1967 Mercedes-Benz 600
Custodian: Mercedes-Benz Heritage Hosted by: Henry Poole
This short-wheelbase 600 was George Harrison’s first Mercedes-Benz, along with a 280SL Pagoda for then-wife Pattie Boyd bought new in the same year – 1968. OLA 600E is one of around 100 examples of the 600 brought to the UK in right-hand-drive form, and at the time of George’s purchase it was one year old. Rather than wait a year for a brand-new 600, he bought this, which marked the start of a long association with Mercedes-Benz, including the later purchase of an AMG-modified 500 SEL W126. George would put 30,000 miles on the car – and there are several period pictures showing him with his 600.
George kept the car until 1970 – you can also see footage of it in ITV’s The Beatles Anthology (and more recently in the Disney+ documentary Get Back). It was a difficult time for The Beatles, and the 600 had dramas of its own. Prior to George’s purchase, a mechanic using a flammable cleaning agent in the engine bay had neglected to attach a mains inspection light correctly. When it fell and the bulb smashed, the spark ignited the cleaning agent. However, everything was sorted in time for George’s purchase – which came about largely because Rolls-Royce didn’t offer a same-day service at the time.
The 600 was also part of a notorious story in George’s life. In September 1969, he was accused of hitting a policeman’s legs with the car. At the court hearing, George was unable to locate his driving licence. Two years later, he was fined £35 and banned from driving for a year – but by then the car had been sold.
The 600’s next owner was AH Robson, in Scotland, who kept the car for a couple of years before selling it to Cambridge Electro Plating. However, its longest stretch of ownership was in the care of Sheffield-based Abbey Taxis. Although it was used sparingly, it still covered 68,000 miles over 27 years; during that time, it was used to transport several celebrities. One such person was Roy Orbison, who was performing at Sheffield’s Flamingo Club; apparently he was so enamoured with the 600 he offered to buy it, but a deal couldn’t be struck.
In 2001 the car was sold at auction, making its way to Denmark, where it was lightly used until 2019. It was then bought by Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia, the founder of Euro Car Parts. He had the car mechanically refurbished at a cost of £50,000, while the chrome was brought back to its best in Poland. It was sold to its current owner, Brendan O’Brien, in 2021, and it has since been treated to new anti-roll-bar bushes and work to the gearbox.
Power: 250bhp Top speed: 127mph 0-62mph: 9.5 seconds
Photos: Mercedes-Benz Heritage