A 1965 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman landaulet built specially for Pope Paul VI will make its first U.S. appearance at the the 16th annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance held March 11-13, 2011.
The pontiff not only rode in comfort, but also stayed protected in the modded 600. The vehicle featured an individual seat that could be raised and lowered during processions through crowded streets. The car also featured an elevated roof, extended rear doors, and raised floor were also fitted along with other special equipment such as bulletproof glass.
The 600 was likely chosen to be modified for the pope because the 5,000-pound vehicle featured a number of technological advances for the day and was equipped with Mercedes-Benz's first ever V-8 that could reach 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 10 seconds--similar to the performance of sports cars in the 1960s.
Over two decades, the modified car was used by three popes and was returned to Mercedes-Benz's Stuttgart, Germany, headquarters in 1985. It will be featured at the Concours d'Elegance courtesy of the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart.
Proceeds from the 2011 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance will be donated to the Community Hospice of Northeast Florida.