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This 1972 Mercedes-Benz 600 SWB boasts distinguished ownership. It once belonged to Wayne Newton who traded it to Red Skelton for Red’s Rolls-Royce.
Jack was personal friends with Red and Lothian Skelton and purchased the car from the Red Skelton Museum in Vincennes, IN.
The Mercedes-Benz 600 line was popular with other leading luminaries, too. The short list of big names to own one includes the Pope, Pete Townshend, Queen Elizabeth II, Aristotle Onassis, Elvis Presley, Yul Brynner, Eric Clapton, and three of the Beatles.
Unveiled at the 1963 IAA International Motor Show, the 600 model became the new flagship of the Mercedes-Benz brand. Production of the 600 began in 1964 and continued through 1981, with a total of 2,677 vehicles manufactured. In 1972, there were only 138 Mercedes Benz 600s that came to the United States.
All About That Base
Generally speaking, the short wheelbase (SWB) models were designed to be driven by the owner. The long wheelbase (LWB) vehicles, which often included a central divider with power window, were designed to be chauffeur-driven.
The Benz Goes Big
The 600’s considerable size, weight, and number of hydraulically driven amenities required more power. Mercedes’ largest engine at that time, the 3L 6-cylinder M189, wasn’t up to the task. Enter the 6.3L M100, a new V8 with more than twice the capacity and delivering nearly 300 HP. Usable output was around 250 as 50HP was needed for the hydraulics.
The M100 featured single overhead camshafts and Bosch mechanical fuel injection. Meanwhile, the 600’s hydraulic pressure system powered the automobile’s windows, seats, sun-roof, boot lid, and automatically closing doors. The adjustable air suspension yielded top-notch ride quality and fine handling over any road surface.
1972 Mercedes-Benz 600 SWB specs:
- 4-Speed Automatic Transmission
- 6.3L M100 V8 Engine
- 247 HP
- Sequential Fuel Injection By Bosch
- Power-Assisted Disc Brakes
- 126-Inch Wheelbase
- Four-Wheel Independent Self-Leveling Suspension with Sway Bars