2023 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class S 680 By Virgil Abloh

24 Stunning Mercedes-Benz Models That Are Hard to Find

At one point in your life, you must have seen a Mercedes-Benz and marveled at its automotive glory. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. The German automaker has been in business for close to a century, and its most redefining characteristic is what every human lives to achieve—class and respect!

Mercedes-Benz has the Midas touch on all things automotive. Anything it sniffs glistens like gold, from the luxurious S-Class to the grumpy AMG strain of Benzes. The German automaker is the definition of automotive class, catering to head honchos, world leaders, tycoons, and oligarchs. Simply put, if you have wealthy people’s money, it’s a no-brainer to own a Mercedes-Benz.

Don’t get me wrong. Owning a Mercedes Benz is nothing like clutching onto a designer bag. It’s a socio-political statement, security and comfort bundled on four wheels (sometimes six).

Still, as popular as the German manufacturer might seem, some of its outstanding model releases never get the much-needed hype they deserve. It could be due to rarity, exclusivity, or the fact that only a handful of people on the planet can afford them. Herein is a list of noteworthy cars developed under the stewardship of Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes-Benz 600 (W100) 1963 – 1981

Mercedes-Benz 600 (W100)
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

Like most cars from the German automaker, the ultra-luxurious Mercedes-Benz 600 (W100) was developed for rich owners – but on a global scale. When it debuted, the Mercedes-Benz 600 (W100) was the most expensive car in the world. Some well-known, influential people who rode in this luxury car include Hugh Hefner, rockstar Elvis Presley, and John Lennon, among others. The 600 W100 wasn’t just a statement. It had state-of-the-art tech that was well ahead of its time.

Mercedes-Benz C111

Mercedes-Benz C111
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

The Mercedes-Benz C111 is one of the German automakers’ record-breaking, wild, and interesting one-off builds. It was developed when the automotive industry was obsessed with the Wankel (rotary) engine. Debuting at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show as a show car, the Mercedes-Benz C111 wowed the audience with its stunningly gorgeous exterior, gull-winged doors, quick rotary-powered internals, and bold demeanor. How this iconic release never made it to the production line still puzzles many.

Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG

Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG
Image Credit: YouTube/AMGmeister.

The Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG is an unlikely minivan. For whatever reason, it was built by Mercedes-Benz’s tuning arm, AMG. Minivans have an obvious role. They are family carts. The Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG is a 500-hp minivan powered by a 6.2-liter V8. It’s capable of bolting from 0 to 60 in 4.6 seconds. We are not sure if it was developed for James Bond’s wife, but one thing we know is there’s no way you are beating this mean minivan to soccer practice or a parking spot.

Mercedes-Benz Unimog

Mercedes-Benz Unimog
Image Credit: Wiki Commons.

There’s time for roses and candy, and there’s time to hit the battlefield and outbacks. Well, the Mercedes-Benz Unimog was a range of extremely rugged utility vehicles developed by the German automaker in the ‘40s for off-road use. Other than rummaging through the battlefield, these versatile trucks can be configured into utility trucks for agriculture or even firefighting.

1958 Mercedes-Benz 300d ‘Adenauer

1958 Mercedes-Benz 300d 'Adenauer
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

The 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300d ‘Adenauer was a four-door luxury sedan. This postwar Benz was unveiled at the 1951 Frankfurt Motorshow, and it was solely developed to gold-plate the Mercedes-Benz name again after WWII. The Mercedes-Benz 300d limousine got its name after Konrad Adenauer, Germany’s first Chancellor. This iconic release was often referred to as a driver’s car. Surprisingly, it shares several mechanical components with the more popular 300 SL Gullwing.

Mercedes-Benz 500K

Mercedes-Benz 500K
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

The 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K is Mercedes-Benz’s clapback to the Duesenberg SSJ (not that they had anything to worry about) when it comes to classic majestic builds. This grand touring car was developed between 1934 and 1936 and debuted at the ‘34 Berlin Motor Show. It ran on a supercharged 5-liter straight-eight engine good for 160 horsepower and was capable of speeds well over 180 mph. Only 30 units of this majestic car were developed.

Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Strassenversion

Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
Image Credit: David Merrett/WikiCommons.

In the past, more than record sales, auto manufacturers wanted to dominate the performance car scene – which indirectly led to sales. When FIA introduced the GT1 Championships in the 90s, Mercedes-Benz wanted to be part of the action. But there was a problem. The McLaren F1 and its antidote, the Porsche 911 GT1. Well, it dominated both cars in the inaugural race in 1997, and that was thanks to its carbon fiber monocoque and aluminum frame. That’s not all. It packed a 6.9-liter V12 good for 622 hp and 539 lb-ft of torque.

Mercedes-Benz SSK (W06)

Mercedes-Benz SSK (W06)
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

In the late 1920s, the world was hungry for performance cars. To cater to that need, Mercedes-Benz developed the Mercedes-Benz SSK (W06). The abbreviation SSK was ‘Super Sport Kurz’ in German or ‘Super Sport Short’ in English. It was ideally a short-wheelbase version of the W06 SS and was interestingly designed by Ferdinand Porsche – his last build before leaving to start his own brand.

