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Papal Mercedes-Benz to appear at Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance

The 16th Annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance will feature a Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman landaulet built specially for Pope Paul VI.

Suzanne Ashe
Suzanne Ashe has been covering technology, gadgets, video games, and cars for several years. In addition to writing features and reviews for magazines and Web sites, she has contributed to daily newspapers.
Suzanne Ashe

The Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman landaulet was originally presented in September 1963 at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany. Mercedes-Benz

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.

The last 600 rolled off the assembly line in summer 1981 and during its 17-year production run, 2,677 were built of which 428 were Pullman limousines and 59 were landaulets. Mercedes-Benz