. Ferdinand Marcos, infamous for his brutal rule of the Philippines, owned four 600's alone. Even fictional baddies got in on the 600, with the limousine being the vehicle of choice of James Bond's classic nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

Also, the Grosser was popular among the world's royalty, with King Rama IX of Thailand and King Hassan II of Morocco both having been 600 owners. So, if you want to drive like a King (or a dictator) today, how much will that cost you?

The Mercedes 600 Pullman was the favorite of presidents, kings, and dictators the world over, and here is what it costs to drive like royalty in one today.

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The Mercedes 600 Pullman's Specifications

1972 Mercedes Benz 600 Kompressor
via: benzinsider.com

The Mercedes 600 Pullman was powered by a massive 6.3 liter naturally-aspirated V8 engine that produced 247 horsepower at 4,000 revolutions per minute and 368 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 revolutions per minute. This was actually the first Mercedes ever to be fitted with a V8 engine. And it needed it an engine that large, because the Grosser weighs in at a whopping 5,975 lbs; nearly six tons. When you consider how much weight it has to move, the 600's top speed of 127 miles per hour and 0-60 mph time of 9.7 seconds seem fairly impressive!

The 1972 Mercedes 600 Pullman's Interior

Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman
Via Bonhams

The inside of the 600 Pullman is as exquisitely luxurious as you would expect, full of high quality leather and wood. But even more impressive than the comfort is how much advanced technology was packed into it. The locks, windows, sunroof, trunk lid, and seat adjustments were all power-operated, and this was in 1972! The technology is so far ahead of its time that none of those features are operated with electric motors like they are on today's cars, because electric motors small and powerful enough to do so had not been invented yet. Instead, they are all operated via hydraulics.

Several seating configurations were available, including three forward-facing benches on the six door model or a rear-facing middle row with fold-away seats on the four door model. Some 600 Pullmans were also equipped with a partition between the driver and passenger area, which also had a hydraulically operated sliding window.

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The Cost Of The 1972 Mercedes 600 Pullman

Back in 1972 the Mercedes 600 Pullman had a "grosser" price tag. Getting one of the select few Pullmans cost 110,000 German marks in 1972, which works out to about $234,045 in modern United States dollars. In theory a Grosser today in good condition is worth $94,500 according to Hagerty. But the reality is, with the sheer rarity of this car, the only way that you are likely to find one for sale is in an auction.

In 2020 a Pullman sold at auction in Arizona for $346,000, and in 2018 a Pullman that formerly belonged to King Idris I of Libya was for sale at an asking price of $495,000. The pedigree of a particular 600 is often a selling point that drives the price up, as people who can afford these cars tend to want to be able to boast about their previous owners. Right now, a fully-restored Pullman is on sale for just over a million dollars!

But if you do manage to get a hold of the Grand Mercedes, the costs do not stop there. As you would expect, a car with so many hand built parts has astronomical maintenance costs. The complicated hydraulic system to operate all those power features is a particular hassle, and repair bills in the tens of thousands of dollars are quite common for the 600. All that considered, it's no wonder that the majority of 600 owners were heads of state.

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