Mercedes McLaren SLR 722 Stirling Moss

Mercedes McLaren SLR 722 Stirling Moss
Image Credit: YouTube/Supercar Blondie.

History is indeed a beautiful thing. The Mercedes McLaren SLR 722 was developed when Mercedes-Benz and McLaren felt the need to play nice and develop quick cars. SLR stood for Sport Light Racing, which paid homage to the 300 SLR. Several versions of the SLR McLaren were developed, but the most iconic was the SLR Stirling Moss, which was developed in honor of the F1 racing legend. Under the hood, it packed a supercharged 5.4-liter V8 good for 641 horsepower.

1906 Mercedes Mixte

1906 Mercedes Mixte
Image Credit: YouTube/Automobile Classics.

The Toyota Prius might be hailed as the pioneer of the production of hybrid cars in the world, but Mercedes already played around with this technology with the 1906 Mercedes Mixte. The Mixte was the German automaker’s first true hybrid that incorporated a gas-powered engine and a dynamo that generated electric power to two rear-wheel motors. The engine was capable of making between 33 and 55 horsepower, which was enough to generate electricity to propel the car on electric juice alone.

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Alloy Gullwing

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing
Image Credit: WikiCommmons.

You’ll hardly miss the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Alloy Gullwing on the list of the most iconic cars of the 20th century. Only 29 of these coupes were developed. It featured an all-aluminum body, a futuristic design, and, to top it off, the iconic gullwing doors. That’s not all. Other than its stunning good looks, the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Alloy Gullwing packed a 3-liter straight-six engine good for 240 horsepower. It’s a highly sought-after classic. In 2023, a unit sold for $5 million.

Mercedes-Benz 540Ks

Mercedes-Benz 540Ks
Image Credit: YouTube/RM Sotheby’s.

The Mercedes-Benz 540K is another Mercedes-Benz release that showcases its prewar design, much like the 500K. It was a luxury model released in several trims, including a two-seater cabriolet, four-seater coupe, and limousine. The 540Ks debuted in 1936 as a limited model release for the German automaker’s high-end clientele. Only 32 units of the 1936 were sold. The Mercedes-Benz 540Ks ran on a 5.4-liter straight-eight engine that was good for 180 horsepower.

Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut-Coupe

Mercedes-Benz 300SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe
Image Credit: Valder137/WikiCommons.

Not many people knew about the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut-Coupe until it sold for $142 million, earning the tag of the most expensive car in the world. What you might not know is the 300 SLR Uhlenhaut-Coupe is also one of the most dominant race cars of its era. Only two road-legal versions of the 300 SLR were developed under the tagline ‘Uhlenhaut-Coupe.’ They had more appealing bodylines and featured gullwing doors.

1971 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.8 AMG “Red Pig”

1971 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.8 AMG
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

Luxury and swine don’t go hand in hand. Therefore, it could be a little puzzling to find out about the 1971 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.8 AMG, a.k.a; the ‘Red Pig.’ Well, as unflattering as it sounds, this car earned the name without bias due to its ungainly looks compared to its sleek-looking competition at the grueling 1971 24 hours of Spa-Francorchamps race. But here’s the kicker – it dropped all its competition, winning its class and even completed second overall. All that thanks to a 6.8-liter V8 capable of 428 horsepower.

1986 Mercedes-Benz AMG “Hammer”

1986 Mercedes-Benz AMG "Hammer"
Image Credit: YouTube/AMGmeister.

Five years before anyone jammed to MC Hammer’s hit single “Hammer Time,” Mercedes-Benz aficionados were enjoying their own version of “Hammer” time – in the form of the 1986 Mercedes-Benz AMG “Hammer.” This release model is important in automotive history because it paved the way for all the AMG-badged cars we love. The ‘86 Mercedes-Benz E-Class was the first to rock a belowing V8. If “Can’t Touch This” was the song of the decade, the 1986 Mercedes-Benz AMG Hammer was the roar of the 80s.

1993 Mercedes-Benz E 60 AMG

1993 Mercedes-Benz E 60 AMG
Image Credit: YouTube/OldBenz.

Anything with an AMG badge passes the cool test—even the Mitsubishi Galant AMG. However, some cars go higher and surpass the cool test, and one of those is the 1993 Mercedes-Benz E 60 AMG. Only 45 were developed. This limited Edition Mercedes-Benz not only looks the part but also packs a lot of heat. It’s powered by a 6-liter V8 good for 375 horsepower—a brutal contender during its peak.

Lotec C1000 Concept Car

1995 Lotec C1000
Image Credit: YouTube/Saabkyle04.

It’s perhaps the most forgotten concept car running a Mercedes-Benz heart plant. The 1995 Lotec C1000 supercar. It has an interesting story, and it only came to life because a wealthy businessman from the UAE wanted the world’s fastest car. Well, the C stands for ‘carbon fiber,’ and the ‘1000’ stands for 1,000 hp. That’s right. The Lotec C1000 concept car packed a twin-turbo 5.6-liter V8 Mercedes-Benz engine tuned to make 1,000 hp.

