Mercedes-Benz showing papal car at the Amelia Island Concours d'Élegance 2011
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
- International venue for very exclusive automobiles
- Mercedes-Benz showing the 600 Pullman Landaulet papal car of 1965
- The unique specimen today belongs to the collection of Mercedes-Benz Classic
Stuttgart, Germany, Feb 25, 2011 – The Amelia Island Concours d'Élegance in Florida in the USA is one of the year's most glamorous automotive events. At mid-March each year, the most beautiful, most elegant vehicles are gathered there. From 11 to 13 March 2011, for the 16th time now the Golf Club of Amelia Island will be allowing the presentation of fine cars on its fine lawn. Mercedes-Benz Classic is represented there this year with a remarkable and unique specimen: the Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman Landaulet papal car, shown for the first time ever on U.S. shores. The vehicle was handed over to Pope Paul VI in 1965 and used by the Vatican as official car for the Holy Father before being returned to the company in 1985 and incorporated into the Mercedes-Benz Classic collection.
Some 250 cars will be on hand at the Amelia Island Concours d’Élegance. They take part in an unrivaled competition of beautiful cars, with winners being selected in various categories. Vehicles of the Mercedes-Benz brand regularly are awarded high distinctions. Last year, for example, a 1937 540 K Special Roadster received the coveted "Best in Show" award. A 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL featuring a rare aluminum body and a 540 K Special Tourer built in 1938 were chosen "Best in Class".
With the Mercedes-Benz Pullman Landaulet on display at the Amelia Island Concours d'Élegance, in the 125! years of the automobile anniversary year the brand underscores its aspiration always to provide customers the best. The 600 series models were built from 1963 to 1981 and were equipped with the finest and best their period had to offer. For over two decades they were first choice as prestige cars in the fleets of high-ranking personages.
The tailor-made vehicle for the Vatican was the result of cooperation between Testing and Production in Sindelfingen. It is based on the Mercedes-Benz 600 (W 100 series) with long wheelbase. However, the appointments differ from the standard equipment. The rear doors are much wider and abut directly on the front doors. The rear doors also were given new controls to make them easier to reach for the Pope from the individual seat which he occupied in the center of the rear section. The Pullman Landaulet has a raised roof to afford adequate headroom, and a flat floor in the rear seat area.
The Holy Father was enthused about the high technical level of the W 100 series. "The name Mercedes has become a byword for German diligence and German efficiency in the whole world. And for this reason we appreciate your gift today all the more." With these words Paul VI praised the automotive engineering from Stuttgart upon delivery of the vehicle. Further special equipment of the vehicle includes a cooling system, the intercom unit for contact with the driver, and the individual seat in the rear, adjustable in several directions, which always presented the Holy Father in prominently visible position.
Today the Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman Landaulet with the legendary license plate SCV 1 is a part of the collection of Mercedes-Benz Classic. SCV stands for Stato della Città del Vaticano. The number 1 identifies the vehicle used by the Pope as official car.
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