Okay, so you’ve made up your mind that you want a Mercedes sedan. You have about $70k to spend. So what’ll it be?
That budget would put you behind the wheel of a new E-Class – say an AMG E43 in the US, or an E400 in Europe (with its higher taxes). Or you could stretch your money a little farther, in one sense or another, and get this super-long-wheelbase S-Class.
It’s a 2002 Mercedes-Benz S600 L Pullman, to be specific – the very top of the line in its day. (Short, that is, of a Maybach.) Built as you see it in the factory (not converted after the fact), this Pullman stretches a massive 6,163 mm (over 20 feet) long – a good 710 mm (2.3′) longer than the current Maybach S-Class, or just 370 mm (1.2′) shorter than the latest Pullman model.
But with sixteen years and 64,000 km (40,000 miles) on it, this one is listed for €60k (or about $74k at current exchange rates). That’s roughly an eighth of what a Pullman would cost you new – now or then – or well short of half the cost of a new Maybach S560.
It’s been driven exclusively by chauffeur for the Grand Hotel Bellevue in Gstaad, Switzerland, where it shuttled VIPs and heads of state around the swanky ski resort from 2002 through 2007. And it’s fitted with all the optional extras, not the least of which is the 5.8-liter V12 that was rated at 362 horsepower at the time.
These days, the E43 (that you could get for similar money) produces slightly more than that. But it won’t offer as much space as this extra-long limo. So which would you choose?