1998 Mercedes-Benz A 190 Twin

1998 Mercedes-Benz A 190
Image Credit: YouTube: HSG Automotive.

If it could make a luxury minivan performance car, Mercedes-Benz could surely compete against VW’s Golf, and the answer was the 1998 Mercedes-Benz A 190 Twin. Its performance arm, AMG, can tinker with anything, and at the time, the tiny A-Class seemed like a worthy test mule. Only four AMG units were built with a 1.9-liter engine with an all-wheel-drive layout.

1999 Mercedes-Ben SL 73 AMG

1999 Mercedes-Ben SL 73 AMG
Image Credit: YouTube/ OldBenz.

Let’s face it. The 90s box-shaped Mercedes-Benzes are the most iconic of the marque – for millennials. Arguably, the greatest of the SL-line of Benzes is the R129. To sift out the chaff, the best R129 is undeniably the Mercedes-Ben SL 73 AMG. Get this. This mad coupe featured a 7.3-liter V12 (M297) good for 518 horsepower. The top speed on this girl was rated at 200 mph.

2001 Mercedes-Benz S 63

2001 Mercedes-Benz S 63
Image Credit: Daimler AG.

The 2001 Mercedes-Benz S 63 is one of the rarest Mercedes-Benz models developed by AMG. For only a month in 2001, AMG developed 70 S63 AMG cars. These units weren’t even featured in the German automaker’s catalog. The 2001 Mercedes-Benz S 63 doesn’t make so many lists of cool AMG models, including the rarest, most comfortable, or even the most powerful. Still, this Mercedes-Benz S 63 will go down in history as the rarest S-Class. Of the 70, you could only get it as rear-wheel-drive and long wheelbase.

2002 Mercedes-Benz C 30 CDI AMG

2002 Mercedes-Benz C 30 CDI AMG
Image Credit: YouTube/Mercedes Benz World.

It’s important to note that only one 5-cylinder AMG was ever developed. It was also a diesel. Yes! You read that right. It was none other than the 2002 Mercedes-Benz C 30 CDI AMG. Based on the C-Class (W203), the C 30 CDI AMG has three variants. AMG used the C270 CDI engine, modifying it from a 2.7-liter to a 3-liter. They slapped a bigger turbo and intercooler, impressively increasing the output from 168 hp and 279 lb-ft of torque to 228 hp and 398 lb-ft.

2012 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG 45th Anniversary Edition

2012 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG 45th Anniversary Edition
Image Credit: YouTube/GommeBlog.it: Car & Performance.

There’s no doubt that the R129 is perhaps one of the greatest SL-line Mercedes-Benzes. However, another SL-Class based on the R231 is still a newer and worthy mention—the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG 45th Anniversary Edition. In addition to modern design cues like a magno-graphite paint job and carbon fiber interior trims, this release featured a 6-liter Bitrubo V12. This monstrous engine was rated at 621 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque. Only 45 units were developed.

Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR

Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

The Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR is quite a recent release. It’s a concept car that debuted during the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show. The future inspired this concept, and according to the German automaker, the Vision AVTR combines sustainability and luxury. This phenomenal release is often referred to by enthusiasts as the most gorgeous functional concept car ever developed. Here’s the kicker. The Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR lets the driver control it with their mind.

2023 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class S 680 By Virgil Abloh

2023 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class S 680 By Virgil Abloh
Image Credit: YouTube/Mr. Benz.

Not many people knew that the world-famous Virgil Abloh worked with Mercedes-Benz before he passed on in 2021. Some of his notable work was on the Project Mayback off-road concept. In honor of a well-known fashion designer, the German automaker released the 2023 Mercedes-Maybach S 680 Virgil Abloh concept. Only 150 units of this iconic luxury car went into production. Most of the units were bought by celebrities. 

Humphrey Bwayo

Author: Humphrey Bwayo

Title: Writer

Bio:

Humphrey Bwayo is an automotive journalist whose love for cars has extended into collecting, driving, and writing about automobiles. His first interaction with cars was with a BMW E36 M3 toy car he got for his 5th birthday, and, as the saying goes the rest was history. 

Growing up as a 90’s kid, he experienced firsthand the height of the great East African Safari Rally. He watched local legend Ian Duncan scoop titles in his Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD and Group A Subaru Legacy RS.

He was fortunate to attend journalism school and later work for a local news broadcaster before diverting into digital print. He’s enjoyed an illustrious career writing and editing for websites like National Monitor, The Clever, Columbia Observer, Gadget Review, Hotcars, TheDrive, and Autoevolution. 

He’s now found a home as a contributor at Tesla Tale, an extraordinary team of automotive journalists, experts, and car enthusiasts curving out new ways unseen on the interwebs of telling car stories — stay tuned!

Similar Posts