Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 4
The Mercedes-Benz 600 Grosser was a monumental car – but it was not the biggest ever made by Daimler-Benz. There were two models. One was a prestige saloon and the other was a limousine with a wheelbase of 12ft. 9.5in., which made it 9.5in. longer than the Rolls-Royce Phantom V. It's overall length was 20ft. 6in., but the saloon was a more modest 18ft. 2in.
If those statistics don't impress you, then the kerb weights certainly will. The limousine tipped the scales at 51.8cwt. and the saloon at 48cwt. The smaller car had a turning circle of 40ft. 7in., but you needed 47ft. to turn the limousine. Obviously designed for people who didn't have to worry about fitting into tight parking spots.
New V8 Engine
Cars of these dimensions would have been useless without adequate power, so the Daimler Benz engineers set about building a new 6.3-litre V8 developing 300 bhp (gross) @ 4100 rpm. Each bank of cylinders had a single overhead camshaft and fuel was supplied by a Bosch injection system, the pump being mounted in the vee of the cylinder banks.
A huge number of power-consuming, accessories were driven from the engine (which explained why the gross power was 300 and the net was only 250), including the water pump and fan, which had a thermostatically controlled hydraulic coupling, an air compressor for the suspension and power brake systems, a pressure pump for the hydraulic services, a compressor for the optional air-conditioning system and two alternators.
The engine characteristics provided very good low-speed pulling. Maximum power was at only 4100 rpm and peak torque - 3691b./ft. - occurred at 2800 rpm. The automatic transmission (no manual was offered) was much the same as that already employed in other cars of the Mercedes range. It was a four-speed epicyclical gearbox with a fluid coupling. The driver had complete over-riding control when they needed it.
were used on all wheels and they were power-assisted. Separate hydraulic circuits were provided for the front and rear wheels so that the car would never be left without brakes. Suspension was independent on all wheels and it bore a very close resemblance to that used on the 300SE saloon. The air bags were pressurised to 250 p.s.i. and were self-levelling so that the riding height of the car was the same regardless of the load carried.
The dash layout was much the same as that in the cheaper saloons, but there was a tachometer dial to match the speedo. Steering column length was adjustable simply by turning the padded hub of the wheel. Hydraulically powered, the front seats could be adjusted for height, reach and rake through a single control. Back seat passengers had adjustable headrests besides an enormous amount of leg room, even in the saloon version, which could be purchased with a glass partition and picnic tables.
The massive 6.3 litre MB overhead cam V8 featured fuel injection and dual alternators.
In the limousine the folding occasional chairs faced the rear and back on to the electrically operated partition. A sun roof was optional equipment and it was also hydraulically operated, as were the door windows. The doors never needed to be slammed. When they were taken to the first catch with fingertip pressure, the hydraulic system drew them shut. On the autobahn the Grosser was a fast car.
It had a top speed of 125 mph and would accelerate to 100 mph in a little over 26 seconds. The 0-60 time was claimed by Mercedes to be 9.2 seconds – which at the time was better than most sports cars. In spite of the car's enormous weight, the disc brakes
proved to be very powerful and would stop the limousine in six seconds from 100 m.p.h.
Irrespective of the road surface, the ride was excellent. If the Grosser was flung around like a sports car, the suspension would keep it on a level keel and the high-geared, power-assisted steering, which needed only 3.3 turns from lock to lock, minimised the amount of work to be done by the driver. Rough tracks did not worry even the limousine, which was remarkably rigid and free from road noises and vibration for a vehicle of such size.
The 600 Grosser was obviously enormously pricey, particularly given they were hand constructed in very small numbers. They stayed in production until 1981 and only the release of the Maybach can match this mighty car. Its most noteable appearance in a movie was in 1972's 'The Exorcist'.