The Mercedes 600 was the flagship of Mercedes-Benz between 1963 and 1981. It was the ride of choice for the millionaires, presidents, dictators and even the Pope. Each 600 was special ordered to client's specifications. But if you're a small Merecdes-Benz dealer in a banana republic, how could you sell the newly risen Dictator a 600 to his own specifications without actually having a 600 in the floor?
Today, with the magic of the Internet, you can easily build a car to the exact specs without leaving your house, like the Rolls-Royce configurator. And of course, a simple 30 page paper brochure, as nice as it may be, this wouldn't cut it when you're trying to sell one of the most expensive cars of its time? Meet the Blue Box!
At first glance, it looks rather plain, but you you should know better not to judge a book by its cover.
Inside the Blue Box, you find two books, again nothing very exiting to see yet. Be patient, the best is yet to come! The Model of the 600 Pullman in 1/43 does not come with the box, it's for illustration purposes only.
Let's start with the thin book first.
The first 11 pages are just photos. Beautiful full page size black & white images, printed on actual photographic paper, giving an incredible level of detail.
Mercedes-Benz 600 Limousine
Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman
Mercedes-Benz 600 Landulet
The next section has printed amazing cutaways of the car, hydraulic systems and that glorious V8 engine as well as the much needed technical specifications, (I have skipped a few).
I'm sure by this time you must be thinking, this is all very nice, but how can this be the most beautiful brochure in the world? True, the images are very nice, but far from groundbreaking.
Welcome the second book, which is not actually a book, but a sample box with every single combination to build your 600!
The sample box includes 33 Paint chips, 24 pieces soft leather, 10 samples of fabric-leather-velours combinations and 3 examples of the fabrics used as well as four real pieces of wood veneer (Walnut root, Walnut, Macassar and Rio-Rose wood.
And there you have it. The most beautiful brochure in the world.
How did I end up with such a piece in my brochure collection? Believe it or not, it was a birthday present from a friend. The Colombian Mercedes-Benz importer was doing some house cleaning, and they were throwing away everything "old", including factory documents, repair and parts manuals and this brochure. My friend heard about it and he was quick to save all the literature that otherwise would have ended in a dump.
A few years back I contacted Mercedes-Benz Historic Archives and this is what they had to say about it.
The box you have obtained from the Mercedes-Benz representative in Colombia, was a paint and upholstery sample collection for Mercedes-Benz dealers. It was used to show people who wanted to buy a Mercedes-Benz 600 the most important combinations of paint, wood and upholstery material.
The box was issued in German, English, French and Spanish in 1963/64 and was never intended as a "catalogue" to be given away to the customer. The number of "sample boxes" produced is unfortunately not recorded in our archives.
I hope to have helped you.
With kind regards
Manager, Product History & Archives
I don't know you, I take the box over an online configurator everyday of the week.