Mercedes-Benz experimented with a two-door version of the iconic 600 (w100) in the middle of the 1960s. While the existing long- and short-wheelbase four-door models were largely aimed at buyers who had a chauffeur, the 600 Coupe was studied as a way to capture the top end of the personal luxury car market.
Save for a set of air vents mounted directly behind the front wheels, the 600 Coupe closely resembled its four-door counterpart from the tip of the front bumper to the A-pillar. Beyond that, the wheelbase was shortened to 117 inches (298 centimeters) – bringing the car’s total length to 209 inches (532 centimeters) – but the angular roof line was retained. The rear end was again essentially identical to that of the sedan, and a set of 15-inch steel wheels covered by chromed hubcaps created a look of understated elegance.
Inside, the dashboard, the steering wheel, the stalks and switches and the instrument cluster were all carried over from the standard 600. The front seatbacks tilted forward to provide easy access to a bench seat that could accommodate up to three adults and the rear windows were power operated. A smooth, comfortable ride was assured by an advanced air suspension system.
Mercedes made no changes under the hood, meaning the 600 Coupe was powered by a fuel-injected 6.3-liter V8 engine called M100 internally. It sent 250 horsepower and 368 lb-ft. of torque to the rear wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission, enough to propel the 5,401-pound (2,450-kilo) coupe from zero to 62 mph (100 km/h) in a respectable 9.7 seconds with two occupants on board. Top speed was reached at 127 mph (205 km/h).
For reasons that remain unclear Mercedes decided to allocate its resources to other projects and the company’s records indicate that only one 600 Coupe was built in August of 1965. The car is part of a private collection today.
All photos kindly provided by Daimler’s archives department.