1968 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman Limousine
Offered by Artcurial | Rueil-Malmaison, France | October 15, 2017
Photo – Artcurial
The 600 (which sported the internal Mercedes code name of W100) was the replacement for the Mercedes-Benz 300 Adenauer. Introduced in 1963, the 600 was offered through 1981, which is quite a long time as the cars sold in the 80s still sported late-60s Mercedes styling. Mercedes didn’t build a true replacement for this car until the 2015 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class (though I guess the Maybachs of the 2000s kind of count).
All 600s were powered by a 250 horsepower, 6.3-liter V-8. It pushed a lot of mass around – especially on this long-wheelbase version (the “short” wheelbase sedan was the standard model). The much-sought-after long-wheelbase Pullman Limousine that you see here seats eight and has six doors (three on each side). An even more extravagant Landaulet (which sported a convertible top for the rear passengers) was also available.
This particular car was one of three purchased by the government of the Congo. Two were sent to Africa while this one remained in Germany to be used by embassy staff. Many governments bought 600 Pullmans – in fact, it was the car to have if you were a dictator. These were the favored cars of such beloved dignitaries as Saddam Hussein, Robert Mugabe, Fidel Castro, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Kim Jong-il, and even Pablo Escobar. Oh, the Pope had one too, I guess. Intensely restored, this car – one of just 428 LWB examples built – should bring between $475,000-$595,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Not sold.
1957 Fiat 600 Mirafiori
Offered by Gooding & Company | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 29-30, 2016
Photo – Gooding & Company
The Fiat 600 was a city car that slotted in the Fiat lineup right above, you guessed it, the Fiat 500. It was built between 1955 and 1969. The 600 Multipla was minivan-like five-door, six-seat version of the 600 that was built between 1956 and 1965. The cars were constructed at Fiat’s Mirafiori plant in Turin.
The 600 Mirafiori was built – at the request of Fiat president Gianni Agnelli – internally by Fiat to transport visitors (specifically, VIP visitors) around the Fiat plant and campus in Turin. It is based on the 600 Multipla and has a removable panoramic hardtop and is powered by a 29 horsepower 767cc straight-four.
Five were built between 1956 and 1958 and it is thought that this is the only survivor. When this thing’s useful life concluded, a Fiat manager took it home and kept it until 1995. It was restored in the 1990s and this is likely the first time one of these has ever been offered on the open market. It should bring between $150,000-$200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Sold $143,000.
1957 Fiat 600 Coupe by Viotti
Offered by Coys | Ascot, U.K. | April 27, 2013
The Fiat 600 (or Seicento) is, as you might expect, the slightly larger big brother of the iconic Fiat 500. The 600 was actually introduced prior – two years prior – to the 500, making the Seicento the first rear-engined Fiat.
The “600” refers to the 636cc overhead valve straight-four that was put in the car from the start of production (larger engines would be available later on). It could do 68 mph and made about 28 horsepower. It was a city car – a car for the people – and sold over a million copies in the first six years of production alone. But what if you wanted something a little more stylish?
Enter Carrozzeria Viotti, the Turin-based coachbuilder founded in 1921. They were the first Italian coachbuilder to use an actual production line and while they built bodies for prewar classics like the Alfa Romeo 1500 and Lancia Dilambda, they’re post-war work centered on small cars like this or the Fiat 1100 Giardinetta. (Yeah, they built fancier stuff too). They turned a people’s car into an attractive little coupe here and ran off a few hundred of them, with only a handful in existence today.
This car is expected to sell for between $20,000-$25,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of the lineup from this sale.
1951 Gutbrod Superior 600
Offered by RM Auctions | Madison, Georgia | February 15-16, 2013
Photo – RM Auctions
Let’s face it: Gutbrod might not be the sexiest name ever slapped on a car. Superiors were manufactured from 1950 through 1954 and they featured a rollback convertible roof (those b-pillars don’t go anywhere). The cloth roof just kind of unfurls backward and voila! a convertible. The engine was a front-mounted 593cc twin making 20 horsepower. They were known as good handlers but they were also loud. There was a “700” model as well, with an extra 6 horsepower and 70 more cubic centimeters in displacement. Of both models, 7,726 were made. This one will go for between $15,000-$25,000 and you can read more here.
Update: Sold $16,100
1960 Vespa 400
For Sale at Hyman Ltd | St. Louis, Missouri
Vespa is the world famous scooter manufacturer that produces the classic design that has been popular among so many different groups of people since it went on sale in the late 1940s. They have been featured in many films over the years, but perhaps most famously in Roman Holiday with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn. Sales took off after that and when I think “Vespa” I think someone roaring around the streets on a scooter outside the Colosseum in Rome.
Vespa is owned (and has been since its inception) by Piaggio, the Italian motorcycle conglomerate. In the late 1950s, Piaggio designed a small car and licensed the design to ACMA in France, who built the car as the Vespa 400. ACMA was independent of Piaggio, yet they were still badged as Vespas, which was a Piaggio trademark. While Vespa scooters are Italian, this Vespa car is French. Weird. In any case, ACMA put the car into production in 1957 but they closed up in 1962, a year after Vespa 400 production wrapped.
About 34,000 of these cars were built and this is as nice of one as you’re likely to find. It’s tiny but two people can fit inside. It has a folding fabric top and is powered by a 393cc straight-twin making 20 horsepower. It’s a two-stroke engine mounted in the rear, driving the rear wheels. See that weird looking thing on the front where the grille would normally be? That’s a sliding tray containing the battery.
This is a U.S. market car (it has a 3-speed transmission, other markets got 4-speeds). It will do 50 mph and can be yours for $31,500. For more information, click here.
Update: Sold, Mecum, Kansas City, December 2012, $22,500.