A V12-Powered All-Mercedes Frankenstein for Real

Does this Mercedes-Benz coupe look right or wrong to you? It does look like a factory-built coupe or a limited edition, but it’s not. Called a 1972 600SL, you won’t find it in any listing of 1960s or 1970s Benzes. But it’s real, not a rendering, and designed by noted designer Paul Bracq. So, what is it? 

What did they start with in making this Mercedes 600SL?

1972 Mercedes
1972 Mercedes 600SL one off | CCR

First off, it is a one-off, handmade Mercedes, using all Mercedes parts. And its starting point was a very rare 2002 R129 SL600 Silver Arrow. The automaker only built 100 of the special edition models. They all have a 6.0-liter V12 hooked to a five-speed automatic transmission. All 100 were silver, and all featured that year’s AMG styling package. 

Blended into the 2000s convertible were Mercedes 600 front and rear ends, fenders, and other visuals to create a 1967 coupe if the company had based it on the 600 styling. Paul Bracq was the designer of the original 600, as well as the classic SL pagoda-roof convertibles also from the 1960s. 

Who built the one-off 600SL?

1972 Mercedes
1972 Mercedes 600SL one off with 2002 SL | CCR

Mercedes Enthusiast magazine asked him to envision a 1960s Mercedes 600. It showed six of his sketches, with the one picked as the best actually getting built by Classic Car Restorations in Wausau, Wisconsin, in 2010. 

This mashup was not easy. The first problem was with the two cars’ widths. The original 600 body parts are wider than the SL’s, meaning, they required alterations for the width before blending the quarter panels together along the sides. 

Did the one-off keep all of the 2002 Mercedes safety features?

1972 Mercedes
1972 Mercedes 600SL one off | CCR

While the windshield and top are 2002 SL, the window lines are altered to better mimic the 1972 character. And that hood tilts forward rather than hinging from the firewall. Once the fabrication was done, the whole thing was shot in a Mercedes 777 Silver. 

Starting with the 2002 SL means the creation has a modern suspension, with such safety features as Electronic Stability Program, antilock brakes, and Brake Assist. Running the V12 engine means 389 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. This translates to zero-to-60 times of 5.9 seconds. 

1972 Mercedes
1972 Mercedes 600SL one off | CCR

Originally, Classic Car Restorations was planning on moving the rear wheel centerline back, which we think would have helped the coupe’s proportions a bit more. However, it instead decided to tuck the bumpers closer to the body. This somewhat helps the Merc from looking like a dog with its tail between its legs. But any view other than a three-quarter shot shows the rather truncated rear wheel location. 

Still, it has a stately yet sporty vibe to itself. And it’s for sale. With only 35,000 miles on the odometer, it is an attention-getter wherever it appears. You can contact Karl Middlehauve at Classic Car Restoration for much more information about the one-off 600SL.