MERCEDES BENZ Laundalet
Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
A very rare version the W140, the Landaulet continues this blue-blooded line of cars born in the 60’s through the introduction of the 300d model.
Built on the V140 platform (the long-wheelbase version of the W140) the car screams with refinement and exclusiveness through its separate rear open-top chamber housing outrageously comfortable seating for one. As it was the case with other Landaulets, such as the popular 600 model, the rear passenger(s) are separated from the driver via a privacy glass-panel.Exquisite and fairly expensive, the 1997 Landaulet was yet another MB flagship vehicle blending great design with state-of-the-art features.
Mercedes-Benz introduced the model 600 in 1963 at the Frankfurt International Motor Show.
Then it added new versions for it, including the state-limousine Pullman and the open rear top Landaulet.
The German carmaker was known for its exceptional products designed and engineered for motorcades. It made the vehicles for more heads of states than any other carmaker in the world. Among its customers were tyrants and democrats alike. For them, but especially for the latter, Mercedes-Benz made the Landaulet version.
Friedrich Geiger, Bruno Sacco, and Paul Bracq worked together to design the car 600 Pullman, and then they continued their work for the Landaulet version. If the Pullman was the most expensive car in the world in 1964, the open-top version was even pricier. Mercedes-Benz applied the “if you have to ask, then you can’t afford it” principle. The long vehicle featured an open area behind the driver’s cabin and made it available with four or six doors.
The car featured hydraulically adjustable dampers. The pneumatic system controlled the door locks, windows, and even seat adjustments. The trunk lid was closed by the pneumatic system too. The brakes were not on hydraulic fluid, but with air, like on a big truck. But all that system came with a cost of a 3 ton (6590 lbs) vehicle. And, in the armored version, it was even heavier.
Under the hood, there was a 6.3-liter V8 engine with a fuel injection system. It offered a vast amount of torque, but, unfortunately, the hydraulic system used a big part of it. The automatic transmission provided the best comfort when it changed gears. But still, the car was not slow and could go over 200 kph (120 mph). The Pullman Landaulet was built in 59 units in three body versions: two with four doors and one with six doors.
In 1951, at the first Frankfurt International Motor Show after the WWII, Mercedes-Benz unveiled among other new vehicles the top-of-the-line 300 series.
One particularly unit was specially built for a very special customer: The Pope
In 1957, a profoundly revised version of the 300 model was presented, which, technically as well as regarding its exterior, was clearly different from its predecessor. The design number W 189 confirmed a new construction with its own series for the model 300 d.
In 1960, four very special vehicles were built by special order on the basis of the 300 d. One was used as a testing vehicle for the factory. Three of them, Pullman limousine and two Pullman landaulets were built on an elongated chassis with a wheelbase of 3600 mm and with a higher roof. One of the two landaulets was fitted with a single armchair in the rear as an extra feature for and delivered to Pope John XXIII in December 1960. The second landaulet and the Pullman limousine remained in the factory as representation cars to be rented out to the government or other wealthy parties for special events. The fourth was a completely new bodied two-door estate wagon, which was used as a powerful measuring car in the test department for many years.
Despite being a half-convertible, the 300 d Landaulet featured an Artic-Kat air-conditioning unit. Inside, the car-maker installed new seats, with better support for the back of its occupants.
A big improvement was found under the hood, where an inline-six unit was fitted with a Bosch gasoline injection system in the manifold, instead of a classic system with a carburetor. It was fitted with a 3-speed automatic transmission.