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1969 Mercedes-Benz 600 SWB


Stunning, all original California survivor. An immaculate example of Mercedes’ golden-era grand limousines.


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    Offered for sale is a truly stunning original example of one of the most legendary cars to ever bear the three pointed star: the Mercedes-Benz 600. We could lapse into a multi-paragraph history of the model, however we’ll assume that all interested parties are already well educated in its renowned features and status. For those who are unfamiliar to the model, suffice it to say that the 600 is undeniably the Grand Mercedes. When introduced they were, as they are today, a cultural icon; a nearly unrivaled mark of engineering genius, world-class luxury and exclusivity reserved for only the very elite.

    Always a Southern California car, this 600 was ordered new through Mercedes Benz of Beverly Hills for Dr. Thomas Hodges, who is best known as the eccentric original owner and builder of the renowned Castle Kashan, the over-the-top, Windsor-styled castle in the hills overlooking Malibu. Dr. Hodges only kept the car for a few years, selling it to a good friend of his from Long Beach, who was also a doctor and successful real estate investor/developer. An avid Mercedes enthusiast and collector, the 600 became part of the second owner’s significant collection, joining the likes of vintage Bentleys, Ferraris and a bevy of Mercedes models, amongst others. The second owner retained the car until his death in 2005, at which point his son inherited the collection. As friends of his son, we had eyed the 600 from afar and were thrilled when he finally decided to part with it in 2007.

    The cars was always kept detailed, garaged and religiously maintained by the second owner’s private mechanic, whose list of clients also includes Jay Leno, Jack Nicholson and renowned Mercedes collector and race car driver Don Ricardo. Before purchasing the car, we had this mechanic go through the car completely, replacing faulty air bags and giving it a thorough tune-up, among other things. The exceedingly rare, complete 600 shop manuals come with the car and the prior owner has promised to forward an abundance of records. While run consistently, the car was primarily used for special occasions and consequently has only racked up 77,500 original miles – and it shows.

    The car’s exterior is immaculate, its correct DB717 “Papyrus White” paint in remarkable condition, retaining astonishing depth and luster and free of surface rust, oxidation, scratches or any other significant imperfections. The chrome is exceptional, wholly original and free of significant pitting or rust. The rubber is all in good condition, as is the glass, which is free of cracks, scratches or rock chips. The original color-matched 600 wheels are in excellent condition and are wrapped in white wall tires with plenty of remaining tread.

    The car’s interior is equally clean, its gorgeous deep navy leather seats in truly remarkable original condition, marred only by minimal crease marks. The deep navy carpets are plush and free of stains or wear, the headliner is immaculate and all of the interior trim, plastic and panels are in excellent condition. All of the knobs and buttons function as they should and the rare Becker Grand Prix radio is perfect. The 600’s dash is arguably one of the most magnificent in automotive history, and this car’s deep walnut example is in truly amazing condition: opulent, glossy, entirely original and completely free of significant warping, cracking or delaminating. Additionally, this car’s options include full leather, power rear seats, refrigerated center console with exceedingly rare Mercedes shaker and sipping glasses.

    The amount of care that this 600 has received over the years is evident in almost every part of the car. Perhaps most notably, it has never been subjected to the elements, and therefore exhibits no evidence of rust or rust repair, sun, moisture or any other type of significant damage. The car has never been hit – each panel is straight with perfect fits and gaps all around. The 600’s drive quality is perfectly matched with its design: effortless elegance. This car lives up to the model’s legendary performance status and is an absolute joy to drive. Starting right up without any smoke or hesitation, the car idles smoothly and consistently at the correct revolution level. When driving, the car is completely responsive, the engine pulling strongly as the car shifts smoothly through each of the gears and offering precise and stable braking ability. But the car brings pleasure to more than just its driver; not an outing goes by without other motorists and pedestrians giving thumbs ups, compliments and asking permission to photograph the car.

    Whether you’ve been looking specifically for a 600, a 1960’s era vintage Mercedes, or just a unique classic to ad to your collection, this car deserves your serious consideration. With only 2,677 units hand-assembled in the Sindelfingen plant throughout its unprecedented 18 year production run, and with many of those produced having fallen victim to decades of neglect, it would be a vast understatement to call the 600 rare. Even more uncommon, however, is the opportunity to purchase an original example as clean as this car.

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