Journal: German Technocruiser or British Luxury Liner?

German Technocruiser or British Luxury Liner?

Petrolicious Productions By Petrolicious Productions
March 26, 2013
13 comments

Presidents, CEOs, celebrities, dignitaries, and dictators alike all need fittingly grandiose automobiles—something large, luxurious, expensive, and clearly demonstrative of one’s status in the world. If you found yourself at the helm of a large corporation or country in the mid 1960s to ’70s, your choices were sometimes limited to your geographical location and/or political alliances—behind the Iron Curtain, politburos were chauffeured in ZiLs and Tatras, during which time Nixon sat in the back of a Lincoln. Unburdened by such ideologies, the famous, rich, and less-legitimate politicians of the world, however, were free to choose a car reflective of their own style and personality. The two featured here represent the period’s pinnacle of style, prestige and comfort in two very different ways.

First up is a beautiful example of the deceptively titled “short wheelbase” Mercedes 600 Grosser. Short is a relative term, and this one features a nearly 11-foot-long stretch between the axles, compared to LWB Pullman versions faintly ridiculous 12.5’. In true Teutonic style, the car was a rolling showcase of technology advanced engineering, with a hydraulic system running at an astronomically high 2,200 psi that powered everything from its windows to seat adjustment and automatic door closure, self-leveling air suspension, and available features like in-cabin TVs, refrigerators and telephones. The 600 was so heavy that it required its own large capacity V8, the famous 6.3 M-100 that later went on to power MB’s factory hotrod 300SEL 6.3.

On the other side of this ostentatious coin, we feature a more subdued and traditional car, the Bentley T1. From the days when Bentleys were little more than re-badged Rollers, the T1 offered absolutely no sporting pretentions but gave plenty of old-world style bespoke craftsmanship in return. Walnut veneers, wool carpets, and Connolly leather hides cover every square inch of the cabin. Switchgear and instrumentation could almost be described as austere in its simplicity, were it not for the wonderful warmth endowed by the quality of its materials. Pulled along silently by an early version of Bentley’s classic “six-and-three-quarter liter” V8, a derivative of which to this day powers their latest Mulsanne, its power was described simply as “adequate”, the details of a car’s greasy bits considered to be too vulgar for polite discussion.

So, which is more your kind of mobile smoking room?

1973 Bentley T1

Click here for the Bentley details.

1970 Mercedes-Benz 600-Series

Click here for the Mercedes details.

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Richard Harrold
Richard Harrold

Reminds me of the Top Gear challenge, Clarkson’s Grosser vs May’s Rolls-Royce Corniche. “Camp… or camp kommandant?”.

Giancarlo
Giancarlo

In this case, Benz… the 600. Absolutely! It s a very special car, was ahead of its time and it s still interesting for his hydraulic system which controls every function, and even its “presence” turn to be more impressive than the T- series of Bentley ( and Silver Shadow “twin” by Rolls-Royce ).
I think there are more interesting models in the Bentley production ( Continental R-T-SC, Azure, Brooklands coupè… and even the Arnage despite the close relationship with the Silver Seraph ) while this is probably “the best” Mercedes-Benz ever made

Frantisek Simon
Frantisek Simon

MERC!

John Harvi
John Harvi

It would have to be the Merc for me. I’ve always wanted one. I might be able to afford a wheel nut at the moment!

Andy Gondorf
Andy Gondorf

The Bentley.
If only becuase class wins over imposition.
Or because rakishness triumphs over utility.
Or probably because my Dad worked at the Crewe factory when they were making that model or Roller / Bentley 😉

Gavin
Gavin

The Merc says ‘far eastern dictator’ to me and I can imagine ‘Oddjob’ driving the thing. I’ll take the British Luxury Liner.

moltimedia
moltimedia

The Bentley, for me the high end British cars always had the more sophisticated look and style. No matter how big or long the MB could be ordered, it is still a biggered Mercedes. And, there are no small Bentely’s…. 😉

And dont forget the Caddillacs….

Steely
Steely

The Bentley walks all over the Merc in style stakes, if you wanted to extrude a serious no nonsence persona, here comes the boring guy, the Merc was your choice, if you were a more laid back gent with an I don’t give a shit attitude, the Bentley was the car to turn up in.

Isaac DC
Isaac DC

I take the Grosser! That Benz is just one of the most majestic cars on earth! It is just pure automotive royalty! And if ever I would own it, it would have it restored by Brabus 🙂

cardyjones
cardyjones

along lines of mobile smoking room, the roller is, well, a rolling gentlemen’s place. not a strip club.
benz is just too sterile.
the rolls is a single purpose machine.

Josh Clason
Josh Clason

I choose the Benz all the way. I have always had a soft spot for this and the LWB Pullman.

Terrence Dorsey
Terrence Dorsey

The Benz has that classic, tasteful black-tie tuxedo vibe. Sure, the Bentley has its own Savile Row style, but the cut is less timeless.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

I would much rather have a 300SEL 6.3 or a Jagaur XJ12 series 1 than either of these, but picking from the two it has to be the Merc. Maybe they sell for a lot more in the States but that Bentley looks very expensive to me?