Readers of German motoring magazine “Auto Bild Klassik” have decided: not one, but three, Mercedes-Benz cars take a top prize in the “Golden Classic Steering Wheel” awards. “With the Type 600 and type 230 SL, we have two true icons of Mercedes-Benz on the top step of the podium,” enthuses Michael Bock, head of Mercedes-Benz Classic.
“This recognition from readers delights us all the more because it is exactly 50 years since both these model series were launched.”
The brand with the three-pointed star takes first place in three classes. Amongst the saloons, the famed Type 600 (W 100) drives straight to the front, underlining in impressive style the tradition of Mercedes-Benz premium- and luxury-class vehicles. First presented at the IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt in 1963, the new “Grand Mercedes” is a prestigious, distinguished vehicle – luminaries from around the globe, representing the fields of politics, business and entertainment, used this car to make their big entrance. In terms of technology, the “600” set new standards too, boasting a 6.3-litre V8-engine, air suspension and a novel hydraulic comfort system. The hydraulics enabled not only automatic adjustment of the front and rear seats, but also handled the opening and closing of the car doors, the luggage compartment, the side windows, and the optional sliding sunroof.The five-/six-seater configuration on a standard wheelbase was mostly purchased by highly discerning private customers, whereas the seven-/eight-seater long-wheelbase Pullman and the Landaulet were primarily used as limousines for state dignitaries and other VIPs. Every single one of the 2,677 individually manufactured Mercedes-Benz 600s is unique.
In the “Cabrios & Roadsters” class, the unmistakeable Mercedes-Benz 230 SL (W 113) “Pagoda” is at the head of the pack. Internationally, this model series is one of the most sought-after classics. According to the Mercedes-Benz Classic Index (MBCI) maintained by the Historic Automobile Group International (HAGI), which continuously tracks activity in the classic car market, the model series is one of the definitive Mercedes-Benz classics and continues to appreciate in value. The two-seater roadster was launched in 1963 and distinguished itself with, among other features, its superb comfort, excellent driving characteristics, and exemplary handling safety. It earned the nickname “Pagoda” due to the concave curvature of its hardtop, which is reminiscent of the contours of a Far Eastern temple.
Mercedes-Benz also takes home the award for “Classic of the Future” thanks to a focus on perfection down to the last detail. The winning car is a vehicle that sets new benchmarks in every area: the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Take the S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, for example. With an optimised cd value of 0.23 and a combined-cycle fuel consumption figure of 4.4 litres per 100 kilometres (CO2: 115 g/km), this car happily fulfils all the criteria for energy efficiency class A+. Inside the S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, Mercedes-Benz has combined a 2.2-litre 4-cylinder diesel engine generating 150 kW (204 hp) with a powerful hybrid module. “Intelligent Drive” sees comfort and safety converge, taking us into a new dimension of driving.
This is the fourth time that “Auto Bild Klassik” magazine has invited people to participate in the “Golden Classic Steering Wheel” competition. In total, 26,882 readers and users of the website took part in the vote. Awards were presented in five main categories: “Classic of the Year”, “Classic of the Future”, “Find of the Year”, “Restoration of the Year”, and “Person of the Year”. Full results are available online: www.autobild.de/klassik-lenkrad.