This amazing car is a 1970 Mercedes 600SL, known as a W100. Released in 1963, the 600SL was to be the pinnacle of the Mercedes range, and ultimately paved the way for both the modern S Class and Maybach ranges. As is often the case with top end Mercedes, the W100 model was absolutely packed with technology to offer opulence to rival that off Rolls Royce or Bentley. They have been popular with many celebrities, such as the Pope, Coco Chanel, John Lennon, Rowan Atkinson and even Jeremy Clarkson, to name a few. They were equally popular with the more aggressive heads of state, more so in the long wheel base versions. Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Robert Mugabe and Fidel Castro have all owned 600SL’s.
Everything on this car is hydraulic – the windows, the seat adjustment (front and rear), door closure, sunroof and even the boot lid. They all run from an incredibly complex, high pressure hydraulic system, running at a staggering 150 bar (2716psi!!!).
Ride quality has been described as ‘like a magic carpet’, thanks to a self levelling air suspension setup. As you can imagine, all of this add up to a substantial amount of weight, ready to drive this car is just a touch under 3 tonnes. So a new 6.3 litre, V8 engine was produced, Mercedes’ largest ever. In typical over-engineered style, the V8 featured a single over head camshaft, used forged pistons and conrods as standard (as opposed to the more common and much cheaper cast metal pieces), and a Bosch mechanical fuel injection system for refinement and performance.
This particular example has been in the possession of it’s owner for a number of years, as part of an extensive Mercedes collection. The blue isn’t a factory colour, it has been resprayed at some point in its life, but the shade suits the car beautifully.
Although the car wants for nothing in terms of its maintenance, the paintwork had become rather dull and scratched, the chrome tarnished and polish residue sat in many corner and pieces of trim, including the characters moulded into the light clusters. 3 days were booked to restore the finish it deserved.
After our decontamination process, the machine polishing could be started, and the paint responded very well indeed.
During the multiple stage machine polishing process, the paintwork started to take on wonderfully deep, liquid look. The curves of the bonnet suddenly seemed to be more obvious, and the blue had a lovely contrast with the now brightly polished chrome. It’s worth noting that some parts of chrome trim on the nearside doors and rear bumper had been removed for replacement, and unfortunately weren’t available to refit for the final photographs.
The paint received 2 coats of Swissvax Utopia wax, which should good protection and that lustrous for a long time. The extensive chrome was treated with a two part metal polish from Britemax, removing some tarnishing and leaving a layer of sealant behind to help make it maintain it.
We look forward to curating more cars from this wonderful collection.